LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Southern California LGBT Pride season has begun! With its third weekend in May calendar placement, the Long Beach LGBT Pride celebration is the first of many pride events that take place throughout the region throughout the summer months.
This year, Long Beach Pride celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Thousands of revelers are expected to descend upon Downtown Long Beach tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday for the festivities, which include a festival, parties, and LGBT pride parade.
As one of the younger major LGBT pride celebrations (many of the large city pride parades were first held in the 1970's), Long Beach, situated at the south end of Los Angeles County, has experienced a tremendous amount of success in its 30 years. The Long Beach Post looks back at the history of Long Beach Pride HERE.
For those heading out to Long Beach this weekend, here's a round-up of some of the events that will take place:
The Pink Party
Organized by the Downtown Long Beach Association, the annual Pink Party is considered the official kickoff to Long Beach Pride. Taking place tonight, Friday, May 17, from 8 pm to midnight at First and Linden avenues in the city's downtown, the event turns the streets into a sea of pink as guests are encouraged to dress the part.
The outdoor dance party will include DJs, and performances by "RuPaul's Drag Race" stars Latrice Royale, Detox, Delta Work, Raja and Sonique.
There will be two outdoor bars, food stations, and pink hair and nail stations.
A portion of the proceeds benefit the Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Center's Mentoring Youth Through Empowerment Program.
Tickets are $10 at the gate.
For more information click HERE.
The Pride Festival
The Long Beach Pride Festival is a two day celebration, complete with all of the attractions many have to come to expect from this type of event. The festival in Long Beach is unique because of its proximity to the beach.
The festival will include entertainment by dozens of performers, with headliners such as Fantasia; American Idol finalists David Hernandez, Kimberly Caldwell, and Paris Bennett; The Voice finalists Frenchie Davis, Beverly McClellan, and Jamar Rogers; Wendy Ho; Sentidos Opuestos; and many others.
The full entertainment line-up is HERE.
Event hours are 11 am to 11 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $20 per day and can be purchased at the gate. More information is HERE.
Thousands of people will line Ocean Blvd. on Sunday, May 19 for Long Beach Pride Parade, which steps off at 10:30 am. Those who get to the parade route early to grab a spot will enjoy entertainment by the Brunchettes and Jewels of Hamburger Mary's.
This year's parade grand marshalls include the founders of Long Beach Pride, Judith Doyle, Bob Crow, and Marilyn Barlow.
More information about the parade, including the line-up, is HERE.
More information about Long Beach Pride, including directions, and other details is HERE.