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TRAVEL - A Weekend at the Third Largest Pride Festival and Parade in California

Long Beach Pride is the Goldilocks Size for Pride Festivals – Just Right

Travel by Josh Rimer (From July 2022 Online)
TRAVEL - A Weekend at the Third Largest Pride Festival and Parade in California: Long Beach Pride is the Goldilocks Size for Pride Festivals – Just Right
Image by: Josh Rimer
TRAVEL - A Weekend at the Third Largest Pride Festival and Parade in California: Long Beach Pride is the Goldilocks Size for Pride Festivals – Just Right
Image by: Josh Rimer
TRAVEL - A Weekend at the Third Largest Pride Festival and Parade in California: Long Beach Pride is the Goldilocks Size for Pride Festivals – Just Right
Image by: Josh Rimer
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After two years of mostly virtual Pride festivals, it’s exciting to have a Pride season full of in-person gatherings again. While obvious choices might be major events in the big cities, there are of course many others as well that could be flying under your radar. Long Beach Pride was exactly that for me – I had no idea it was the third largest Pride festival and parade in California, attracting nearly 100,000 LGBTQ+ people and allies.

Almost everything I went to during my weekend in Long Beach was surprisingly within walking distance. I stayed at the Hyatt Centric Pike Place (a modern boutique hotel in the area known as The Pike) and it was only a 10 to 15 minute walk to the festival, the parade, and all kinds of restaurants. Speaking of which, the first thing I did after arriving at my hotel on the Friday evening was to walk over to Hamburger Mary’s for dinner and drag with local queens and special guest Detox from RuPaul’s Drag Race. It was a fantastic way to set the mood for the weekend to come (and was also a fundraiser for local LGBTQ+ organizations).

The Long Beach Pride festival is a two-day event, and you can get tickets to attend one or both days. The second day was when the headline performers Paulina Rubio and Iggy Azalea were performing so it was the busier of the two, but I was impressed at the vast number of things there were to see and do there beyond the performances. To give you only a partial list: I danced in the silent disco, got my face sparkled up in the drag makeup dome, tested my balance and lack of stopping ability in the roller rink, and learned about a bunch of local LGBTQ+ businesses and organizations at their booths. Not to mention the Transcendence dome for a look at some transgender history, a leather tent for some whipping or shopping (or both), and even a country line dance tent to boot skootin’ boogie in.

The Pride parade was on the Sunday morning and was well attended, but easy to find a good viewing spot at. It goes for 8 blocks along Ocean Blvd and for a couple of hours all kinds of floats, cars, and walkers went past, showing support from a variety of local businesses, organizations, and politicians. The crowd was full of diversity and ages of people, and with the California weather, it was of course warm and sunny throughout. I was able to find some shade from trees and with it being during the late morning it was early enough in the day to avoid the higher temperatures.

The only thing I ended up needing a car for during my time in Long Beach was to get to and from the nightlife. On the Saturday night I went to Mineshaft in the gaybourhood (Bixby Park) area and I should have known to go earlier than I did because it had a long line when I arrived at 10:30pm. Once inside it was packed, but the music was fun, the crowd was friendly, and there was an extra drinking area set up outside for extra capacity and fresh air. I had fun dancing inside and chatting outside.

I met a few people from Los Angeles and West Hollywood who went to Long Beach for the weekend like me. Despite having good Pride festivals in their own cities, they like going to Long Beach Pride as well. For us Canadians there are of course direct flights to LA from major cities like Calgary and with the warm weather you don’t have to pack much so being able to avoid a layover and a suitcase is fantastic.

Overall, I had a great time in Long Beach over their Pride weekend, and I was impressed with both the size and scale of it. I’ve been to Pride festivals in bigger cities that felt like they had less going on and although there were tens of thousands of people at this one, it didn’t feel overwhelming or overly crowded. Perhaps being the third largest is basically the Goldilocks size for Pride festivals – just right!

Visiting the 3rd largest Pride parade & festival in California!

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Contributor Josh Rimer |


Locale Long Beach |


Topic Travel | Long Beach Pride |


(GC)

Image by: Josh Rimer
Image by: Josh Rimer
Image by: Josh Rimer
Image by: Josh Rimer

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