Summer Festivals in Long Beach
Long Beach is blessed not only with miles of sandy beaches and terrific weather, but an annual lineup of summer festivals–from May to September–celebrating culture, community, music and, oh yeah, fun! Check out these events and start plans for a festive summer in the city.
LB PROUD! FEST
Free, open to the public, LB Proud! Fest (May 19-21) gets started Friday, May 19, with Eat. Play. Shop. an activation of Long Beach’s beloved “Gayborhood” located along Broadway between Junipero Avenue and Orange Street. Local businesses will keep special hours and offer special promotions, while music and drag performers keep everything fun from 5 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, at Bixby Park, music takes over the festival on three stages with the likes of Lupe Fuentes, Tolliver and performers from Ru Paul’s Drag Race and Dragula. Also Saturday will be a queer bicycle parade on Broadway. On Sunday, the Big Gay Beach Takeover, featuring Djs and food trucks, takes place at the Rainbow Lifeguard Tower at Ocean Boulevard and 11th Place.
PACIFIC ISLANDER FESTIVAL
For the 20th year, the Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way) will celebrate Pacific Island cultures, including Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan, Chamorro, Marshallese and Maori. The Pacific Islander Festival (June 3-4) offers traditional music and dance as well as cultural displays and craft demonstrations including Hula Implement Demonstration and Maori Poi Ball Demonstration. Access to the festival, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, is free with general admission to the aquarium.
In just its third year, this daylong celebration of the ending of slavery in the U.S. has quickly become one of the most popular events of the year–thousands attended in 2022. Held Saturday, June 17, at Rainbow Lagoon (400 E. Shoreline Dr.), its mainstage will be headlined by Kelly Price and feature an array of musical and dance acts, poetry readings, step show and activities specifically designed for kids as well as plenty of food trucks offering a wide variety of cuisines. For more information or tickets, click here.
LONG BEACH JAZZ FEST
In its 34th year, the Jazz Fest (Aug. 11-13) offers a one-of-a-kind experience for music lovers. Held at Rainbow Lagoon Park (Shoreline Dr. and Linden Ave.), there will be great food, drink and art to enjoy while listening to acclaimed jazz performers like Will Downing, Najee, Brian Simpson, Jakiem Joyner and Jessy J. As in year’s past, the festival will put a special emphasis on wellness with its Health and Wellness Pavilion featuring inspirational and expert speakers, treatment areas, vendors and healthy food sampling stations.
LONG BEACH PRIDE
This 40th edition of Long Beach Pride (Aug. 4-6) highlights how wide-ranging the celebration has become. The annual Pride parade (Aug. 6) is one of the most attended events in the city, featuring colorful floats, marching bands, community groups, all cheered by thousands of spectators. There is also Teen Pride, featuring live DJs, performances and dancing geared towards LGBTQ+ teens.And, yes, there will be lots of music, dancing and other fun activities, drag performances, games and giveaways as well as lots to eat and drink and more than 150 arts/crafts vendors.
COASTAL COUNTRY JAM
One of the biggest west coast events for country music fans, Coastal Country Jam, now in its fifth year, features an impressive list of top country talent headlined by Maron Morris, Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw. The two day festival–Sept. 16-17–takes place at Marina Green Park (386 E. Shoreline Dr.) which offers both spectacular views of the Long Beach waterfront as well as the city skyline. Not only will artists perform on multiple stages but the Country Club area is a massive, 50,000-square-foot space for line dancing as well as curated craft food, refreshing beverage options, interactive art installations and, just for fun, a Ferris Wheel!