Now known as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations in the country, it’s safe to say times have changed in Long Beach. And the city’s Pride event has grown steadily over the decades, attracting 80,000 in 2019, the last time it was held in person. A virtual festival was streamed last year.
A central element to its success has long been entertainment, specifically music, with a star-studded roster of major musical talent over the years, including a couple of Dreamgirls (Jennifer Holliday and Jennifer Hudson), disco icons (The Village People, KC and the Sunshine Band and Eveyln “Champagne” King), as well as musicians representing a miles wide swath of musical styles, everything from The Bangles to “Supreme Diva of Mexican Pop” Gloria Trevi, Queen Latifah to Sara Bareilles.
One thing that has changed is Pride’s date, and organizers couldn’t be happier. They had long wished to throw their party during the longer summer days, but had never made it out of May. Until this year.
“This is a long-awaited celebration of our entire LGBTQ+ community. We changed the date of the festival and parade to be able to enjoy the incredible setting that we have historically used with warmer weather and longer days,” Martinez said. “This festival feels like a wonderful comeback for Long Beach Pride and all our guests. We have missed all of them.”