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Long Beach Gay Pride 2014

Celebrating the Long Beach's Pride Festival

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Sunday's Pride Parade passes along the scenic Long Beach shoreline

photo by Andrew Collins

Here are some things you may not already know about Long Beach: This city in southern Los Angeles County (just 20 miles south of L.A. proper) has a population of about 470,000, making it among the top 40 largest cities in the nation (bigger than Kansas City, Minneapolis, and many others), and the seventh-largest in California (it's just behind Fresno and Sacramento). It's also home to a sizable, dynamic gay and lesbian population, and in 2014 (set for the weekend of May 17 and 18), the city celebrates Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride. This two-day event, with its draw of some 80,000 participants and 200 floats in its parade, has become one of the largest Gay Pride celebrations in America. GLBT Pride in Long Beach is one of the biggies, and it's a terrific time to acquaint yourself with a gay-friendly that city that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves.

The big events include the festival itself, which takes place from 11 am until 11 pm both Saturday and Sunday at Marina Green along East Shoreline Drive (here's a map) and features a slew of talented performers, and the Long Beach Pride Parade, on Sunday, taking place at 10:30 am and proceeding along scenic Ocean Boulevard, from Lindero Avenue to Alamitos Avenue. There's ample parking at the Long Beach Convention Center at 400 East Seaside Way.

Many gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Weekend. Check local gay papers, such as the Orange County and Long Beach Blade as well as the Long Beach Community Business Network/Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, for details. Also take a look at the useful Long Beach CVB site, a handy resource for general travel planning.

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