Nearly 20,000 Attendees Witness Dazzling Performances, Drag Delights, Vibrant Parade
By Dolores Quintana
Long Beach Pride, a cornerstone of LGBTQ+ celebration, marked its 40th milestone with an exuberant gathering of nearly 20,000 attendees who converged at the festival and parade held in downtown Long Beach over the weekend.
Elsa Martinez, Co-President of Long Beach Pride, expressed her excitement for the momentous occasion: “We are thrilled to commemorate Long Beach Pride’s 40th year with a remarkable festival and parade that honors our vibrant and thriving LGBTQ+ community.” Martinez also extended gratitude to the diverse array of performers who elevated the event’s spirit and connected with both steadfast supporters and newcomers alike.
The festivities commenced on Saturday, as the enchanting drag artist Symone, a standout from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” graced the stage with a live performance. Joining the celebration were prominent Mexican music artist La Diva Lucia Mendez and acclaimed singer Gio Mendez. Sunday’s headliner was Grammy-winning R&B sensation, Mya, along with Mexican superstar Laura Leon and pop artist Edith Marquez, among others.
Notably, this year’s event featured a dedicated stage for drag artists, a testament to the genre’s growing prominence. The Drag Dome showcased a lineup of exceptional talents, including Jasmin Masters, Delta Work, Jewels Long Beach, Honey Davenport, and more, who regaled the appreciative audience with their musical and dancing prowess.
The Dance Stage, on the other hand, resonated with the beats of EDM, Reggaeton, house music, and more, curated by a roster of popular deejays such as DJ Ivan, DJ Joe Pacheco, DJ Jerac, DJ Kidd Madonny, and DJ Kimberly S, to name a few.
Beyond the performances, festival attendees relished a diverse range of international cuisines offered by renowned chefs, local food vendors, and distinctive food trucks specializing in unique culinary experiences. The event’s vendor landscape featured an array of apparel, health and wellness products, headgear, footwear, and more.
The grand finale of the celebratory weekend was the iconic Long Beach Pride Parade, led by Parade Grand Marshals and R&B luminaries The Mary Jane Girls, accompanied by Media Grand Marshals Annabelle Sedano, NBC4 anchor, and Enrique Chiabra, Telemundo 52 anchor. The parade also featured Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, the Political Grand Marshal, who fellow community members joined as grand marshals.
The parade route along East Ocean Boulevard, between Linden Avenue and Alamitos Avenue, pulsated with the energy of dancers, bands, community dignitaries, and contributors who have been instrumental in the event’s success over the years.
Long Beach Pride’s media partnerships added to the vibrancy of the occasion, with Telemundo 52 and NBC4 serving as official media partners and radio partnerships with CHANNEL Q (97.1 HD2 and on the Audacy App), iHeartMedia Los Angeles, and Mayra Berenice En Vivo of 107.1 FM.