Ocean Boulevard, between Lindero and Alamitos avenues, will be Pride central on Sunday, May 18 for the 31st Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade, which, this year, will celebrate the theme “Reflections of Pride.”
Kicking off the parade will be the Grand Parade Marshal Ross Mathews, best known as “Ross the Intern” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Selected as the Morris Kight Political Grand Marshal is Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, who has been a vocal supporter of the gay community. The Female Community Grand Marshal is community servant and non-violence advocate Giovanna Martinez. The Male Community Grand Marshal is community leader and co-owner of Hamburger Mary’s, Dale Warner. Chosen for the Whitey Littlefield Community Bridge-Building Award is Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. The Grand Marshal Special Recognition is The Center of Long Beach’s youth-program manager Kyle Bullock.
The former Miss Nicaragua International, Indira Rojas Calderon, will also participate in the parade. Calderon is visiting the United States for an upcoming movie project and contacted the Pride parade organizers in hopes of supporting the LGBT community in America.
“I am thrilled to be a part of one of the world’s largest gay parades,” Calderon said. “In my country, individuals and communities still face widespread discrimination, as well as human-rights violations based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Being in this parade is my way of breaking down barriers and standing up for all of Nicaragua. I hope that other international pageant representatives follow.”
Over the last several years, the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival & Parade has become the third-largest in the nation, now attracting over 80,000 participants over the two-day celebration, according to the event’s organizers. More than 200 marching groups and floats comprise the parade entries representing various religious, human-service, governmental and social organizations. The parade alone attracts over 40,000 spectators along its route, and it is telecast to over 37 local, national and international media links, according to organizers.
At 10am Sunday, on Ocean Boulevard between Junipero and Cherry avenues, the pre-parade show will include performances by LA Cheer and the Hamburger Mary’s Brunchettes. There will also be prize giveaways that include free Long Beach Pride Festival tickets, tee shirts and more.
At 10:30am, the parade will kick off, with over 150 entries.
This year’s street closures will be along Ocean Boulevard and are as follows: 5am from Redondo to Lindero avenues; 8am from Lindero to Cherry avenues; and 8:30am from Cherry to Alamitos avenues and around the curve to Broadway.
No selling of food, merchandise, drinks, or alcoholic beverages is allowed on the parade route.
This year’s Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Celebration will take place Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 from 11am to 11pm along Shoreline Drive.
The celebration will include six large dance and performance areas.
For more information visit longbeachpride.com or call (562) 987-9191.
Source: LB Lesbian & Gay Pride