Arts & Entertainment

Long Beach's LGBT pride festival features parade, performances and mass wedding

2016 Long Beach Pride Solidarity with Pride  May 21-22
2016 Long Beach Pride Solidarity with Pride May 21-22
Evolutionary Productions (via Vimeo)

West Hollywood might be considered the local hub of Los Angeles's LGBT population, but once a year, a stretch of Long Beach is home to one of the biggest displays of pride in the Southland.

Established in October 1983, the nation's third largest LGBT pride parade and festival gets over 80,000 participants over its two-day run, according to their website.

Pride events have been going on all week, but the 33rd annual festival officially kicks off Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, guests can enjoy live music, food and more. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

This year's theme is "Solidarity through Pride," but the festival site — which will stretch along Shoreline Village Drive and Ocean Boulevard — will encompass seven main areas, each with their own theme, tailored to a specific audience. 

There will be several stages, including a country stage, dance stage, "Fiesta Caliente" stage, urban soul stage, teen pride and a tent that will include of a colossal amount of black leather. The main stage will feature different musical performers each day, including Neon Trees, Ivy Queen, Elvis Crespo and Havana Brown, among others.

Here's a rundown of the festival grounds (You can see a larger version here): 

See a full list of the stages and activities here. 

Don't be fooled by the 20 bar stations along the route, the festival also offers a family zone with carnival games and kid-friendly entertainment. (There's also a teen zone.)

At 9:45 a.m. Sunday, the Long Beach city clerk will preside over a mass wedding ceremony. A procession will follow to mark the last day of celebrations, beginning at at Ocean Boulevard and Lindero Avenue at 10:15 a.m.. It will head down Ocean and will culminate at Alamitos Boulevard near the festival grounds.

A shuttle service will be provided courtesy of Long Beach Transit and will run all day. For a schedule and location of shuttle stops, visit their website. You can also catch a Lyft; the service is offering $10 off your first two rides if you use their promotional code "LBPride16."