The skies were gloomy but the mood and the rainbow colors were bright and colorful as thousands gathered for the 35th Annual Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride parade on Sunday, May 20.
This year’s theme “remember the past, create the future” brought a collaboration of old and new community partners to make this year a fun and interactive weekend.
Drag queen Jewels Long Beach, who is in charge of entertainment, marketing and media at Hamburger Mary’s, emceed the parade that ran down Ocean Drive. She introduced hundreds of organizations, businesses, and politicians who participated in the festivities.
Some of those seen at the parade include: Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, District 7 Councilman Roberto Uranga, District 1 Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 3 Councilwoman Suzie Price, State Sen. Ricardo Lara, Signal Hill Mayor Larry Forester, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, 64th District Assembly member Mike Gipson, California State Treasurer John Chiang and 70th District Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell.
History was also made when a drag queen rode the Wells Fargo Stagecoach for the first time in the bank’s history. Wells Fargo employee David Anthony Flores won Volunteer of the Year and he was awarded the honor of riding shot gun at parade.
The Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival feature five music stages: the Main Stage, Country Stage, Dance Stage, Fiesta Caliente Stage and Urban Soul Stage. More than 50 musical artists, DJs and bands stepped on the stage to celebrate pride and enjoy the party.
Jussie Smollet, actor and singer on the television series “Empire” on the Main Stage on Saturday and acclaimed musician Sheila E., headlined the festival at on Sunday.
This year’s selected Grand Marshals included Alendra Billings as Grand Parade Marshal; First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez as “Morris Knight” Political Grand Marshal; Rev. John P. Huffmans as the Judith Doyle Community Grand Marshal; Porter Gilberg as the Bob Crow Community Grand Marshal; Jessie Haase and Debbie Lambert as the Marilyn Barlow Community Grand Marshal; and Kobe James, Dr. Robert Garcia Youth Grand Marshal Award.
To learn more about Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride on visit longbeachpride.com/