Long Beach Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015
(Long Beach, California - CA, USA)
There is certainly a lot going on during the course of a year in the life of Long Beach, with recurring festivals reliably drawing crowds of visitors to the city, along with concerts and open-air events in the parks during the busy summer holiday season. Many of the largest gatherings often take place at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center on the East Ocean Boulevard.
Plenty of shows and things to do of an evening can be found and enjoyed at one of the city's many theaters. Popular choices include the Garage Theater on East 7th Street, the International City Theater (based at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center) on the East Ocean Boulevard, the Long Beach Playhouse on East Anaheim Street, and the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on East Atherton Street, where the acclaimed Musical Theater West company regularly performs to large audiences.
The Carpenter Performing Arts Center was opened in 1994 and is to be found within the grounds of the California State University, Long Beach, where it can accommodate seated audiences of almost 1,100 people. Music and dance, comedy and concerts, family shows and movie screenings are just some of the events staged here, together with large conventions and private gatherings.
You can even watch shows onboard the retired ocean liner attraction, the Queen Mary, where the California Repertory Company has chosen to base itself.
Long Beach Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015
During the summer, there are lots of distractions around the city, such as the Bayou and Blues Festival towards the end of June. This hugely popular blues fest has its origins in the mid-1980s and includes various jazz-style concerts, along with a Mardi Gras parade, crawfish eating competitions and children's face painting.
From June through September, numerous events take place as part of the established Long Beach Sea Festival. These include the Kickoff Extravaganza in early June at the Marina Green Park on East Shoreline Drive, and the original Long Beach Lobster Festival at the beginning of September, where thousands come to sample the freshly cooked Maine lobsters, as well as for the live music, dancing and family fun.
Continuing with the strong maritime theme is the annual Crawfish Festival at the beginning of August, which has its origins in the early 1990s and is held at the Rainbow Lagoon. A noticeable New Orleans vibe is injected into the proceedings with live music and Louisiana-style Cajun seafood dishes. A week or two later and it is time for the Long Beach BBQ Festival, where you can eat, drink and dance to your heart's content.
Further events of note in Long Beach include:
- Long Beach Grand Prix - mid-April, IndyCar racing through the streets of the city center
- Moonlight Movies on the Beach - from late May until the end of August
- Long Beach Golf Festival - throughout June, hosted at local golf courses such as those at El Dorado Park and Recreation Park
- Funkfest - every year in early July, along the downtown promenade and Broadway
- 4th of July Party on the Pier - Independence Day celebrations, at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier
- Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival - held in late July, at the Marine Stadium on Appian Way
- Kids' Fishing Rodeo - at the beginning of August, on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier
- Long Beach Sand Sculpture Contest - held over a weekend during the middle of August
- Long Beach Jazz Festival - mid-August, at the Rainbow Lagoon Park, just behind the city's Convention Center and a short drive from the aquarium
- Tiki Beach Festival (Ohana by The Sea) - in late August, at Alfredo's Beach Club
- Annual Greek Festival by the Sea - towards the end of August, over the Labor Day weekend, at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church on East Colorado Street