Oontz, oontz, oontz, oontz. What's that sound? Oh, that's right, it's that time of year again! Bears, otters, lemurs, leather daddies, dykes on bikes, drag queens, drag queen nuns, drag kings, ladies in skimpy outfits, men in even skimpier outfits, folks from across and outside the gender spectrum, and, of course, your fellow bisexuals. Pride season in SoCal kicks off with the fourth largest Pride parade and festival in the country...right here in Long Beach. That's right, there is a huge, kick-ass Pride beneath Los Angeles' own version of the Mason-Dixon line! Come celebrate the first SoCal Pride since marriage equality became the law of the land with your fellow amBi-ites!
The parade kicks off at 10:30, but there are pre-parade festivities at Bixby Park (located on Cherry Ave. between Ocean Blvd. and Broadway), where you can play games, chit-chat, and even win free admission to the Festival (a $20 value). AmBi will be there--with donuts--at 9:30am to help get this party started right. I'll likely be near the bus stop near the corner of Cherry and Broadway, across the street from Rite-Aid, with my bi shirt on. And you can always text me if you have any trouble finding us. Wear your bi colors too, if possible; hopefully, that'll make it easier to spot us--and to show off your bi pride, of course! Then we'll find a suitable spot for our group to sit and watch the parade go by. And, if you wish, you can join some of us as we head to the gates to get into the Festival itself, likely around noon or 12:30, depending on what time the parade ends. Admission is $20 so bring enough cash! And bring your i.d. and even more cash if you plan to drink alcohol or eat inside. There are ATMs inside and out of the festival, but the lines can be long and the ATM fees fierce.
For any other info, you can visit the LB Pride website, longbeachpride.com.
p.s. Parking is a bit of a free-for-all, but it also depends on whether you want to go into the festival, too. If you do plan on going to the festival, I'd recommend parking west of Alamitos and north of 1st Street. There's usually some free street parking available. There are also some paid garages on Ocean Blvd. if you prefer to go that route. But if you do park over there, you'll need to be prepared to walk to the park, but it'll make it easier to get out of the area once you leave the festival. Or you can take your chances and try to park near where we'll be on the parade route--which may require an animal sacrifice of the sale of a first-born child. But give it a shot if you only plan on attending the parade, you might be luckier than me.