The Pacific Coastal city of Long Beach, California has long since been known as an international city. The city is home to one of the largest shipping ports in the world bringing with it a large influx of people from around the world. Many cultural groups exist within the city limits of Long Beach, which is why it earned its nickname, “The International City.” Long Beach prides itself on its unique blend of inhabitants by celebrating all the different nationalities and cultures that exist within the city. Throughout the year residents and visitors can participate in any number of cultural festivals. Here are just some of the festivals that are held in Long Beach:
Queen Mary Scottish Festival
The Queen Mary Scottish festival is a celebration of the Scottish heritage. The festival will take place in February each year on The Queen Mary, which is one of the most famous ships ever built on the River Clyde and a testament to the great craftsmanship of the Scottish people. The cultural celebration will include the music of Scottish bagpipes and drums, several highland dancing competitions, whiskey tastings and more.
SoCal Italian Festival
The 2010 SoCal Italian Festival take place each May, at the Seaport Marina Hotel within the inner gardens and pool area. The festival aims to keep the “taste of Italy” alive within the SoCal area with a variety of vendors including Lucci’s Gelato & Italian Ice, Unico Los Angeles Pizza and Mediterranean Marble, just to name a few. A portion of the SoCal Italian Festivals proceeds will benefit the Long Beach Friends of Animals.
Ho’olaule’a Tiki Beach Festival
The 10th annual Ho’olaule’a Tiki Beach Festival will takes place every August on the beach from sunrise to sunset. The festival hosts a number of activities including “Night of Fire” torch lighting, fire walk, fire knife dance, Crazy Al Evans’ Tiki Museum and island music. The festival has a Taste of Aloha Food Court where you can try island style fare and Island Market Place and Cultural Center when you can purchase traditional island arts and crafts. On the Sunday morning a Hula praise & worship service will be held.
For more than 60 years the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Long Beach has celebrated Greek Festival on Labor Day weekend. The festival boasts a number activities for the whole family including carnival rides and games, church tours, Greek dancing lessons, dance performances, live music and a variety of Greek foods and desserts to try. The festival is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. Entrance into the festival requires a small donation to the church and parking is free.
Brazilian Street Carnaval
The annual Brazilian Street Carnaval take place in September in the promenade amphitheater and features a colorful parade of costumed participants, dance performances, live music and the traditional foods and drinks of Brazil.
The inhabitants of Long Beach, California are a diverse group of people who embrace their heritage and invite others to experience a bit of their culture through a host annual festivals. These cultural festivals are a great way to spend a weekend while getting to know your neighbors.