Rainbow flags will be flying in Long Beach this weekend as Pride on the Beach returns with activities including dance parties, a street carnival and the 28th annual Pride Parade — all in celebration of Long Island’s LGBT diversity.
New this year is the Pride Pet Parade at 3 p.m. Sunday, featuring a procession of furry friends dressed in pride gear and Long Island animal shelters on hand for pet adoptions.
On a somber note, students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Gay-Straight Alliance serving as grand marshals in the main parade, and the traditional paddle-out into the Atlantic will add 17 surfers to memorialize the gun violence victims in Parkland, Florida.
“People will be celebrating and having a good time with a very important message, that there’s still more work to do to have a more equal and just society,” says David Kilmnick, president and chief executive officer of the LGBT Network, which organizes the event.
Here are five ways to enjoy the nearly 30 events expected to draw 30,000 people to Long Beach’s festive streets and boardwalk.
PARTY & DANCE Live music venue Junction hosts the pride kickoff party 8 p.m. Friday (20 W. Park Ave., Long Beach). Saturday’s noon-3 p.m. Party on the Beach features a performance by Rosa Laricchiuta, a Canadian singer-songwriter who was a finalist on the French-Canadian version of “The Voice,” and a swimsuit fashion show. You can see it free along the boardwalk at Long Beach Boulevard, but you’ll need a $15 beach pass to hit the sand. There are also $60-$85 VIP tickets for admission to a tent, food, drinks and seating.
Later Saturday night, The Pride on the Tide Party offers live performances by dance-pop singer Reina and 1970s disco diva France Joli at Maliblue Oyster Bar in Lido Beach beginning at 9 p.m. ($25, 1500 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach). Sunday, there’s a 1 p.m. concert on the beach with star power from Grammy-nominated R&B artist Deborah Cox, singing-songwriting LGBT activist Steve Grand and the 1980s tribute band Jessie’s Girl ($15 beach pass or $95 VIP beach club).
RIDE THE RAINBOW SLIDE The carnival has an apropos attraction — an oversize rainbow slide — among a Ferris wheel and a dozen other rides running as part of a larger carnival with games and noshes, like fried Oreos (opens 6 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday at National and Riverside boulevards, Long Beach).
HIT THE MARKET Rainbow-themed merchandise will be hard to miss at the boardwalk’s 125-vendor Pride Market Fair. Also — dozens of Long Beach businesses, including restaurants and bars, will offer Pride on the Beach specials all weekend (look for the rainbow flags).
HEAR AN UPLIFTING MESSAGE Two local houses of worship are holding special LGBT-positive services. Rabbi Jack Zanerhaft’s Pride Shabbat Service at Temple Emanu-El of Long Beach will include Kilmnick’s remarks about his experience growing up gay and Jewish. (7:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, 455 Neptune Blvd., Long Beach) For the first time, the Rev. Eric Mull, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church by the Sea, will lead a worship service at 10 a.m. (75 E. Olive St., Long Beach.)
SEE THE PARADE The 28th annual Long Island Pride Parade steps off at noon Sunday on Broadway at Laurelton Boulevard on a one-mile route to Long Beach Boulevard. Suffolk and Nassau County police officers, marching bands and 30 gay-straight alliance clubs from Long Island schools are expected to join the procession.
Pride on the Beach
WHEN | WHERE Friday-Sunday, June 8-10, in Long Beach
INFO 516-323-0011, prideonthebeach.org