The City of Long Beach is scheduled to host the first expanded, three-day Long Island Pridefest in June on the beach and boardwalk.
The Woodbury-based LGBT Network was awarded $300,000 by the state’s Empire State Development agency to promote out-of-state tourism and marketing for the Pride on the Beach festival scheduled from June 9-11.
Residents have asked questions about traffic, alcohol and beach access during the festival, which will grow to three days in its first year since moving from Huntington and has in the past drawn more than 30,000 people.
Organizers and city officials said they hope the festival will boost the local economy and become a destination to celebrate equality, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride.
“Long Beach is so great in its scenery, restaurants and shops that people — not just on Long Island — are missing out,” said LGBT Network president David Kilmnick. “We’re putting on an event that we hope will compete with the larger areas around us and is something people want to mark on their calendars to celebrate a diverse number of activities and events.”
Here’s what you need to know about the festivities:
The LGBT Network is hosting Long Island Pride with Long Beach officials using an “I Love New York” grant with multiple sponsors. Half of the grant will go to the city to reimburse expenses and costs for hosting the festival.
The grant proposal promotes the event “that leverages Long Island’s beaches as a natural asset” and promotes New York State as a destination for travelers.
“The Pride on the Beach event will attract tourists both in and out of New York State to book a hotel and explore Long Island,” the grant states.
Long Beach officials will receive about $150,000 to cover expenses, and the LGBT Network will use $60,000 on multimedia marketing promotions.
Organizers have been granted about $138,000 by the state for performer and talent fees, including stage production and security. A marquee concert performer has not yet been finalized. Plans for Cyndi Lauper fell through as a result of a conflicting July concert date at Jones Beach.
“The city’s going to make a lot of money,” Kilmnick said. “Everyone will have to buy a beach pass. We’re expecting the city will make more through sales than what’s spent.”
Long Beach officials said events will be spaced out along the beach and schedule, so the city could see some increased traffic for the events.
Organizers have secured parking at Point Lookout, Long Beach middle and high schools, and Oceanside High School.
Free shuttle and trolley service to events will be provided, using $19,000 in funding. The LIRR will also add trains to Long Beach for the weekend.
Most events will take place on the beach at Long Beach Boulevard on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and on Sunday at the Pride Market Fair on Edwards Boulevard from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a concert on the beach starting at 1 p.m. A beach pass is required for all beach events. The beach will remain open to the public but require a beach pass for access.
Alcohol will be limited to a proposed $75 VIP tent, including private security.
Sunday will also include a parade from noon to 2 p.m., with partial road closures from Laurelton Boulevard to Park Avenue to the boardwalk at National Boulevard.