The 4th Annual Long Beach Latin American Parade and Festival kicks off 3 p.m. Saturday with a parade in downtown Long Beach and continues with a dozen live performances, numerous food vendors and handmade art in a celebration of Latino culture.
Starting on Pine Avenue at 6th Street, the parade consisting of more than 40 floats, classic cars and vibrant performers is set to arrive at City Place at 3:30 p.m., where celebrations will already be underway.
The event is being hosted by the Downtown Long Beach Association and Vice Mayor of Long Beach, Dr. Robert Garcia, who is the first Latino to be elected as councilman as well as vice mayor in Long Beach history, according to the City of Long Beach.
“This is the perfect day to bring the whole family downtown and enjoy great Latin American music, art, food and culture,” said Garcia in a statement. “I'm especially grateful to both of our parade Marshals for their presence and support, and to all our generous sponsors in the community.”
Presiding over the parade as Grand Marshal is Eloy Oakley, president of Long Beach City College, and Community Marshal, Luis Lemus, owner of the Prospector Restaurant, a popular local venue for music acts.
The pair will be joined by spectators-- who are welcome to follow the procession-- and more than 1000 others, including Aztec dancers and celebrities from the Latin world like mariachi singer Ricardo Duque, Miss Peru 2012 and Miss Guadalajara USA, according to Garcia’s office.
While the sight of zombies may be a fitting precursor to Dia de los Muertos fun to come, younger attendees can find their own entertainment at the Children’s Area, which will feature a stage, face painting, a bounce house and arts & crafts. The free fun is being provided by the Museum of Latin American Art Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe’s office, according to the DBLA.
"This family-friendly event is great way to celebrate and learn about Latin American culture,” said Hilda Sanchez, DLBA board member and event chair, in a statement. “We invite all community members to come out and join us in this celebration!”
For an entertainment line-up and other event information, click here or call Garcia’s office at (562) 570-6919.