Long Beach is a vibrant community with annual cultural and sporting gatherings to attract local residents and visitors
One of the largest gatherings in the area is the Long Beach International Sea Festival. This is a favorite on the Long Beach events calendar for families to enjoy. There is live music, seafood booths, arts and crafts stalls, barbecue and a Swim and Pacific 5k Run. Children enjoy the pirate ship and re-enactment of pirate swashbuckling with cannons and sword duels. There is also a treasure hunt, a pirate costume contest and a sandcastle sculpture competition. The kids can go on a charter boat trip to learn about sport fishing and there are classic movies shown on the beach for all the family.
Music is important to the area and the Bluegrass Festival is very popular. There are live concerts, music workshops and gospel choirs. Annual Long Beach events also include the Blues Festival, sponsored by the Kjazz jazz and blues radio station. The line up is always impressive and names announced for 2007 include Buddy Guy, Little Richard, Dr John and Robert Cray. In addition to the great music, there are food and other vendors.
The Annual Tiki Beach Festival and Polynesian Spectacular at Belmont Shore is another well supported event on the Long Beach events itinerary. It is a celebration of the South Pacific Islands culture and it’s a colorful and joyful affair. There is live music, arts and crafts stalls, a barbecue and a Sunrise Blessing Ceremony. It’s an opportunity to go for a canoe ride or a catamaran cruise round the harbor. At sundown, the spectacular begins with a buffet, island music and Tahitian and Hawaiian dancing displays. Other displays include a fire knife dance show and hula dancing.
Running events are an important part of cities these days and the annual Robert C. McAvoy Labor Day 5 Mile Run is well supported. It starts at the Riverside Boulevard and each contestant is given a T-shirt. Young people of 18 years of age and under are invited to participate in the King of the Beach Surf Contest. Trophies go to the best three competitors in all the categories.