The Downtown Long Beach Association gave back to the community this past Saturday with the 2016 Irish Heritage Parade & Festival. Celebrating the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day, this Irish-themed parade took place on Pine Avenue from 7th Street to Broadway from 2pm to 3pm, which closed down many of the streets in Downtown Long Beach to allow for the local participants to strut their Long Beach and Irish pride for everyone to watch the parade. The parade featured a plethora of local businesses, organizations, and politicians, and every participating group represented one part out of Long Beach’s many diverse aspects. From roller derby teams to CrossFit gyms to restaurants to servicemen, if it has roots in Long Beach, it had a spot in this parade. New this year, a free all-ages festival occurred at Promenade Park just off of 1st Street. This festival had booths, arts & crafts, food, drinks, live entertainment, and more.
In the grand scheme of things, the festival took up less space than expected. Of course, the parade represented the greatest draw of the day, attracting hundreds of people to come and watch the spectacle. At the festival, we saw a few booths along the promenade corridor, and then the grass area that had the beer garden and the music stage. Aside from live music and a few booths, the festival had as much as a free festival could contain. For more media and information directly from the source, check out the Irish Heritage Parade on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to the Downtown Long Beach Association and Party On Pine for organizing this parade and festival, completely free for the public to watch and enjoy. Stick around for other events taking place in Downtown Long Beach, such as the Taste of Downtown Long Beach coming up in a few weeks at the East Village (1st Street & Linden Avenue).