Parade 2018 lead

Color filled Ocean Boulevard Sunday for the 35th annual Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade.

On June 28 this year, it will be the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — an event many pinpoint as the beginning of the Gay Rights movement in the United States.

That anniversary will be the theme of the annual Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Celebration, the organizing group announced Thursday. The full name is "A Million Moments of Pride, Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall."

This year's Long Beach festival will be May 18 and 19 on Marina Green and Shoreline Drive, with the parade on Sunday, May 19. It will be the 36th annual celebration here.

The Stonewall Riots were six days of protests after a night police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York. In the 1960s, it was illegal to serve alcohol to any LGBTQ person — it was a crime to be gay at all. The long public confrontation was a galvanizing force for political activism and led to the formation of a number of gay rights organizations.

Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Inc., the event organizers, choose the them in coordination with InterPride, the international organization that ties Pride groups together. In addition to the theme, events will focus on paying tribute to Stonewall and the anniversary, Long Beach Pride's release said.

Long Beach Pride is the third largest in California and one of the biggest in the country. Last year, there were more than 80,000 participants over the two days, and an estimated 40,000 people watched Sunday's parade down Ocean Boulevard.

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—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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