Taste of East Village Crowd (copy)

In 2021, the Taste of Downtown has moved online, featuring tours of the city and live entertainment.

Love isn't on hold during a pandemic.

At least that's true for the annual Taste of Downtown event, hosted by the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA). At 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, Long Beachers can venture off on a virtual date night for the Taste of Downtown: Virtual Valentine.

This year's event invites residents to order takeout from a downtown restaurant, shop online at a downtown small business and take a virtual tour of the downtown area with some help from local businesses and restaurant.

It all starts off with a tour by Historical Society board member John Thomas. He'll begin the night with a virtual visit to historic downtown sites paired with tales of romances of the past.

The virtual tour continues with the love locks and shops tour in Shoreline Village, a wine & charcuterie pairing at Water’s Edge Winery (217 Pine Ave.), a cycling date with Pedal Movement (223 E. First St.), a cooking demo with Gu Ramen (108 W. Third St.), a record store date with Record Box Truck (930 Pacific Ave.) and a date with drinks and dessert at George's Greek Cafe (135 Pine Ave).

Long Beach Americana band The Pollen Collective and singer-songwriter Guava Marie will be playing the tunes throughout the three-hour-long event. People tuning in also can look forward to a deal or two.

The first virtual Taste of Downtown event kicked off last May after the statewide Stay at Home order called for cancelling all in-person gatherings and events. While folks weren't able to walk around and sample tastes from area restaurants like they would have been able to pre-pandemic, area restaurants offered deals on their food and drink for takeout.

“We encourage everyone — singles, couples, families — to tune in for some Valentine-themed fun and to support our participating businesses,” Justine Nevarez, special projects coordinator at the DLBA, said.

Taste of Downtown: Virtual Valentine is happening from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29. Go to bit.ly/VTODvalentine. There is no cost to view the event online.

People also can follow the DLBA on Instagram @DLBA and at facebook.com/downtownlongbeach for added information leading up to the event, as well as special offers from participating businesses.


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