41st Long Beach Pride Parade celebrates LGBTQ community

As music punctuated the air, there was dancing in the streets as the 41st Long Beach Pride Parade rolled down Ocean Boulevard. 

Organizers say there were over 130 organizations, civic groups and others involved in this year's parade with many participants on foot, floats, buses, cars and trucks!

One parade walker told us this is an important day. They said, "It means a lot. It means I could be free. Free to be myself."

Another, Norma Muniz, said, "it's a tremendous opportunity to see how our community is diverse." 

Muniz said watching the people on the curbs watch the parade, seeing the bubbles in the air and hearing the cheering was "amazing. I mean this is what it's about."

There were also lots of politicians, including Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, who shared his message of inclusion, saying, "You belong.... you belong... We love you. No matter who you love we love you in the City of Long Beach."

And, along Ocean Boulevard we found so many others feeling the love!

Cathy Anderson, sitting with her husband, said that watching the parade made her "happy!" 

She said, "there's just so much love here."

Another parade watcher said, "I think it's beautiful. Everyone is coming together and I think it's very important for people to be able to express themselves."

And, yet another said, "I really… just thinking about the history of Pride and the fact that Pride is a revolution... and we live that revolution every day."

As for the history of the parade, it started back in 1983 as the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Parade. 

It drew about 5,000 people back then and over the years it grew and grew.

Last year, the parad;e drew an estimated 100,000 people.