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Pride on the Beach Attracts 30,000+ Guests; Largest LI Pride Celebration Ever

(LGBT Network, Woodbury, NY) The LGBT Network hosted “Pride on the Beach,” the 27th Annual Long Island Pride Celebration, in the City of Long Beach, NY, June 9-11, 2017.  Pride on the Beach attracted approximately 30,000 guests from 15 different states and 3 cities in Canada.  Pride on the Beach was the largest Pride celebration in the history of Long Island Pride, delivering a stronger impact on both guests and local businesses.

The roster of more than 30 events over 3 days allowed guests to customize their 2017 Pride experience with something for everyone. Feature attractions from the weekend included: Pride Parade, Pride Market Fair, Beach Party, Youth Events, Cabaret Night, Rooftop Party, Pride 5K, and Beach Concert starring national recording artist, Rachel Platten. 

Feedback has been positive and unsolicited, with locals sharing insight and passion for the reinvented and reinvigorated Pride Celebration in the City of Long Beach.  A long-time Long Beach resident and business owner stated that

“Pride was a boost to both the city and my business.”  He ran special promotions and discounts to attract customers and show that he cares about the community.  He continued that “it was meaningful to all people in Long Beach to be put on the map as a City that is inclusive and accepting of all who want to visit us.”

Pride on the Beach showcased Long Beach City assets including the backdrop of Ocean Beach Park as the concert venue with staging, dance floors and tents installed on the sand.  Other featured venues included City Hall’s Kennedy Plaza, the fishing pier at Reynolds Channel, the Long Beach Library, The Rec Center, the newly rebuilt boardwalk, and the Allegria Hotel rooftop lounge.  Broadway, between Laurelton Blvd. and Long Beach Blvd., served as the Pride parade route with spectators on the sidewalks and apartment balconies, waving and cheering as each unit of the parade passed by. 

With help from the local surf school, Skudin Surf, Long Island Pride infused Pride on the Beach with a long-standing surf community tradition, a memorial Paddle Out.  A Paddle Out is when surfers gather at the shore, paddle out onto the ocean, form a circle, join hands, and share a moment of prayer for a fallen surfer.  This tradition has been adapted over the years to pay tribute to prominent members of the beach community, above and beyond surfers.  Pride on the Beach hosted a memorial Paddle Out, and the largest memorial in the Northeast, to honor the one year anniversary of the Pulse Night Club tragedy.  Forty-nine surfers participated, each surfer wearing an armband bearing the name of one of the victims, made by local students at an LGBT Network youth mixer. Promotional partner 1-800-Flowers.com supplied Pride with 1,500 flowers for spectators at the shoreline to float into the waves as a way to participate in the memorial event.

The Paddle Out, the concert and many other events during Pride on the Beach gained greater visibility than Long Island Pride has ever garnered with media coverage, paid advertising, and increased visits to the event website.  Local media coverage was seen/heard on News 12 Long Island, Newsday, FiOS 1, 880AM, K-98.3/WKJY, LI Herald and more.  The multimedia advertising campaign included TV, Radio, Print, Billboards/LIRR Posters, and Social Media.   The most amazing and impactful visual came from the overwhelming community participation. This was seen at over 50 local establishments flying Pride flags and promoting “un-official” events, specials, discounts and giveaways for Pride guests.  The exposure allowed tens of thousands of people to learn about the existence of LGBT Network centers and programming services.  Months later, many of the flags are still up showing year round pride.

The LGBT Network could not have hosted Pride on the Beach without support from event partner I LOVE NY.  Additional financial and promotional support came from great partners like The City of Long Beach, TD Bank, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Nature’s Bounty, Long Island IVF, MTA/LIRR, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Honda City, SUNation, Arizona Beverages, Prudential, Newton Shows, Lola’s Kitchen, The Whale’s Tale, Shakes & Shuckers, State Farm, Pride Montreal, Island Wide Palm Trees, 1-800-Bartent, Vindagra Wines, Boening Bros./Sam Adams, Bud Light, Smirnoff, Keith’s Nervous Breakdown, One With Life Tequila, Northwell Health, People’s United Bank, All Music Inc., Cirella’s, 1-800-Flowers.com, Empower Solar, South Nassau Communities Hospital, College Hunks Moving, Long Beach International Film Festival, Connoisseur Media Long Island, COX Media Long Island, Newsday, Long Island Pulse and so many more.

Long Island Pride is poised to bring Pride on the Beach back to Long Beach in June 2018.  Stay tuned for details and check out LIPride.org for updates and announcements.

Click here to see the pictures from 2017 Pride on the Beach

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