7 New Events Designed to Drive Business Downtown

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downtown-long-beachThe Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) said that the organization has added seven new events to its 2009 event production schedule as part of an effort to drive visitors and business to the urban core of California’s fifth largest city.

With a total of 23 events currently scheduled to be either produced or sponsored by the DLBA this year, the organization has committed to a 40% increase to its special events budget from the previous year.

“The nation-wide economic downturn is causing consumers to rethink how they spend their discretionary dollars,” said Kraig Kojian, DLBA President and Chief Executive Officer. “By introducing a series of fresh, new and free events, we’re creating even more reasons for visitors and residents to explore all the great things Downtown has to offer.”

The Downtown Long Beach Associates has traditionally produced signature events such as Tecate Thunder Thursday to kick off Grand Prix weekend and the State of the Downtown luncheon, at which Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. delivered the keynote address in 2008. In addition, the organization has provided media sponsorship grants to support marketing efforts for a wide variety of events taking place in Downtown.

In recognition of the financial difficulties currently faced by many businesses, the DLBA Board of Directors elected to allocate more than $350,000 in additional funding to enhance the marketing, promotional and special events initiatives in the Downtown area this year.

With this funding, the Marketing & Special Events Task Force, co-chaired by Board members Richard Lewis and John Morris, has identified a series of events intended to appeal to a wide demographic while activating all neighborhoods of the Downtown.

“We’ve put together a very strategic plan to enhance events that were already scheduled and to introduce new concepts that will appeal to different audiences,” said Lewis. “I’m excited about the partnerships and associations we’ve been able to establish with organizations like Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride and the Museum of Latin American Art that will help us to make these events successful.”

Events currently scheduled to be produced by the DLBA this year include:

  • The Pink Party (kicking off Lesbian & Gay Pride weekend) – May 15
  • Summer Music Series – June through August
  • KABC Clean Air Car Showcase (co-producing with 790 KABC) – June 6
  • Taste of Downtown – June 27 and September 29
  • Powerfest Thursday (kicking off the Powerfest Long Beach to Catalina Boat Races) – July 16
  • Latin American Festival (co-producing with the Museum of Latin American Art) – August 7-9
  • Downtown Music Festival – Dates TBD (late August/early September)
  • State of the Downtown – TBD (October)
  • Halloween on Pine – October 31

The organization is also serving as a sponsor for several events taking place in the Downtown, including the Friday Dance and Sunday Movie Matinee Series in the East Village, the Green Long Beach Festival, Tour des Artistes and others.

Two major events – the Long Beach Bicycle Festival and Free-View Thursday – have already been produced by the DLBA this year.

For more information about the DLBA and/or events happening in Downtown, please visit www.downtownlongbeach.org or call (562) 436-4259.

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