When you turned 30 -- if you've turned 30 yet -- what did you do for your birthday at 31?
We'll guess that your party wasn't quite the blowout the following year as it was on your milestone day, but there are exceptions in this world. If you happen to be one of the largest pride festivals in the nation, attracting some 80,000 revelers over two days, then, 31 is going to be as glorious and as out-sized, in all the fun and outlandish ways, as year 30.
We are, in fact, talking about Long Beach Pride, which flew by 30 in 2013 with flying colors. The 2014 party rocks the theme "Reflections in Pride" and it is set to welcome some 80,000 people, give or take, over Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 along Shoreline Drive near Marina Green.
What to do, where to go and what to see
You don't need to wonder if you'll find it. You will. Which leads us to recommend that you think about going Metro or consider parking well before arriving.
And then consider what you'll do next. Several stages will have music both days, including Urban Soul, Country, Dance, Fiesta Caliente, and the Main Stage, which will feature Kelly Rowland on Saturday (and so many other performers, too -- really, your whole experience could be built around the stages).
But booths and the 'Oldies but Goodies' Tent (complete with "Soul Train" line!) and the Teen Pride area and a Family Fun Zone and other good goings-on await.
And the parade marches on Sunday morning.
The festival is twenty dollars, and you'll definitely want to map out your doings before heading for Shoreline Drive. This is, as mentioned, one of the great pride to-dos anywhere, and a decades-old leader in joyful community, gay rights, and equality above all.
So not missing a thing is truly an important first step.