No car, no problem at Long Beach open streets event

Cars were verboten in East Long Beach this weekend.

But walking shoes and bicycles were encouraged.

That’s because the city’s Beach Streets event returned on Saturday, Sept. 17, after a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus. The popular event, which began in 2015 and typically attracts more than 40,000 residents and visitors to the East Long Beach area, shut Atherton Street, Bellflower Boulevard, Los Coyotes Diagonal and Spring Street to automobiles.

Instead, visitors were encouraged to walk or bicycle around the area, think differently about the city’s streets and local transit — and explore businesses and services.

Food vendors and booths set up by local businesses ringed the Beach Streets area.

And, of course, there was plenty of entertainment to enjoy.

Beach Streets boasted four festival hubs.

At the Pyramid Hub, in front of Cal State Long Beach’s Walter Pyramid, an all-day music lineup featured everything from reggae to ’80s and ’90s covers.

The Whaley Kids Hub, at Whaley Park, had face painting, a bounce house and other family-friendly entertainment, including a band that educates through music called Jelly of the Month Club.

West Hub, on Spring Street between Bellflower and Los Coyotes, featured performances by Meowhaus, Soundfrom and Britan’s Finest (a Beatles cover band).

The Extreme Hub, at Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue, featured BMX demonstrations and free skate lessons, and a rock wall