LONG BEACH — The 70th annual Loyalty Day celebration still has a chance.
The Long Beach Merchants Association and the Long Beach Elks Lodge #1937 have agreed to head the 2020 Loyalty Days celebration. The celebration’s fate was in question after the Loyalty Days Foundation announced on Jan. 5 that the organization was disbanding and cancelling the 2020 celebration.
“We’re moving forward,” said Karla Jensen, the association’s president.
Jensen and Long Beach Mayor Jerry Phillips asked the Elks to help with this year’s early-May event. On Monday, Jan. 13, Jensen, Phillips, Elks members and more community members showed up for the celebration’s first planning meeting.
“There was someone there in their 30s whose done it for the last 20 years and another person in their 70s whose done it the last 50 years,” Jensen said. “The meeting went very good.”
Former Loyalty Days Foundation board members, previous volunteers and previous event sponsors have agreed to help out with the 2020 celebration. Jim Sayce, who’s volunteered as parade master of ceremonies for the past 16 years, has agreed to do so again.
As of now, the volunteers are focusing on setting up committees and fundraising for the event.
The group hopes to honor Long Beach’s first Loyalty Days celebration, which was held in 1950.
Volunteers are also needed for the Ilwaco Children’s Parade, which is held the same weekend as the Loyalty Days festivities.