Cambodia Town, Inc., CAM-CC and other organizations have joined together to put on the Cambodia
Town Parade since 2005. This is the first Cambodian parade outside of Cambodia. It shows the unity,
the strength, and the resiliency of both the Cambodian and Long Beach communities. It is a massive
undertaking to coordinate the parade which requires hundreds of volunteers and a budget exceeding
thirty thousand dollars.
The 1st parade was started to honor the Cambodian population who has chosen Long Beach
as their new home after escaping the war in Cambodia. Since the early 1980’s Cambodian refugees
have flocked to Central Long Beach and contributed to the business revival on Anaheim Street. By the
year 2000 this area has been known to have the most concentration of Cambodians outside Southeast
Asia, and the Cambodian community expresses their desire to have the district officially designated as
Cambodia Town. The 1st parade was meant to showcase the Cambodian culture that has now become an
integral part of Long Beach.
The 1 st parade which was held on Sunday April 24, 2005, was a resounding success, following an
intense community debate about the parade date. Thousands of people of various ethnicities lined up
along the parade route on Anaheim Street, starting at Junipero Ave and ending at Mark Arthur Park.
The audience cheered and applauded the multi-ethnic people who walked in the parade, all dressed up
in their finest cultural attires. Some Cambodians were moved to tears watching the Apsara dancers and
pin peat musicians parading down the streets.
It’s important that the next generation of Cambodian-Americans have the opportunity to understand
and take pride in their cultural roots and participate in these activities such as dance, music and
traditional arts. And that has been even further highlighted by the Cambodia Town Culture Festival,
started by Dr. Sue Needham, that follows directly after the parade where we showcase all the
community, organizations, arts, cultural artifacts and the annual Romvong dance contest.
Long Beach is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States and these events made the
festival accessible to everyone, not just Cambodians. Over the years we have parade participants that
included Samoan, African-American, Laotian, Chinese, Latino-American, Japanese and Aztec
communities to name a few. The parade has always been about unity within our own community and
with all the communities of our city. We showcase both the vibrancy of the Cambodian culture and the
diversity of the Cambodian neighborhood.
In 2007 Cambodia Town officially became a designated area within the City of Long Beach. That took
seven long years of hard work and involved a lot of support from a variety of Cambodian community
members and organization and a lot of help from the City of Long Beach, We could not have done this
all alone, but, honestly what initially allowed us to show the city the importance of the Cambodian
culture was this parade and culture festival.
Please join us for the upcoming Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival by donating. We are an
all-volunteer team and need your help in any way that you can contribute.