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The 26th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour in Long Beach

The 26th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour in Long Beach

Kimberly Estrada

The Historical Cemetery Tour returns for its 26th annual event. The tour is hosted by the Historical Society of Long Beach, a non-profit museum and archive that collects, preserves, and presents local history. The event will take place in person on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. across the Long Beach Municipal and Sunnyside Cemeteries at 1095 and 1151 E. Willow St. 

The tour is a family friendly event that features eight to 10 graveside presentations by community theater actors portraying the life of the person lying at rest. These presentations are a collaboration between historians, actors, and The Long Beach Playhouse which provides period-appropriate costumes. 

The Historical Cemetery Tour has been organized by the Historical Society of Long Beach since 1995, it’s their signature annual event. The pre-sale, General Admission tickets are $25, $8 for ages 5-18, 4 and under are free at Day of tickets are $30 General Admission, $8 ages 5-8, under 4 are free. So, make sure to get pre-sale tickets to save money on the event! 

The Historical Cemetery Tour is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about the history of Long Beach and how it has become the great city it is today. It’s beneficial for residents to learn about the city’s history so they have a better understanding of why the city functions the way it does. In addition, the tour is simply a fun, educational experience for people of all ages. 

“We have found that this is a really great way to share the history of Long Beach,” said Julie Bartolotto, the Historical Society’s executive director. “It makes the history of Long Beach accessible.” 

Mitchell Nun, Creative Director of the Historical Cemetery Tour 2022.  Photo Credit: Kayte Deioma 


The cemetery tour features a wide range of performances and attractions. Each year, the event features new stories about people who shaped the city’s history. The first-person performances last 10 minutes and are repeated every 20 minutes from 9 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. so don’t fret if you miss one! 

Historical Society of Long Beach Annual Historical Cemetery Tour, October 30, 2021 | Photo by Kayte Deioma 


Historical Society of Long Beach Annual Historical Cemetery Tour, October 30, 2021 | Photo by Kayte Deioma 

The Historical Cemetery Tour will feature many presentations such as A marker for a Union Soldier which will consist of historical figures Amanda Cleag and Sallie Cleag Pierce. The presentation is focused on how the emancipation affected their lives and experiences. Therefore, their lives will be compared throughout the presentation to highlight the differences before and after the emancipation. 

Another great presentation that will be featured is The Women’s Symphony highlighting the historical figures Elinor Knox, Eva Anderson, and Polly Johnson. This presentation is based on Anderson’s revolutionary, all-female orchestra, and her battle of going against “the impossible” by creating it. Many other presentations will be featured at the cemetery tour, so make sure to look out for other presentations such as If These Walls Could Talk and Radio, Radio

In addition to the featured performances, the tour will have several attractions. For instance, the Black Student Union Elders Association will commemorate African American scholars and community pioneers who promoted diversity and inclusion at CSULB. The cemetery tour will also display Día de Los Muertos altars as well as artful calaveras from the Puente Latino Association. 

Japanese American Stories will also be featured at the tour through the “Art of Gaman: Healing with Creativity.” People who attend will have the opportunity to experience arts and crafts created by Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during WWII including Takahashi carved bird pins, Ondo: The Coal Miners Dance for the Obon Festival, and Japanese paper flowers. 

Additionally, Historian Dr. Craig Hendricks will talk about Governor Pat Brown’s vision for California water development in the late 1950s: Oil and Water do Mix. His vision focused on solving the lack of water in southern California through oil profits. Therefore, the Historical Cemetery Tour offers an array of presentations, displays, and attractions for people of all ages who have different interests. 

“I love that people get so excited about being there and hearing stories,” said Bartolotto. “Actors have told us that people who attend sometimes forget that the people performing are actors and start asking them questions as if they were the historical people.” 

The Historical Cemetery Tour truly has something for everyone. It’s a wonderful event full of historical information about Long Beach presented in a fun and interactive way. Buy pre-sale tickets today to learn about Long Beach’s history at a local, historical cemetery!  

For tickets and info:

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