The Historical Society of Long Beach holds the Annual Historical Cemetery Tour at Long Beach Municipal Cemetery and Sunnyside Cemetery on the last Saturday of October. The all-ages event features graveside performances by community theater actors portraying the life of the person lying at rest. Actors perform in period-appropriate costumes. Each year’s program features a number of stories – some are individuals who helped shape the city’s political past, others are ordinary people whose tales remind us that rich or poor, famed or nearly forgotten, everyone has a story to tell. Attractions include Japanese American History, a dia de Los Muertos installation, talks by historians, authors signing local history books, and displays of Long Beach history.
The tour is self-guided. First-person performances last 10 minutes and are repeated every 20 minutes from 9 AM to 2:40 PM. Arrive before noon for the full experience.
The event attracts 1500 participants and engages the support of volunteers, the City of Long Beach Parks, Recreation, and Marine, community, and regional leaders. Sponsors help keep ticket prices affordable.
The Historical Cemetery Tour is the signature event of the Historical Society of Long Beach.
Long Beach Municipal Cemetery and Sunnyside Cemetery are located on Willow Street between Orange and California and adjacent to one another. Both cemeteries are owned and operated by the City of Long Beach. Together they are “home” to more than 20,000 past residents of the area.
If you have trouble walking or are in a wheelchair/scooter, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
There is a drop-off area at the Sunnyside Cemetery (1095 E. Willow).
Paved driveways exist at both cemeteries, but they are set away from where the actors perform.
There are NO curb-cuts for wheeled vehicles, but the curbs are lower in some areas if you are able to lift your device or if your device has the ability to climb several inches.
Parking & Logistics
Compact and sedan sized vehicles are welcome to park inside Sunnyside Cemetery gates on a first come, first served basis.
There is some parking inside the cemetery, overflow parking is behind the cemetery at Willow Springs Park (enter from Orange Ave.), and there is also open street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
The ground is uneven, so we recommend comfortable shoes. Typically, the morning is chilly while the afternoon is sunny and warm, so a sweater or light coat, a hat, and/or sunscreen is recommended.