Independence Day in Los Angeles: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

Fireworks over Downtown Los Angeles, California

LPETTET / Getty Images

Los Angeles is known for its thriving artist communities, fantastic weather, and the ability to throw an awesome event, which makes it the perfect place to celebrate any holiday season. As a result, it may come as no surprise that there are tons of events and festivals happening to celebrate Independence Day each year.

From watching the fireworks over the city skyline to spending the day at a beach party, there's no shortage of ways to celebrate the birthday of America. Whether you're looking for a festive parade or some great music while watching a pyrotechnics display, you're sure to find something in this California city to enjoy.

In addition to the festivals, parades, and shows in Los Angeles, the West Side, South Bay, and Long Beach, there are also plenty of Fourth of July events nearby in the LA Valleys and Canyons as well as in Orange County. However, keep in mind that setting off fireworks in most of Los Angeles County, including the beaches, is illegal.

01 of 09

Block Party at Grand Park

Grand Park in L.A.
Denise Taylor / Getty Images

Downtown Los Angeles comes to life with eight blocks of partying on July 4, 2019, from 3 to 9:30 p.m, including music at two main stages, a variety of kid and family activities, and food and beverages for sale from over 25 different local vendors.

Immediately following the block party, you can stick around for a rooftop fireworks show over the Grand Park Event Lawn. The festival will take place at Grand Park from City Hall to the Music Center—Spring Street to Hope Street and Temple Street to First Street—and is free to attend (parking costs $10).

02 of 09

AmericaFest at the Rose Bowl

Americafest 2013 - 87th Annual Fourth Of July Celebration At The Rose Bowl
JC Olivera / Getty Images

If you're looking to experience a real Los Angeles tradition, head to the northeast side of the Valley for one of the largest fireworks displays in Southern California, which will end the 93rd annual AmeriFest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 4, 2019.

AmeriFest events kick off at noon when the parking lot opens and tailgating begins (check guidelines if you plan to pre-party in the lot). The Family Fun Zone, which includes activities, games, and contests for kids of all ages, opens at 2 p.m., but the main event doesn't start until 7 p.m.

You will need to purchase tickets to attend, but you can buy them in person at the Box Office (cash only). You can also view the fireworks from outside the stadium, either by paying to park in the lot or by heading over to Levitt Pavilion, which has excellent views of the skyline and the stadium's firework display.

03 of 09

Palisades Americanism Parade

Palisades 4th of July Parade
Palisades Americanism Parade Association

Tucked away along the northwest coast of Los Angeles, the community of Pacific Palisades has hosted an annual parade each Independence Day since 1948.

On July 4, 2019, the 71st Annual Americanism Parade will take place on Sunset Boulevard between Via de la Paz and Drummond starting with skydivers at 1:50 and the official procession at 2 p.m. Although the parade is free to attend, there will also be a concert and fireworks display in the evening at the Palisades Charter High School, which does require a ticket.

If you feel like getting up early, head down to the Palisades Recreation Center, where official celebrations for Pacific Palisades kick off with the 42nd annual Palisades Will Rogers 5 and 10K Run, which starts at 8:15 a.m.

04 of 09

Fireworks Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl

Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

From Tuesday, July 2 through Thursday, July 4, 2019, Nile Rodgers and CHIC team up with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a three-night star-spangled celebration at the Hollywood Bowl's annual "Fireworks Spectacular" concert in the Hollywood Hills of northern Los Angeles.

After Nile Rodgers and CHIC start off the night, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Gold West will take the stage for the fireworks finale concert event. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. each night and end when the firework show is over.

You can arrive early to enjoy food and wine options in the marketplace, which also offers picnic boxes, or you can even order suppers in your box seats. Either way, you'll need to get tickets in advance to attend one of these three concert events.

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05 of 09

July 4th at Dodger Stadium

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers
Harry How / Getty Images

On July 4 to 5, 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers will host home games against the San Diego Padres followed by spectacular firework displays to end the night.

Games start at 6:10 p.m. and 7:10 p.m., respectively, and fireworks typically go off around 9 to 10 p.m., though this may be delayed if the game goes into extra innings. Tickets are required for both games and regular concessions are available even during the holiday, and you can arrive early if you want to tailgate in the parking lot.

Although there aren't any additional games or activities outside the regular amenities of the ballpark, spending an evening at Dodger Stadium is about as American as you can get. Plus, Dodger Stadium is just north of downtown Los Angeles, easily accessible from the city.

06 of 09

Mr. and Mrs. Muscle Beach

Muscle Beach, on the Venice Boardwalk, hosted more than the usual beef Wednesday. July 4 brings in t
Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Each year, the famous "Muscle Beach" area of Venice Beach along Ocean Front Walk hosts its annual body-building pageant on the beach. This year, the event returns to the Venice Beach Recreation Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Competitors will be judged on a variety of categories including bodybuilding, bikini, figure, men's physique, classic physique, women's physique, vintage, and couples. Initial judging will take place at 10 a.m. and the final round will be judged at 1 p.m. The competition is open to all amateurs for a $100 entry fee, but it is free to watch.

07 of 09

4th of July at the Marina (Del Rey)

Marina Del Rey at sunset, Los Angeles, USA
RebeccaAng / Getty Images

Just south of Venice, the community of Marina Del Rey puts on a traditional fireworks show over the main channel coordinated to a patriotic musical arrangement broadcast on the radio station KXLU (88.9 FM). You can see and hear the show from Burton Chace Park or Fisherman’s Village, where the music will be relayed over loudspeakers, or you can take a special three-hour dinner cruise timed to watch the fireworks.

08 of 09

Westchester Cities Across America Parade

Fourth of July parade with LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce

 LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce

The LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 20th annual parade on July 4, 2019, starting at 11 a.m. This year, the procession will run along Loyola Boulevard from Westchester Park to Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

To celebrate pride in all of America, the theme for this year's event is "America, Better Together." Representing the country's diverse populations, over 1,000 participants in this year's parade will represent cities including Atlantic City, Chicago, Culver City, Honolulu, Kitty Hawk, Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, Ventura, and Wichita.

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09 of 09

Red, White, and Boom at the Fairplex in Pomona

Kaboom event in Fairplex

Fairplex

For something completely different (but also featuring fireworks), head east of Los Angeles to the city of Pomona, where the Fairplex will host its 33rd annual "KABOOM! Monster Trucks, Motocross, Quad Wars, and Fireworks" event, called "Red, White, and Boom" in 2019.

Gates at the Fairplex open at 5 p.m. when you can meet monster truck riders (and get their autographs), purchase motorsports memorabilia, or even ride in the Zombie Tracker Monster Truck for just $10. At 7:50 p.m., the California State Honor Guard will officially start the event with a performance of the "Star Spangled Banner," followed immediately by the main KABOOM! event before the close-out fireworks start at 9:15.

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