Los Angeles is known for its thriving artist communities, fantastic weather, and ability to throw one 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.
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 on your trip to Los Angeles this July. Whether you're looking to enjoy a festive parade or want to enjoy some great music while watching a pyrotechnics display, you're sure to find something in this California city to enjoy.
If the following festivals, parades, and shows in Los Angeles, the West Side, South Bay, and Long Beach don't suit your needs, there are also plenty of Fourth of July events nearby in the LA Valleys and Canyons as well as in Orange County. Additionally, you can make your own party anywhere in the... city, but it's important to keep in mind that setting off fireworks in most of Los Angeles County, including the beaches, is illegal.
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Downtown Los Angeles comes to life with eight blocks of partying on July 4, 2018, 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 Stree to Hope Street and Temple Street to First Street—and is free to attend (parking costs $10). Music performances will include sets by DJ Puffs, Computer JAY and the Weird Science, Rhettmatic, QUITAPENAS, and Soulection DJs featuring Joe Kay, Andre Power, and Andres Uribe, who will be performing on two stages throughout the event (from 3 to 9).
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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 92nd annual AmeriFest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 4, 2018.
AmeriFest events kick off at noon when the parking lot opens and tailgating begins (be sure to 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. This year, musical performances include a Michael Jackson Tribute sing-a-long performed by American Idol winner Maddie Poppe.
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.
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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, 2018, the 70th 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 to attend.
If you feel like getting up early for it, you can head down to the Palisades Recreation Center, where official celebrations for Pacific Palisades kick off with the 41st annual Palisades Will Rogers 5 and 10K Run, which starts at 8:15 a.m.
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From Monday, July 2 through Wednesday, July 4, 2018, you can catch the all-girl rock band The Go-Go's headlining the Hollywood Bowl's annual " Fireworks Spectacular" concert in the Hollywood Hills of northern Los Angeles.
After The Go-Go's start off the night with a few smash hit songs from the 80s like "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "We Got the Beat," the Los Angeles Philharmonic with conductor Thomas Wilkins 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.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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On both July 3 and July 4, 2018, the Los Angeles Dodgers will host home games against the Pittsburg Pirates followed by spectacular firework displays to end the night.
Games start at 6:10 p.m. and fireworks typically go off around 9 to 10 p.m., though these 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, making it a great way to celebrate America's birthday with your family. Plus, Dodger Stadium is just north of downtown Los Angeles, making it easily accessible from the city.
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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 completely free to watch.
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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.
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Between Marina del Rey and Downtown Los Angeles, the neighborhood of Culver City will also host a Fourth of July celebration this year. Festivities will kick off at West LA College on July 4, 2018, when the gates open at 4 p.m.
Presented by the Exchange Club of Culver City, Los Angeles County, West Los Angeles College, and Culver City, this annual event features carnival games, live music by cover band "Hiatus," a raffle for big prizes including a big-screen television, and lots of food trucks followed by a spectacular firework show to end the night.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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The LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual parade on July 4, 2018, starting at 11 a.m. with a special presentation of their "version of a Norman Rockwell painting," a "tribute to America's birthday." This year, the procession will run along Loyola Boulevard from Westchester Park to Loyola Marymount University (LMU).
In order to celebrate pride in all of America, the theme for this year's event is "Cities Across America." 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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If you'd like to start your holiday celebration off with a few (or too many) drinks, the perfect opportunity for exploring the many bars comes in the form of the Santa Monica Red, White, and Brew Pub Crawl, held on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, starting at 6 p.m. and lasting until bars close at 2 a.m. on July 4.
Featuring drink specials like $4 draft beers, 2-for-1 well drinks, and $5 shots at multiple venues throughout the city, you might need to pace yourself to keep up with the crawl. Check-in starts at 5 p.m. at Circle Bar on Main Street in Santa Monica, where you'll be given a map with bar locations. However, you'll need to check in before 10 p.m. to participate, and all drink specials end at midnight.
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For something completely different (but also featuring fireworks), you can head east of Los Angeles to the city of Pomona, where the Fairplex will host its 32nd annual "KABOOM! Monster Trucks, Motocross, Quad Wars, and Fireworks" event, called "Red, White, and Boom" in 2018.
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 8:50 p.m., the California State Honor Guard, along with singer Auburn Road, 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.