When it comes to ideal destinations for the last bit of summer fun, Los Angeles is a great place to visit over Labor Day weekend, offering plenty to do for tourists of all ages. From Fleet Week and the Los Angeles Country Fair to music, food, art, and film festivals, you can send off the summer in style all over the Valley this year.
No matter what your preference, there's plenty to discover in southern California over LAbor day weekend in 2018. Be sure to book your accommodations in advance, though, as spaces are likely to fill up closer to the holiday.
LA Fleet Week in San Pedro
Los Angeles Fleet Week is a celebration of the US Armed Forces that takes place for four days over Labor Day Weekend at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. It features public ship tours of active Navy and Coast Guard ships, aerial demos, military equipment demonstrations, a resource village for active military and veterans, a STEM Expo, live music, food trucks, and even a few parties.
The main event takes place near the Lo s Angeles World Cruise Terminal, but ships will also be docked at the Downtown Harbor and at the end of Miner Street in San Pedro.
While most events are free to attend, the SS Lane Victory and USS Iowa Battleship Museum do charge admission.
Los Angeles County Fair
The LA County Fair kicks off Labor Day weekend and throughout the month of September. The kickoff events Labor Day weekend feature live music, rides, livestock shows, gardening demonstrations, and hundreds of gadgets to discover.
The Los Angeles County Fair takes place at the Fairplex in Pomona, which is off the I-10 freeway. Admission ranges between $12 and $20 per person, but you can also get a season pass if you plan to visit more than one day on your trip.
Website: LA County Fair
A three-day arts and crafts festival with over 270 vendors, live music, and a kiddie carnival, Fiesta Hermosa will take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, September 1 through 3, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The annual festival will be held at Pier Plaza in downtown Hermosa Beach and is free to attend. Fiesta Hermosa happens twice a year, at each end of the summer, so if you missed your chance to celebrates the event on Memorial Day, stop by on Labor Day weekend for a chance to see the work of over 300 artists.
Orange International Street Fair
Four city streets are blocked off around the traffic circle in Old Town Orange each Labor Day Weekend for the annual Orange International Street Fair. In 2018, the theme will be "Globally Good" and the street segments around the circle will be converted into streets of the world with appropriate food and entertainment along each.
The Orange International Street Fair also features nine stages, including an Irish stage, a Greek stage, German stage, Mexican stage, Polynesian stage, English stage, and an all-American stage as well as a children's stage with daily kid-friendly activities.
The event is free to attend and takes place from Friday through Sunday of Labor Day weekend. This is a very family friendly festival during the day, but it gets very crowded in the evening and a lot of people who have been drinking all day are sloppy drunk and obnoxious by dusk.
Long Beack Greek Festival By the Sea
Southern California has a rich cultural heritage and a robust Greek population, so it may not surprise you to learn that there are plenty of Greek festival and parties coming to the region throughout the summer, culminating in the biggest event of them all: the Long Beach Greek Festival By the Sea. Events take place on September 1 through 3, 2018, and there is a small price of admission to help support the festival production team. Live music by the Olympians, exhibit dancing, social dancing, authentic Greek food and product booths, and children's games all complete the experience, held at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Long Beach.
Cinecon Classic Film Festival
Every Labor Day weekend, cinephiles from around the world gather in Los Angeles to celebrate classic cinema by attending a five-day series of screenings of rare, unusual, and unjustly forgotten movies from the silent and early sound era of film. Featuring over 30 classic film screenings, celebrity guests, and film, book, and movie memorabilia shows, the Cinecon Classic Film Festival will take place from August 30 through September 3, 2018, at the Egyptian Theatre and the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Most films are screened in 35 mm, and the silent films will include live piano accompaniments.
E Hula Mau Polynesian Festival
For 24 years, the city of Long Beach has been celebrating Hawaiian culture over Labor Day weekend at the E Hula Mau Polynesian Festival. This celebration includes hula and chant competitions, art and craft workshops, and island cuisine at the Terrace Theatre and Plaza at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center from August 31 through September 3, 2018. The cultural fair is free but individual performances, competitions, and workshops often carry an admission fee; you can check Goldstar for discount tickets.
Long Beach New Blues Festival
On September 1 and 2, 2018, the New Blues Festival will return to Long Beach for two days of modern blues performers including Dennis Jones, James Harman, Janiva Magness, The King Brothers, Boxcar 7, Casey Hensley Band, and New Blues Revolution. Taking place on two stages in El Dorado Park, the New Blues Festival welcomes over 30 acts as well as a variety of corporate, food, and merchant vendors to southern Los Angeles. You can buy either a one or two-day pass to the event, and discount tickets are also available through Goldstar Ticketing.
Knott's Berry Farm Labor Day BBQ
Every year, Season Pass holders at Knott's Berry Farm can come for a special barbeque on Labor Day Sunday at Knott's Soak City water park and at Calico Square all weekend long. The event finishes off with fireworks Sunday evening over the whole park, so no matter where you are or what ride you're on, you're sure to enjoy the display. You can also enjoy all the regular attractions of the park for extended hours on Labor Day weekend, and day and weekend passes are available for purchase online and at the gate.
Website: Knot's Berry Farm
Laguna Beach Art Festivals
The community of Laguna Beach hosts a variety of art festivals throughout the summer, including the Festival of Arts itself from July 5 through September 1, 2018, making Labor Day weekend the last chance to catch a part of the action. Labor Day weekend is the final weekend of the three summer-long Laguna Beach Arts Festivals, including Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters, which end Saturday, and Art-A-Fair and the Sawdust Art Festival, which both end Sunday.
Website: Laguna Beach Arts Festivals