Send summer off in style with these awesome Labor Day Weekend events in Los Angeles from Fleet Weej and the LA County Fair to music, food, art and film festivals.
If you want to spend the last official weekend of summer at the ocean, then my guide to LA Beaches is the place to start. You can also take advantage of the extra free day to check out some of the Things to Do in LA that are always available, or even take a Short Road Trip from LA.
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 (reservations available online), aerial demos, military equipment demos, resource village for active military and veterans, STEM Expo, live music, food trucks and other festivities.
When: Friday to Monday of Labor Day Weekend with a Thursday night kickoff party
Where: LA Waterfront. The main event is near the LA World Cruise Terminal, but ships will also be at Downtown Harbor; and at the end of Miner Street in San Pedro.
Cost: Mostly free, reduced admission to SS Lane Victory and USS Iowa Battleship Museum
Parking: At the Waterfront, 1 hour free, then $2/hour; Satellite lots at Miner and 22nd St and at the end of Miner St are a $5 flat rate, free shuttle.
Allow plenty of time to park.
Los Angeles County Fair
The LA County Fair kicks off Labor Day weekend and runs for a full month. Live music, rides, livestock, gardening and gadgets galore.
When: Fri-Mon Sept 1-24, 2017, Fri noon - midnight, Sat-Sun 10 am to midnight, Mon 10 am - 10 pm
Where: The Fairplex in Pomona, 1101 W.
McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA 91768, off the 10 Freeway, exit Fairplex Drive or White Ave.
Cost (Labor Day Weekend): $20 adult, $12 child 6-12, $15 senior, Free 5 and under. Season pass $29.99.
Parking: $15 General, $25 VIP/Gate 17, 9, $30 Valet
More: LA County Fair Guide
This food and wine extravaganza, sponsored by the LA Times and Food & Wine, includes 5 different culinary events. This year all 5 events are at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.
When: Friday to Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, Opening Friday, 2 events each Sat & Sun
Where: Paramount Pictures Studios, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Cost: Advance $100-$150 per event, discount with LA Times Membership, weekend pass $300.
Parking: $13, cash only, at Paramount , Van Ness entrance recommended.
Note: If you are being dropped off or walking, enter at Van Ness or Gower gates. There's no pedestrian entry at the Melrose gates.
Three-day arts and crafts festival with 270 vendors, live music, and a kiddie carnival.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Sat-Mon, 10 am - 6 pm
Where: Hermosa Beach Pier, Hermosa Beach
Buskerfest in Downtown Long Beach
Buskerfest is one of Long Beach's most beloved music festivals.
It's a free street party on 1st Street in the East Village Arts District with a friendly competition between acoustic bands playing mostly on the street or on truck beds. Pick up your stack of wooden nickels at the information booth to cast your votes.
When: Sat Sept 3, 2016, 5 - 11 pm (2017 TBA)
Where: 1st Street between Linden and Elm in the Long Beach East Village Arts District
Orange International Street Fair
Four city streets are blocked off around the traffic circle in Old Town Orange. A craft fair is arranged around the circle and street segments are converted into streets of the world with appropriate food and entertainment. Nine stages include an Irish Stage with some of the best local Irish bands, a Greek Stage, German Stage, Mexican Stage, Polynesian Stage, English Stage and All American Stage as well as a Children's Stage and activities.
There's also food and fun from other parts of the world including Japan, Denmark, Holland, Australia and more.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Fri-Sun, Fri 5-10 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am - 10 pm. Alcohol sales start at noon Saturday and Sunday and end at 9 nightly.
Where: Plaza Square, Chapman and Glassel in the City of Orange, 92855
Parking: Street parking. Lots are available for a fee. Everyone in the neighborhood rents out parking spaces for the festival, so look around for the lowest rates.
Note: 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 Beach Greek Festival
Live music by the Olympians, exhibit dancing and social dancing, Greek food and product booths, children's games.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Sat-Mon, noon - 9 pm
Where: Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 5761 E. Colorado St, Long Beach 90814
Cost: $3, children 11 and under free
Info: (562) 494-8929, www.lbgreekfest.org
More: Southern California Greek Festivals and Greek Dance Etiquette
Cinecon Classic Film Festival
A 5-day celebration of movies, specializing in rare, unusual and unjustly forgotten movies from the silent and early sound era. It features screenings of over 30 classic films, celebrity guests and film book and movie memorabilia shows. Most films are screened in 35mm and silent films include live piano accompaniment.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Thursday - Monday
Where: The Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, LA 90028; Banquet and film book and Memorabilia Shows are at the Loews Hollywood (formerly Hollywood Renaissance) Hotel.
Cost: Day Passes (including all films that day) are $30 Thursday, $40 Friday through Monday, $150 Festival Pass.
E Hula Mau Polynesian Festival
A celebration of Hawaiian culture including hula and chant competitions, arts and crafts workshops and island cuisine in Long Beach.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Friday - Sunday
Where: Terrace Theatre and Plaza at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802.
Cost: Cultural Fair is Free, individual performances, competitions and workshops range from $25-$35.20, check Goldstar for discount tickets
Nocturnal Wonderland at the San Manuel Amphitheatre in San Bernardino
Get your costumes and earplugs ready to join the creatures of the night as this most colorful of EDM festivals returns to San Manuel Amphitheatre.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Friday - Sunday
Where: San Manuel Amphitheatre (formerly Glen Helen Pavilion), 2575 Glen Helen Parkway
San Bernardino, California 92407
Cost: (2017 TBA) Single Day $99-$214; 3-Day Pass, $284 GA, $449 VIP + fees; camping reservations available
Long Beach New Blues Festival
The New Blues Festival brings 30 blues bands to two stages over two days at El Dorado Park.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Saturday - Sunday, Sept 3-4, 2016, 11 am - 8 pm
Where: El Dorado Park, Long Beach, CA 90802.
Cost: $30 & up 1-day, $50 & up 2-day pass, 10-pack of day passes $250
Parking: $8 Park Entry
626 Night Market
Over 200 Asian vendors selling food and merchandise, live entertainment, arts, games and more at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.
When: Labor Day Weekend, Sept 1-3, 2017, Friday - Saturday 4 pm - 1 am, Sunday 4-11 pm
Where: Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007, Enter through Gates 3 & 5 on Huntington Drive or Gate 8 on Baldwin Ave.
Cost: $3 ages 7 and up Friday and Sunday, $5 Saturday. Many vendors take cash only, so come prepared.
Knott's Berry Farm Labor Day BBQ
Knott's Berry Farm hosts a BBQ in Calico Square with live country music in Wagon Camp all weekend, and Sunday night fireworks at 10 pm. It's also the final weekend of most of the summer shows. Knott's Soak City water park is also having a weekend BBQ.
Laguna Beach Art Festivals
Labor Day weekend is the final weekend of the three summer-long Laguna Beach Arts Festivals, including Festival of the Arts - Pageant of the Masters, which ends Saturday, and Art-A-Fair and the Sawdust Art Festival, which both end Sunday.
City of Los Angeles Birthday Celebration
The early morning "Los Pobladores - Walk to Los Angeles" is an annual re-enactment of the nine-mile walk from the San Gabriel Mission (428 @. Mission Ave., San Gabriel) to found El Pueblo de Los Angeles at the current Olvera Street. Walkers can also join the procession at Lincoln Park (3401 Valley Blvd., LA) for a shorter 3-mile walk. At Olvera Street, walkers and others will find live music, food and artists booths at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site.
Note: I left this on the list because many people remember it being Labor Day weekend for decades, but it's now the Saturday before.
When: Saturday, Aug 26, 2017, 6:00 am - 9:30 am, Post walk celebration on Olvera Street 9 am - 1 pm
Where: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, 90012 at Olvera Street.
Metro: Red Line to Union Station
Info: www.elpueblo.lacity.org, (213) 485-8372