Guide to Labor Day in Los Angeles: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

Low angle view of silhouette palm trees against sky
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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 County Fair to music, food, art, and film festivals, you can send off the summer in style this year.

If you want to spend the last official weekend of summer at the ocean, stop by one of the beaches of Los Angeles or cool off at one of the city's many water parks. You can also take advantage of the extra free day to check out some of the things to do that are available year-round, or even take a short road trip to escape the crowds in nature.

Be sure to book your accommodations in advance, though, as spaces are likely to fill up closer to the holiday.

01 of 09

Los Angeles Fleet Week in San Pedro

Fleet Week in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles Fleet Week is a celebration of the U.S. 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 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Expo; live music; food trucks; and even a few parties.

The main event takes place September 4–7, 2020, near the Los Angeles World Cruise Center Terminal. While most events are free to attend, some special events or museum exhibitions that are a part of Los Angeles Fleet Week charge admission.

02 of 09

Long Beach Greek Festival By the Sea

Greek flag

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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 festivals 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. Festivities take place on Saturday through Monday of the holiday weekend, September 5–7, 2020, and a small admission price supports the festival production team.

Live music, dancing, videos about the beloved country in southeastern Europe, authentic Greek food, product booths, and children's games all complete the experience, held at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Long Beach.

03 of 09

The LA County Fair

The LA County Fair
Omar Bárcena / Wikimedia Commons 

The LA County Fair is canceled in 2020.

The LA County Fair starts Labor Day weekend and runs throughout much of September. The kickoff events on the holiday weekend feature live music, rides, livestock shows, gardening demonstrations, and hundreds of gadgets to discover. The LA County Fair takes place at the Fairplex in Pomona, off the I-10 freeway. Admission varies, but you can get a season pass if you plan to visit for more than one day, and other discounts are offered, as well.

04 of 09

Fiesta Hermosa

Sunbathers on Hermosa Beach
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The Labor Day Fiesta Hermosa festival is canceled in 2020.

A three-day arts and crafts festival with over 300 vendors, live music, a beer and wine garden, food trucks, and a kiddie carnival, Fiesta Hermosa has taken place over Labor Day weekend since 1972. This is actually a biannual festival that takes place each year during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, so if you miss one holiday you can always try and catch the other.

Located at the picturesque Hermosa Beach, the Fiesta is free to attend. This family-friendly carnival is one of the biggest events in this quintessential Southern California town, and parking is notoriously difficult. Use public transportation or a car service like Lyft to avoid the headache of looking for a spot to leave the car.

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05 of 09

Orange International Street Fair

International flags for festival

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The Orange International Street Fair is canceled in 2020, but some events may be streamed live to enjoy from home.

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, taking place since 1973. The fair features nine stages, including an Irish stage, a Greek stage, a German stage, a Mexican stage, a Polynesian stage, an 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 bothersome by dusk.

06 of 09

The Cinecon Classic Film Festival

Movie theater

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The Cinecon Classic Film Festival is canceled in 2020.

Cinephiles from around the world have gathered in Los Angeles every Labor Day weekend for over 50 years 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 many classic film screenings; celebrity guests; and film, book, and movie memorabilia shows, the Cinecon Classic Film Festival takes place at the Egyptian Theatre and the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The majority of films are screened in 35 millimeters and the silent films include live piano accompaniments, so you can enjoy them just as they were originally seen back in their day.

07 of 09

The E Hula Mau Festival

Hawaiian lei

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The E Hula Mau Festival is canceled in 2020.

For 25 years, the city of Long Beach has been celebrating Hawaiian culture over Labor Day weekend at the E Hula Mau Polynesian Festival. This event includes hula and chant competitions, art and craft workshops, and island cuisine at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Some parts of the festival are free but others carry an admission fee, but you can check ​Goldstar for discount tickets.

08 of 09

Have a BBQ at Knott's Berry Farm

Roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park

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As of August 6, 2020, Knott's Berry Farm is closed down until further notice.

Every year, Season Pass holders at Knott's Berry Farm can come for a special barbecue 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 experience 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.

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09 of 09

Enjoy Art at One of Laguna Beach's Festivals

Festival of Arts

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The Pageant of the Masters, the Festival of Arts Show, Laguna Art-A-Fair, and Sawdust Festival are canceled in 2020.

The community of Laguna Beach hosts a variety of art festivals throughout the summer, many of which celebrate their closing weekend during the Labor Day holiday. Four shows that are always a hit are the Pageant of the Masters, the Festival of Arts, Art-A-Fair, and the Sawdust Festival.

Whether you're an art aficionado or just looking for something different to do to enjoy the long weekend, any one of these fairs is sure to be a delight. For $29, you can buy an admission pass that gives you unlimited access to all four of these creative festivals, which together offer over 500 artists, 300 workshops, and continuous live music performances.

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