You know times are tough when Independence Day fireworks shows get cancelled due to budget cuts, as CBS reported earlier this month. But Southern Californians still have plenty of opportunities to celebrate Independence Day in traditional style. Here’s a rundown of some of the best July 4th events in Los Angeles:
The Hollywood Bowl
2301 North Highland Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90068
Music lovers can enjoy an extra Independence evening treat at the Hollywood Bowl, which prides itself on an annual display that’s truly spectacular. This year, the Hollywood Bowl orchestra is accompanying 80’s music idols Darryl Hall and John Oates, with performances July 3, 4 and 5.
July 2, 3, & 4, 7:30 PM
Ticket Prices range from $12 – $158
(Note: CBS Los Angeles is giving away tickets to one lucky reader – enter here)
4th of July AmericaFest at the Rose Bowl
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91103-2813
(800) 745-3000 Ticketmaster
One of Southern California’s oldest traditions (85 years and counting) continues at the Rose Bowl, beginning at 2:00 outside the stadium, for the Family Fun Festival (and food court). Gates open at 6:00; entertainment begins at 7:00 (performers include the Jan & Dean Show featuring Dean Torrance, the Mariachi Divas, the DCI Phantom Regiment and the Ives Brothers FMX motorcycle stunts). The organizers promise to conclude the event with the “Biggest Fireworks Show in Southern California.”
Admission $13 (kids under 7 and under are FREE; Free admission also to those with Military ID’s)
Studio City’s Fourth Of July Fireworks Festival
CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604
Come to the CBS Studio Center – home of CBS2/KCAL9 – to enjoy live performances from the Diane Lotny Band Boggie Knights; take in the Black Sheep Squadron’s model-airplane show; and, of course, enjoy a spectacular fireworks display to end the evening. CBS2’s Josh Rubenstein will be hosting the event, which will also feature a car show by the Television and Motion Picture Car Club and a business expo featuring local businesses.
July 4, 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Admission prices range from $10-$100
63rd Annual Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade
Sunset Boulevard, between Via de la Paz and Drummond
Pacific Palisades, CA
Get your spot early so you can see the skydivers that kick off the event (approximately 10 minutes before the parade). All the classic elements of a local parade will be there: Marching bands, equestrian units and locals (including celebrity marshal Jeffrey Tambor). Later, head over to Palisades Charter High School for the Palisades Rocks the Fourth concert, followed by fireworks.
Great American Kids’ Bike Parade
1 South Granada Ave (at Ocean Blvd.)
Long Beach, CA 90803
10:00 a.m. (Registration open at 9:15)
This is the eighth annual event sponsored by Long Beach local celebrity Justin Rudd’s non-profit Community Action Team. Adults are encouraged to join the kids, who decorate their bikes in hope of winning a prize ($10 cash, awarded to those judged to have decked their bicycles out with the best “display of red, white & blue; originality; creativity; and spectator appeal”). The organization also gives free bikes to needy local children so they can participate, too.
Kids 12 and under can also vie for $10 cash awards in the Patriotic Speech contest, Patriotic Costume contest, and the ever popular Watermelon Seed Spitting contest. Pre-registration is encouraged (email your child’s name and age to Justin@JustinRudd.com and then just sign the liability waiver when you arrive), but you can also register on-site.
Fourth of July – 1856
Experience a real old-fashioned 4th (and give your kids a living history lesson, too). Fort Tejon’s original adobe barracks were garrisoned by the US Army in 1854 and in use until 1864. (It was also near the epicenter of one of Southern California’s largest quakes, an estimated 8.0 that occurred in 1857 ).
Today, the Grapevine location is home to a historic park that is one of the few West Coast sites for Civil War re-enactments. And on Independence Day, visitors can get a feeling for how the day was commemorated when Tejon was an active Army outpost, including a 31-gun salute (honor of the 31 states that made up the Union in 1856).
17th Annual Hansen Dam Spectacular
Hansen Dam Park
11770 Foothill Blvd.
Lakeview Terrace, CA 91342
FREE Admission (but parking is $10)
Festivities begin 11:00 a.m.; fireworks at 9:00 p.m.
Music, raffles, award presentations to local military and civilian heroes and (of course!) food trucks are just a few of the attractions at this huge festival (which ends, of course, with a display of fireworks). Kids can keep cool with a water slide in the Kid Zone (sponsored by Shrek the Musical, which – incidentally – has a contingent performing at noon on the main stage).
Donna Schwartz Mills is proud to be an American in SoCal, where she writes the popular blog SoCal Mom.