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How To Celebrate Memorial Day In Los Angeles

May 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: City of Garden Grove)

(credit: City of Garden Grove)

memorial day header LA 610
Memorial Day not only commemorates United States military personnel who have sacrificed for this country, but the holiday is also a heady time for Angelenos looking to celebrate both the past and the future. A lot happens in the City of Angels on May 26, so deciding how to spend your time may be hard. To help out, here is a story from last year detailing some of the activities on hand in 2013 and the following are five ways to herald this special day in 2014.
Fiesta Hermosa
Hermosa Chamber of Commerce
1007 Hermosa Ave.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 376-0951

Memorial Day weekend in Hermosa Beach means the chance to savor Fiesta Hermosa. This three-day festival has been around since 1972, growing into what the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce says is “the largest arts & crafts fair in Southern California.” Along with works by painters, photographers, ceramicists and all other mediums, this outdoor gathering is big on music. Two stages offer tribute bands covering all kinds of top tunes, from rock and roll to country to zydeco and then some. For the little ones, a kiddie carnival providing a petting zoo with pony rides and a rock climbing wall will be all the rage.

Topanga Days
1440 North Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Topanga, CA 90290
(310) 455-1980

The 41st Annual Topanga Days event is here and will be featured on May 24, 25, and 26th with more than 30 bands rocking two stages. In addition, enjoy 11 food vendors including food such as barbecue, pizza and vegan selections as well as a number of prize-winning games for competition lovers. The event will be from 10am to 7pm each day and include a kids zone, healing arts, fine arts and crafts, acitivies and contests and a Memorial Day parade. Enjoy a free shuttle to the event as well. General admission is $25 although children between the ages of 6 to 12 can get in for $15 and if you’re under 6, its free. Seniors and military members enjoy the event for just $15.

Valley Greek Festival
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
9501 Balboa Blvd.
Northridge, CA 91325
(818) 886-4040

Do delectable dolmathes and freshly constructed gyros suit your palate? How about homemade moussaka and juicy souvlaki? These and other Greek delicacies are served up during the annual Valley Greek Festival fundraiser held on Memorial Day weekend, from 1pm to 9pm. The Mediterranean delights are only part of the party, which includes the chance to survey the goods available via a number of vendors hawking everything Greek, from music to pottery to jewelry and more. Folk dances from the old country are also a big treat, as is the chance to tour St. Nicholas Church. Opa!

Lightning in a Bottle Festival
San Antonio Recreation Area
2091 New Pleyto Road
Bradley, CA 93426
(831) 755-4899

Memorial Day is the last day of the five-day Lightning in the Bottle Festival taking place at the San Antonio Reservoir Recreation Center in Bradley. A keen way to get your mind and your heart expanded through music from all over the world, this camping event also offers a healing sanctuary for the chance to bathe in a gong bath. Meanwhile, noted speakers spill the secrets of their success and there’s a lot of opportunity to practice yoga as this is “an integral part of the Lightning in a Bottle experience,” according to its sponsors.

Related: Creative Summer Activities for Kids in L.A.

(credit: Garden Grove Strawberry Festival)

(credit: Garden Grove Strawberry Festival)

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
Garden Grove Village GreenBetween Euclid and Main St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
(714) 638-0981

All kinds of fun and free activities suited to every member of the family are on hand during Memorial Day weekend at the 56th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. From contests in the realms of karaoke, red heads and “Berry Beautiful” babies to a big parade held on Saturday, May 24, this gathering is filled to the brim with strawberries. Of special interest to big eaters is the giant strawberry shortcake.

Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade
Sherman Way and Owensmouth
Canoga Park, CA 91306
(818) 884-4222

For those who love a parade on Memorial Day, the festivities in Canoga Park, now in its 25th year and beginning at Sherman Way and Owensmouth, are, hands down, the best in the Southland. The theme for 2014 is “Saluting the Price of Freedom,” so expect military units to march in memory of the fallen while military aircraft produce flyovers for the same reason. Horses, floats and a number of youngsters take part in this march after which a car show and live music takes over the First Baptist Church’s parking lot.

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TEST Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on

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