Some people have been saying that they don’t feel patriotic this year. But I don’t see this holiday being about politics. it’s a day for barbecuing with your family, going to parades and blowing shit up. My only real problem with Independence Day is that horrible patriotic music. Especially Sousa. John Philip Sousa’s marches makes me crazy. As a result, I try to seek out places that aren’t advertising something like “A Salute to America” or “A Patriotic Jubilee.” For those of you who get off on that stuff, there is still plenty to be found in this holiday roundup.
TUESDAY, JULY 3rd 2018
7:10 p.m. / $36 – 100
The Dodger Stadium’s fireworks are one of the great Los Angeles traditions. If you don’t have a friend who lives in the hills overlooking Chavez Ravine, you can see them inside the stadium and catch an all-American baseball game too for as little as 25 bucks, including a special T-shirt. The cheap seats are going fast, though. The Dodgers will play the Pittsburgh Pirates at 6:10 p.m. This is the one game where you should not leave during the 7th inning. Stay late for the fantastic fireworks show. It is sponsored by the presented by 99 Cents Only Stores so let’s hope they aren’t weird off-brand fireworks. Tip: Leave an ice chest full of drinks and snacks in the car to enjoy while sitting in the inevitable traffic getting out of there.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4th 2018
7:30 p.m. / $37 – $282
This year the Hollywood Bowl is celebrating Independence Day with the Go-Gos. Advertised as “all-girl hitmakers.” After the power-pop nostalgia, you will enjoy music from The Los Angeles Philharmonic and suffer through some patriotic music from the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West.
6:30 p.m. / $20 – $140
The Starlight Bowl sometimes has the kinds of oldies bands that play the county fair circuit, which are sometimes cool. For 4th of July they seem to favor gimmicky bands. Headliners this year, The High Street, bill themselves as an “audience interactive experience.” They play oldies from the 40s through the 90s, including Swing, Motown, Jazz, R&B, Blues, Funk, and maybe even grunge? How about New Wave? Industrial Metal? You will just have to go and see. It’s hard to determine what kind of music the opener, Precious Byrd plays. It does not seem like they play Charlie Parker or the Byrds. They are described by “funky” three times in the description, and a video of them shows lots of chicken-necking.
3 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. / FREE
The Block Party is the 6th annual Independence Day event brought to you by Grand Park and the Music Center. The Block Party is the 6th annual Independence Day event brought to you by Grand Park and the Music Center. The festival covers more than five city blocks, from Spring Street to Grand Avenue and from Temple Street to 2nd Street, featuring live music and DJs on two stages, art installations, food trucks and an incredible fireworks display launched from the civic center skyline. L.A.-based talent Quitapenas (tropical Afro-Latino Combo) is the featured band.
This is an alcohol-free event (There are bars like The Redwood around, though). Picnics and outside food are welcome, but no outside beverages. No folding chairs, coolers, umbrellas, drones, “Bags and Backpacks Measuring Larger Than Standard Backpack Size,” Confetti Cannons, drones or generators, you know, if you carry one around with you (I’m looking at you, Dave Travis!). Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
7 p.m. / $14 – $100
The Rose Bowl hosts its 92nd annual Americafest fireworks show. I usually try to avoid events with names like “Patriotic Jubilee” and “Americafest” but they will have some of the best fireworks around. Entertainment includes an American Idol winner and “The Ultimate Tribute to Michael Jackson.” It doesn’t mention marching bands or patriotic music, so you might be in luck. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m.. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. /FREE
Over 60,000 people cram into Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills for arts and crafts booths, food vendors, a live concert, and a 15-minute fireworks display. This year’s featured band is Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Although the event is free, for safety the park will be secured with 8 specific points of entry. Expect to pay for parking, and bring cash for vendors. No Smoking and/or vaping devices, Barbeques, Alcoholic beverages or Illegal drugs. Marijuana IS legal now, but no smoking. So it’s edibles only, kids.
2 p.m. / $10 – $15
You can register as late as July 3rd at 5:00 PM for a 5K or 10K ($60) or the Kid’s Fun Run ($30) to pick up your packet. You can also register last-minute July 4th from 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. at Palisades Recreation Center, 851 Alma Real Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Free registration for Veterans. for 5K and 10K it is an 8:15 a.m. start with the Kids Run at 9:30 a.m.
The parade starts at 2 p.m., but get there by 1:50 p.m. if you want to catch the skydivers! Check the website for parking and the parade route. Food trucks will be serving all day. After the parade, there will be a concert and fireworks at the baseball field of Palisades High School. “Bring blankets or low beach chairs without stick legs so not to block the view of other concert-goers, and to help preserve the field surface.”
Tickets for the concert are $10, free for ages 6 and younger, and $50 for VIP grandstand seats. Local bands will be followed by Patriotic music performed by the Palisades High School Charter Band from 6 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., if you want to take a break during that time. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Palisades Charter High School, 15777 Bowdoin Street, Pacific Palisades 90272.
9 p.m. / FREE
In Marina del Rey, fireworks will be launched from a floating barge located in the waters of the main channel between Fisherman’s Village and the Breakwater. If you have a boat, or a good friend with a boat, you are all set. Boats are allowed to idle in the main channel (no anchoring). Best viewing spots on land include Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way), Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way), and Marina (Mother’s) Beach at 4101 Admiralty Way. Check the website for info on parking and street closures. Street closures start as early as 1 p.m. so they recommend you get there early and stay for the day.
One place to enjoy the day is at Marina Del Rey Hotel’s “July Fourth Red, White and BBQ Celebration!” The Event Lawn will host a Beer Garden featuring samplings from 16 breweries, live music, DJs, and activities like a water balloon toss, and a pie-eating contest. Stay the day and watch the fireworks from the pool deck, beginning at 9 p.m. with synchronized music (warning that might be Sousa). According to Eventbrite, tickets for the day at the pool deck are sold out, but the event lawn is free (assuming you will be buying refreshments) and you can still access the pool deck for the fireworks. The website says pool deck access is $10 sold at the door. Check out a few other MDR restaurants with special events here.
4 p.m. / $5
Picnic and view the Fireworks from the West LA College Baseball & Practice Fields. The celebration will include carnival games, live music by cover band “Hiatus” raffles and food trucks food trucks, Including favorites like Cousin’s Maine Lobster and CJ’s Wings. No pets, no alcohol. Up to $20 for parking. PEDESTRIANS enter at Overland. CARS enter at Jefferson. West Los Angeles College is at 9000 Overland Avenue (near Jefferson), Culver City, CA 90230. Special Shuttle – $1 to the show from the Westfield Mall Transit Center.
10 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. / $59.99 – $72.99
Celebrate the 4th by scaring the crap out of yourself on thrill rides like LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom and Full Throttle, the tallest and fastest looping coaster in the country. Special events include an All-American Food Festival (Visit the Headquarters in the Main Gate Plaza to purchase a passport), special Coca-Cola® ride zones, live bands and fireworks set to (surprise!) patriotic music (at 9:15 p.m.). The best place to view the pyrotechnic show is from the Full Throttle Plaza. Maybe the screams from the dropping riders will drown out the patriotic music if you’re lucky. Stoner Alert: There will also be a laser show!
Buy tickets for only $59.99 (a savings of $25) with this link, courtesy of Coca-Cola® Bring an empty can of Coca-Cola® to gain access to the park one hour early to ride select popular coasters. Buy the 2018 July 4th Patriotic Cup to gain access to the Coca-Cola® After-Party featuring live DJ, dancers and entertainment, and thrilling coasters including Full Throttle, Goliath, Twisted Colossus, X2, and Tatsu. Coca-Cola® Coca-Cola® Coca-Colaaaaaaaa® !!!
2 p.m. to 10 p.m. / $39 – $59
Head down to Long Beach for July 4th for live entertainment, family games, arts & crafts, special historic tours and a patriotic 4-D movie in the Queen Mary Theatre. there will be a variety of entertainment on the various decks and in the different ballrooms, like a DJ on the Wharf and Karaoke in the Queen’s Salon. The Promenade Deck looks like the place to be with a Barbershop Quartet, a Strolling Magician, Jugglers and a Hula Hooper! You can have a fancy dinner at Sir Winstons for $135, but the $50 buffets in the Grand Salon are always epic.
End the night with the Queen Mary’s amazing fireworks spectacular! Queen Mary Tours, Exhibits, and the Engine Room all open at 10:00 a.m. with a 4th of July admission ticket. For an extra $10 you can take the Haunted Encounter Tour. Adults $59. Kids $39. VIP admission is $109 per person and provides exclusive access to premium firework viewing, special parties and entertainment. VIP members can also reserve a cabana here if you are all boujie. General Admission Parking is $30.00.
5 p.m. – 10 p.m. $14.95 – $59
5 p.m. – 10 p.m. / $15 – $59 Enjoy the aquarium at night with the red, white and blue fish as well as with one fish, two fish and end the evening with a perfect view of the Queen Mary fireworks. The BBQ will be served at 6 p.m.. The menu includes brisket, chicken, hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad and fresh seasonal fruit. You’ll also be able to journey inside the Aquarium to see wonders of the sea from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Aquarium entry plus dinner is $64 for adults and $28 for a child aged 3 – 11. Late night entry to the aquarium without the BBQ is $14.95 for everyone after 5:00 p.m. Info: 562-590-3100 or check the website.