Patriotism means different things to different people. For me the 4th of July is 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. 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 2, Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4, 2019
7:30 p.m. / $36 – $220 and up
Put on your boogie shoes and climb into the wayback machine for some roller disco from Nile Rodgers and Chic. You may not remember them, but I guarantee you will be dancing and singing along to “Good Times,” “Le Freak,” and maybe even “Upside Down” if you’re lucky. There will also be a drum line and a “special guest.” Nile Rodger’s collaborators Madonna and Diana Ross are probably too big to be a special guest–maybe Sister Sledge? Afterwards, stay for the Bowl’s famous fireworks spectacular.
Wednesday, July 3, Thursday, July 4, Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6, 2019
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 Katsu, Goliath, and LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom. You can also enjoy live bands and fireworks set to (surprise!) patriotic music (at 9:15 p.m.) on all four nights! The best place to view the pyrotechnic show is from the Main Gate Plaza or 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!
Guests who bring any can of Coke product with their paid admission, membership, or Season Pass will get 1-hour early entrance each day, featuring the biggest and most thrilling rides. Early entry is 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and 9 a.m. on Saturday the 6th. You also save $15 to $25 when you purchase tickets online, courtesy of Coca-Cola. That Coca-Cola is too good for us. Tickets are $65 on Wednesday, July 3, and $75 on the 4th. 5th and 6th.
Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4, 2019
Fireworks between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Both of these movie screenings are already sold out, but Hollywood Forever is right in the middle of the city, so pack a picnic and enjoy some free fireworks. You can probably see them from Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles or Astro Burger, but I would suggest finding a tall parking structure, such as the one at Paramount Studio on Gower. People will park there for the movie, but by the time the movie is over and fireworks start it will probably be unattended. Or pay $10 and park on the roof for the best view.
Thursday, July 4, Friday, July 5, Saturday, July 6, and Sunday, July 7, 2019
Hours vary, Fireworks Thursday are at 9 p.m. / FREE
Meet me in South Gate, it’s all there! Thursday through Sunday the city will be hosting a carnival with games, rides, and probably lots of junk food at South Gate Park. Thursday the fair runs from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. with fireworks at 9 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Please note that there will only be fireworks on Thursday.
South Gate Carnival is at 4855 Tweedy Boulevard South Gate, CA 90280 on the corner of Tweedy Boulevard and Walnut Avenue.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
6:30 p.m. / $15 – $35
The Starlight Bowl in the hills of Burbank will be swinging to the sounds of Ventura natives Big Bad Voodoo Daddy The original lineup will play the classic American sounds of jazz, swing, and Dixieland before fireworks light up the sky. Rumble King will be opening with their Blasters-genre roots music.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
3 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. / FREE
The Block Party is the 7th annual Independence Day event brought to you by Grand Park and the Music Center. The free, family-friendly festival is expanding this year to cover more than six city blocks, from Los Angeles Street to Grand Avenue and from Temple to Third Street. The event features live music and DJs, art installations, food trucks and an incredible fireworks display launched from the civic center skyline. A huge 75-Foot Ferris Wheel will be added to the mix this time around. L.A.-based Boogaloo Assassins will be headlining.
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, Confetti Cannons, drones or generators, you know, if you carry one around with you. Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
2 p.m. – 9 p.m. / $15 – $125
The Rose Bowl hosts its 93rd annual Americafest fireworks show. I usually try to avoid events with names like this one, but they will have one of the biggest fireworks shows around. Entertainment includes TNT Freestyle Motocross, SoCal VoCals Live Performance, and Disney’s DCappella Live Lion King Performance. 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 every year for arts and crafts booths, food vendors, a live concert, and a 15-minute fireworks display. This year’s featured musician is blues artist Ryder Green. Although the event is free, for safety the park will be secured with eight specific points of entry. Expect to pay for parking, and bring cash for vendors. No Smoking and/or vaping devices, barbeques, alcohol or illegal drugs. Marijuana IS legal now, but no smoking. So it’s edibles only, kids. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. / FREE
The Baldwin Park 4th of July Spectacular will be happening at Sierra Vista High School from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. This free, family-friendly event includes carnival-style rides, inflatable jumpers, and live entertainment. Food vendors will be on site to provide meals, and Kenny Metcalf’s Tribute to Elton John will perform at full of classic hit songs starting at 6:45 p.m. The Firework Spectacular Show starts at 9:05 p.m. No alcoholic beverages are allowed. For more information please call (626) 813-5245, Ext. 317 or email email@example.com. Sierra Vista High School is located at 3600 Frazier Avenue
12 Noon – 10 p.m. / FREE
Watt’s San Pedro town will be hosting this waterfront bash with live music, food trucks, and family activities. Brink a blanket and enjoy the fireworks on the beach. Park at 22nd Street and Samson Way.
The 4th of July kicks off with a free concert and festival in Exposition Park and concludes with a 45-minute fireworks show that evening. There are two event locations: LA Memorial Coliseum on Figueroa and Expo Park Grounds on Exposition Park Drive. Fireworks at 9 PM.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
3 p.m. to 10 p.m. / $39 – $59
Head down to Long Beach for July 4th for a family-friendly 4th with live entertainment, carnival games, arts & crafts, special historic tours, strolling performers and fantastic food. There will also be a rare meet-up with the Queen Mary’s sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, a vintage plane fly-over, a 4-D movie and a competition for the person dressed the most patriotically. Prizes include a one-night stay aboard the Queen Mary, and their awesome Royal Sunday brunch that has a live harpist as a centerpiece on the cheese table–seriously. I wonder if my mom kept my award-winning paper mache bald eagle costume from 1976…
The ship’s famous 4th of July fireworks display will take place at 9 p.m. off the stern of the ship in sync to “patriotic, upbeat music.” Sigh. Adult General Admission (ages 12+): $49 pre-sale. Children General Admission (ages 4-11): $29 pre-sale. The VIP-Patriotic Pass is $119 pre-sale and includes festive party favors, additional access to premium firework viewing and two exclusive areas, the Verandah Grill (VIP Lounge) and Britannia Salon and Deck. There will also be tickets available at the door for about $10 more. Parking is $30 on-site so don’t freak out. The parking attendant did not set the prices.
5 p.m. – 10 p.m. $28 – $79
Enjoy the aquarium at night with the red, white and blue fish as well as with one fish and two fish. 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 and enjoy their new Pacific Visions wing until 10 p.m., after 5:00 p.m. Info: 562-590-3100 or check the website. BBQ (includes admission): Adult $79 and Child (3-11). Late night entry to the aquarium without the BBQ is $19.95 for adults, seniors, and children.
SPORTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
6:10 p.m. / $37 – $220 and up
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 the Dodgers going up against the Padres too. Pro 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.
7:30 p.m. / $20 and up
Dignity Health Sports Park, the Cal State Campus, formerly known as the StubHub Center, will feature the LA Galaxy taking on the Toronto FC. Their 23rd Annual Fireworks will take place after the last whistle, with a test run during halftime. Want to spend the next 4th of July in Hawaii? The first 12,500 fans to enter the park on July 4, 2019, will receive a “Buy One, Get One” voucher for trips from Los Angeles International Airport to the following destinations: New York City, Boston, Baltimore, Hawaii, and Washington D.C.
Run 8:15 a.m. Parade 2 p.m. Concert 4:25 p.m. / $10 – $15
You can register as late as July 3rd at 5:00 p.m. for a 5K or 10K ($70) 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 71st annual parade of locally-made floats 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 starting at 4:25 p.m. 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. Live local rock bands will perform before the 9 p.m. fireworks. Palisades Charter High School, 15777 Bowdoin Street, Pacific Palisades 90272.
9 p.m. / FREE
In Marina del Rey, 20 minutes of 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). Hornblower Cruises will offer a 2-hour observation cruise timed to watch the fireworks.
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.
The Culver City and Stevenson Ranch fireworks are canceled for 2019.