The Best Places to Celebrate Independence Day in LA

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Fireworks over L.A.
Fireworks over L.A.

Photo Credit: Kit Leong/Shutterstock.com

Struggling for what to do this Independence Day? Have no fear—here are some ideas on how to celebrate L.A.-style come July 4th (hint: most involve fireworks… just saying).

Rendering of the Freedom Sculpture
Rendering of the Freedom Sculpture

Photo Credit: Freedom Sculpture

LA Freedom Festival

This year, there’s a new reason to celebrate the Fourth of July in Los Angeles. The city’s newest public artwork, “The Freedom Sculpture” by Sri Lankan-British architect and artist Cecil Balmond O.B.E., will be unveiled at the inaugural LA Freedom Festival on Tuesday, July 4, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. For the first time, the city will close off the intersectional six lanes of Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East (from Avenue of the Stars in the east to Wilshire Blvd in the West) for this celebration of diversity and unity. The festival will feature live international musical acts, Iranian headliner Ebi and Swedish sensation Arash, multi-ethnic foods including Persian cuisine, signature gourmet food trucks: Marisco Jalisco shrimp tacos, Ho-Lee Chow, Son of a Bun, Green Truck and others. Guest will experience an unforgettable high-tech fireworks finale—with Balmond’s thought-provoking artwork at the center of it all. The event will also include a video-welcome by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and an official proclamation read from California Governor Jerry Brown. The artist and designer, Cecil Balmond O.B.E., will be flying in from London with 5th District Councilman Paul Koretz accepting the sculpture on behalf of the city.The project is already striking an international chord—through social media the sculpture has garnered more than a million supporters from more than 50 countries. So far it has raised $2.2 million, nearing the minimum goal of $2.5 million needed to complete the project and has launched a crowd funding campaign to reach the finish line. “The Freedom Sculpture” has become the most crowd-supported monumental gift in U.S. history, already boasting Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), (YouTube/Google) and Sir Michael Moritz (Sequoia Capital), among others. The 16-foot-high, 20-foot-long sculpture is a timely gift to the community from the Los Angeles–based Farhang Foundation, a non-political, non-religious, not-for-profit cultural foundation, dedicated to celebrating and promoting Iranian art and culture.

Fireworks at The Hollywood Bowl
Fireworks at The Hollywood Bowl

Photo Credit: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.co

PENTATONIX AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL (+ FIREWORKS, OF COURSE) 

July 4th at the Hollywood Bowl has become a right of passage for many, and this year, three-time Grammy Award winning acapella group Pentatonix are helping freedom ring. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra will be joining in each night with the multi-platinum-selling recording artists, who are also performing on July 2 & 3. Expect fireworks, of course, come July 4.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Photo Credit: LagunaticPhoto / Shutterstock.com

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER 

Pack your picnic basket chock full of red, white and blue items and head to the iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a July 4th screening of Jurassic Park. Stick around for the Independence Day fireworks, which are just part of a complete evening that includes a DJ and photobooth for commemorative snapshots.

Fireworks over Dodger Stadium
Fireworks over Dodger Stadium

Photo Credit: Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

HOMETOWN TEAM PRIDE WITH THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS 

The American Anthem will take on extra special meaning on the 4th, when the Los Angeles Dodgers play host to the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the first pitch scheduled at 6:10 p.m. Post-game, there will be an awesome fireworks display, which is largely considered to be one of the best in L.A.
Grand Park
Grand Park

Photo Credit: Grand Park/The Music Center

GRAND PARK + THE MUSIC CENTER CELEBRATE WITH A 4TH OF JULY BLOCK PARTY 

Grand Park and The Music Center presents downtown’s largest July 4th celebration with the fifth annual Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party.  The event will cover more than five city blocks, from Spring Street to Grand Avenue and from Temple Street to 2nd Street, with two high-profile stages featuring the sounds of America, from Jazz and Classical, to Funk and the Blues.  Families will enjoy a dedicated play area on Grand Park’s Event Lawn where children age 5-12 can join in themed tag, soccer and parachute play.  Guests will find many summer food choices for purchase from more than 45 gourmet food trucks, including tacos, barbecue, burgers, sweets and more. The celebration will be capped with Downtown L.A.’s largest fireworks show set to Pop and Classic hits along with patriotic music.  The display will be shot from the roof of The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and will be visible throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.
USA doughnut
USA doughnut

Photo Credit: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

ALL-AMERICAN FOOD 

Nothing says Fourth of July like a great, all-American picnic. This year, take your picnic to the next level with a basket of juicy fried chicken and fluffy doughnuts from DTLA’s Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (516 W. 6th St.)  This special picnic basket ($55) is available on July 4th only, by pre-order. The basket includes eight pieces of fried chicken, four biscuits, one large coleslaw, two birthday cake doughnuts, two cherry pie doughnuts and two special USA doughnuts (above). Then, two L.A. mainstays synonymous with the city—Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and Pink’s Hot Dogs—will combine forces under one roof to commemorate Independence Day in classic Angeleno fashion from Saturday, July 1 – Sunday, July 2, 2017. The luxury hotel will host a Pink’s Hot Dogs pop-up transforming Windows Lounge and the front driveway into a festive, patriotic-themed setting. The hotel will pay homage to the legendary Hollywood restaurant staple, which has served critically acclaimed hot dogs and hamburgers to the Los Angeles community, including celebrity clientele, for over 78 years. At this special 4th of July event, Pink’s Hot Dogs will have a van and festive tables offering made-to-order All-Beef Hot Dogs, Veggie Dogs, and Turkey Dogs, accompanied by toppings, such as Pink’s Famous Chili, cheese, mustard, onions, relish, ketchup and sauerkraut ($6). In addition to the selection of hot dogs, the hotel will provide a refreshing Ice Cream Station offering double scoops of ice cream with toppings ($6) and a house-baked Apple Pie Station ($6). Special refreshments from the hotel include Peroni Beer on Draft ($7) and soft drinks ($3). 

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