There’s always lots to do in the Los Angeles area, and on Independence Day, there is even more. There will be 4th of July parades at 10 a.m. in Westchester, Sunland/Tujunga and Huntington Beach, and at 2 pm in Pacific Palisades. Long Beach has its annual Kids’ July 4th Bike Parade planned for 10 am, followed by watermelon seed spitting and patriotic costume contests. Newport Beach’s “Old Glory Boat Parade,” sponsored by the American Legion Yacht Club, begins at 1 p.m.
The City of San Pedro will be hosting a 4th of July celebration at the Battleship Iowa, which is docked at 250 S. Harbor Blvd. The festivities go from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and include live music, military exhibits, ship tours, and children’s activities in the parking lot.
Leimart Park will sponsor its annual Jazz and Blues Festival at the Vision Theatre back lot starting at 1 pm. In addition to live music, there will be children’s arts and crafts, face painting, food vendors and free watermelon.
Another family-oriented Fourth of July carnival-type event will be in Simi Valley at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. This event will include old-fashioned games, craft activities and displays, live patriotic music and presidential look-alike contests.
Pasadena’s Rose Bowl is the venue for its annual AmericaFest starting at 2 p.m. on Independence Day, and will feature a goldmine of arcade games and rides, crafts, live music and other family-friendly activities.
If fitness is your thing, head over to Venice Beach for the annual “Mr. & Mrs. Muscle Beach” body building and bikini competition and pageant. The event is free to watch, and goes from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. If you want to compete, you need to be there between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. to register, and the fee is $80.
For something more homespun, there will be a July 4th Barn Dance and BBQ at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Besides authentic country food and music, this event will feature children’s games, horseshoes, relay races, a dunk bucket, a cake walk and a pie-eating contest.
That’s just a sampling of some of the Independence Day events being planned in some of the communities in the LA area. Every one of them sounds like loads of fun, and a great way to celebrate this nation’s birthday—at least during the daylight portion of July 4.
End Your Independence Day at Eat|See|Hear’s JAWS Event!
After you’ve had a fun day watching parades and playing games, what should you do next? Those of us at Eat|See|Hear think the best way to spend Saturday evening, July 4, is to travel with us to Santa Monica to see our showing of the 1975 blockbuster, Jaws. This event will be held at Santa Monica High School’s Memorial Greek Amphitheatre, located at 601 Pico Blvd. Showtime is at 8:30 p.m. Please note that Santa Monica’s fireworks were already displayed last weekend and Eat|See|Hear will feature fireworks on-screen after the movie on Saturday.
Jaws was first released in theaters on June 20, 1975. Today, it is considered an American cultural phenomenon. The film grossed more than $100 million at the box office, setting the record for the highest grossing film of its time and becoming Hollywood’s first “summer movie blockbuster.” Seeing Jaws on July 4th is a great way celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary and our nation’s birthday at the same time.
Steven Spielberg directed this classic thriller, which is about a gigantic great white shark that brings terror to the small New England coastal town of Amity. The film stars Roy Scheider as Police Chief Martin Brody and Richard Dreyfuss as the marine scientist, Matt Hooper, who are both determined to hunt down the killer shark. They enlist the help of a crusty, old shark hunter by the name of Quint, who is played by Robert Shaw.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. It’s a good idea to get there early so you can claim your spot and get settled. Once you’ve got your seats, you’re probably going to want to get some dinner. There will be plenty of food trucks will be on hand, including Belly, Bombz, Brasil Kiss, California Taco Bear, Coolhaus, Doner Kebob, Dot Saigon, Farmer’s Belly, Grilled Cheese Truck, Steel City Sandwich, The Fry Girl, The Gastrobus, Tornado Potato, Wings N Waffles, and more.
The LA-based indie band, Suspect, will take the stage at 7:30 pm. Suspect mixes a wide variety of influences into their music, creating a heavy and driving sound that captures their love for old school funk and soul as well their appreciation for blues and rock.
Parking available at the Civic Center Parking Structure, located at 333 Civic Center Drive, for a flat fee of $5. This structure is across the street from the high school. You can enter the amphitheater through the walkway on 4th Street, between the track and the DoubleTree Hotel.
Don’t Forget the Rest of July!
After July 4, there are three other Saturdays in July. There’s an Eat|See|Hear event each of those nights as well. On Saturday, July 11, we’ll be in Pasadena to present a 30th anniversary screening of another cinema phenomenon, Back to the Future. This event will be held at Centennial Square at Pasadena City Hall, located at 100 N. Garfield Avenue. Music for the evening will be performed by the LA-based folktronic band, yOya. There are a variety of fee parking lots in the area, along with street parking. You can also take the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station. From there, it’s just short walk to Pasadena City Hall.
On July 18, Eat|See|Hear will showcasing the hilarious and outrageous comedy, ¡Three Amigos! which is about three unemployed silent movie actors who are inadvertently drawn to a Mexican village that is being harassed by a gang out of outlaws. The venue for this event will be the Autry in Griffith Park, which is located at 4700 Western Heritage Way in Los Angeles. The band slated to perform will be Paul Bergmann with Young Creatures. There is free parking for this event across the street at the LA Zoo.
Eat|See|Hear will show the film, Love Actually, on July 25. This movie follows the lives of eight loosely-related couples in London, England, during the five weeks preceding Christmas. Before the movie, the folk rock band, The Neighbors, will perform. The venue for this event will be the same as July 4: The Santa Monica Greek Amphitheatre.
An additional highlight of July 25 is this is the evening for Eat|See|Hear’s annual “Christmas in July” donation drive for our non-profit partner, Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles. Those attending this event are asked to bring donations such as paper towels, heavy-duty garbage bags, small clip collars, six-foot clip leashes, doggie poop bags, plastic crates, dry kitten food, gas gift cards and old blankets and towels. All donated items will be used to help homeless dogs and cats in the LA area.
Other Important Details
Doors for the July 11, 18 and 25 events will open at 5:30 p.m., as is the case at every Eat|See|Hear event. That’s also the time when the food vendors open for business. There’s not room here to mention every food truck that will be on site each Saturday night in July, but you can count on there being a large selection of vendors and menus at every event. That includes multiple vegan and vegetarian options, as well as some gluten-free food choices.
If, for whatever reason, you’d rather bring in your own food to the event, you are welcome to do so. However, picnic baskets and coolers that are brought into Eat|See|Hear venues should be no larger than 12″x12″.
In general, bands will take the stage as close as possible to 7:30 p.m. each Saturday night. Most of the time, the event will finish by 10:30 or 11 p.m. at the latest.
Tickets for any of these events can be purchased at the door or in advance on this website. Advance general admission tickets are $12 each for adults ($14 at the door), $8 for children under 12 years old, and free for children 5 and under. Buying your tickets in advance is the way to go, because you will automatically be entered to win a R/T flight to Auckland, courtesy of Air New Zealand shows sometimes sell out. If you wait to buy your ticket at the door, it might be too late to get one.
In addition to general admission tickets, a limited number of “Air New Zealand Fashionably Late” passes are available for each of these events, granting seating in a reserved area, regardless of arrival time. These passes must be purchased in advance at the Eventbrite website.
It all sounds like a fun-filled month, starting with Independence Day. We hope to see in Santa Monica on July 4!