July Fourth Parades Bring Summer Family Fun to L.A.

By Michael Berick

summer family fun

Kids can go on an all-American bike ride on Independence Day. PHOTO COURTESY JUSTIN RUDD

Independence Day is the most American of holidays, defined by its morning parades, afternoon barbecues and evening fireworks. While barbecues are as close as your own back yard and fireworks dot the Southern California skies, the old-fashioned July 4th parade is a bit more elusive. Here are four of the best.

Spending July 4th at LAX usually isn’t a fun time. Spending it at the LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade (11 a.m., www.laxcoastal.com/parade) is far more enjoyable. The parade, which proceeds along Loyola Boulevard between Westchester Park and Loyola Marymount University, has the charming vibe of a small-town parade.

In Long Beach, the Great American 4th of July Kids Bike Parade (10 a.m. www.justinrudd.com/bikeparade.html) creates a colorful procession as several hundred children and bikes – all decked out in red, white and blue – parade along the Granada Beach bike path. Before the parade, youngsters can participate in a patriotic speech competition and costume contests.

Kids on bikes are a big part of the 69th Palisades Americanism Parade (2 p.m., www.palisadesparade.org). There is a march of “patriotic pups” along with the cars, horses and human participants. The parade’s most distinctive feature, however, is the spectacle of skydivers landing to signal its start.

South Pasadena puts its own distinctive touch on its Fourth of July Parade. To celebrate Independence Day, the city hosts the Festival of Balloons Parade (10:30 a.m., www.southpasadenaca.gov), with awards going to the most creative use of inflatables.

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