Celebrating July 4th on the Quiet Side

By Michael Berick

July 4th in Los Angeles


Not everyone finds explosive fireworks enjoyable. For those who prefer celebrating July 4th without an assault on their eardrums, here are four options.

The LAX Coastal 4th of July Parade brings a bit of small-town Americana to Southern California. The parade, which steps off at 11 a.m. and proceeds along Loyola Boulevard between Westchester Park and Loyola Marymount University, features floats, marching bands and community groups. This year’s theme, “An American Adventure,” celebrates American cities from Atlantic City to Honolulu. FREE. laxcoastal.com

The Great American 4th of July Kids Bike Parade in Long Beach (pictured) is geared for young participants, although parents will want to accompany their holiday-attired children and join the fun. The ride begins at 10 a.m. at Granada Beach. Preceding the parade (at 9:30 a.m.) will be a patriotic speech contest and costume contest (sign-up available on-site). FREE. JustinRudd.com/bikeparade

The Theatricum Botanicum’s Old-Fashioned Family Barn Dance and Barbeque in Topanga offers up a pie-eating contest, watermelon-seed-spitting contest, cake walk, horseshoes, relay races, dunk bucket and live performances – along with the barn dance and barbecue – in the Theatricum’s rustic setting. The fun runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., but you have to buy your tickets in advance. They cost $8-$22, with a family four-pack for $50. theatricum.com

The Festival of Balloons Parade along Oxley Street in South Pasadena is a cute and unique event – as much of a celebration for the library’s summer reading program as for Independence Day. Join the summer readers and be part of the colorful parade from 10:30 a.m.-noon. FREE. southpasadenaca.gov

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