July 4th events generally focus on fireworks, but there’s a whole holiday day – and plenty of fun to be had – before the nighttime pyrotechnics.
The LAX Coastal 4th of July Parade starts at 11 a.m. and proceeds along Loyola Boulevard, between Westchester Park and Loyola Marymont University in Westchester. “America, Better Together” is the theme for this community spectacle.
The Great American 4th of July in Long Beach is all about the kids. A children’s patriotic speech contest starts at 9:40 a.m. at Granada Beach, followed by a kids’ patriotic costume contest. At 10 a.m., several hundred youngsters ride down the beach bike path and closed-to-auto-traffic Bay Shore Avenue on their decorated bicycles. Prizes will be awarded in several star-spangled categories.
Pacific Palisades’ Independence Day Celebrations begin with the early-morning Will Rogers 5K/10K runs and kids fun run ($30-$70). The 71st Palisades Parade (free-$55) commences with its customary skydivers at 1:50 p.m., followed by the parade along Sunset Boulevard between Via de la Paz and Drummond Street that includes “Kids on Bikes” and “Patriotic Pups.” There’s also a concert and fireworks show ($10 adults, free for ages 2 and under) at Palisades Charter High School in the evening.
South Pasadena’s whimsical Festival of Balloons Parade this year commemorates Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary. The opening ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. at the South Pasadena Library, with the parade happening around 11 a.m. on Mission Street from Diamond Avenue to Garfield Park. Registration is required to participate in the parade. Come wearing some type of balloon adornment. Prizes are awarded.
For the fifth year on the Fourth, Theatricum Botanicum hosts a Family Barn Dance from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The old-fashioned amusements include a dunk bucket, horseshoes, relay races, a cakewalk, pie-eating and watermelon- seed-spitting contests, as well as live music, dancing and barbecue and beverages available for purchase. Admission is $24 for adults, $12 for ages 4-12 and free for ages 3 and under.