Many regions around the nation will host a single Fourth of July fireworks show down at the local high school or park, but Southern California is not that region. Pyrotechnic extravaganzas abound here, both over the water and at several major venues, and choosing where to go and where to look can be the hard part.
It's possible to be high up, in a taller building, and scan Los Angeles, on Independence Day evening, and see four or five shows close-up and in the distance.
But where to go for your sky show? You've got dozens of choices, all sparkly and boom-boom-y. For the headliners, though, you might make for...
Grand Park: "Downtown LA's biggest-ever rooftop display" will be "atop the Dorothy Chandler" as this block party triples in size from last year, space-wise. It's free, it is family friendly, and this is "the first time in 10 years that Downtown Los Angeles will see a rooftop display of this size." The party starts at 4 p.m., the 16-minute fireworks show sparkles at 9.
On the Water: One of the treats of living next to the Pacific Ocean is that practically every beach community, give or take, puts on some water-close show. Long Beach will, again, and the Queen Mary is ready to party. Marina del Rey has a sky show as well, as does Huntington Beach.
Exposition Park: Will there be fireworks at the park that includes the building that houses a space shuttle? Please. Of course there shall be. Everything gets going at noon, city and state representatives shall be on the grounds saying hello to constituents, and both the California Science Center and the California African American Museum are open on the Fourth. And free! A fine way to spend America's holiday.
Rose Bowl: As far as fests feting the Fourth go, Americafest at the Rose Bowl is as big as a fireworks finale. The party starts early, as in early-in-the-afternoon early, at 2 p.m., there is live music (hello, Liverpool Legends and Ian Thomas), there are motorcycle stunts, there is history. What do we mean by history? It's year 88 for this party. As in, two eights. As in, nearly nine decades along. It's a SoCal staple, for sure.
Hollywood Bowl: The famous shell goes spectacular each year on Independence Day, but look who is swinging by on July 4th: Steve Martin. He has his banjo in tow, and the Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell will join. Twangy good times and a rousing finisher, woot woot.