YOU WANT FIREWORKS? There shall be fireworks. And all sorts of other fun Fourth of July touches, like barbecues, music by Hall & Oates, and kids' bikes all dressed up in holiday colors. The Rose Bowl, the Starlight Bowl, the Hollywood Bowl, Redondo Beach, Dodgers Stadium, and Disneyland are just a few of the spots going the ooh-aah route. And Long Beach has the sweet Great American 4th of July Kids' Bike Ride early in the day on Monday, July 4.
ONE BARD, NO BUCKS: Free Shakespeare plays presented under a bower of trees on a summer's evening is a classic event. Thank goodness LA's own Independent Shakespeare Company likes the classics. The season is opening in Griffith Park with "The Merry Wives of Windsor" on June 30. And yep, we said "bower." Don't you kind of have to, with Will S.? Thursday through Sunday nights
LA GUITAR FESTIVAL: Many of the greats are making for Redondo Beach for two nights of soulful strumming, slide mastery, and surf-punky twang. Oh yeah, Mr. Dick Dale will be in the house, along with Jimmie Vaughan and Tommy Emmanuel. Check the two-night schedule to see when your own hero plays. Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3
ANIME EXPO: The costumes get a lot of attention, and rightly so, as does the masquerade. But fans of anime and manga also make for the Los Angeles Convention Center to meet artists and authors and other titans of the entertainment world. There are premieres ahead, too, and lots of cosplay (costume play, natch). Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4
LABYRINTH OF JARETH BALL: And speaking of costume play, this popular (read: year 14) masquerade makes for the grand staircase of the Park Plaza. Elegant elves and fairies and gnomes shall flit about the historic building. Costumes, in fact, are mandatory; if you haven't got one, dressy wear with a mask is the other choice. What elf wants to show in what he ran to the grocery store in, anyway? Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2