Free Hollywood Block Party

Free tours and Cirque du Soleil make-up tips are part of the locals day.

Mark DeLong

Have you ever planned a block party?

If so you know you need a few things. Some balloons, probably. A picnic table and tablecloth (oilcloth works, especially with the inevitable condiments spills). Some hula hoops and bean bags, just to get everyone involved in some friendly competition. And maybe a nearby sprinkler, in case the little kids want to cool off.

But how to plan a block party for one of the most famous blocks on the planet? That's a bit trickier, of course, but Hollywood seems to have it down. Nope, they won't be closing the boulevard and setting up the picnic tables and sack races between La Brea and Highland, but several venues along the famous stretch will be welcoming Angelenos with a bevy of free tours, interesting deals, and other Saturday morning haps.

We'll stress this is a locals thing, again, which is sweet. But you'll need an ID or driver's license that has a Los Angeles address. Good? Good. Also, you'll need to cover parking. Or go Metro. 

The date is Saturday, May 19, the time is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the choices are these: Take a gratis tour of the Kodak Theatre, take a free Chinese Theatre tour, check out the various deals going down around Hollywood & Highland, hit Madame Tussauds for nada, and, wait for it, watch Cirque performers lead costume and make-up demos. (It's not a full "IRIS" performance, note, just a cool confab on behind-the-scenes details.)

We want to do it all during the three-hour window, but, boy howdy, we want to learn some Cirque make-up secrets. Question: Can you wear outlandish, Cirque-style clown make-up to work? Well, maybe if your job is swinging from a trapeze. That's too bad. Instead of casual Fridays we think each office should have at least one annual "wear clown make-up to work" day. (The watercooler chitchat would never be juicier.)

Nope, there won't be a sprinkler or croquet set up in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard on May 19. But there's a lot of free stuff happening, which completely fits with the block parties we all know and love: Having some fun and not spending much while doing it.

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