What to Know
- Wednesday, July 4
- Hours vary, but the first event begins at 7 a.m.
- Long Beach, Pacific Palisades, Claremont...
We all know the days when special occasions occur, but when does the most "special" part of the holiday take place?
Thanksgiving dinner, for some families, happens at 1 p.m., while other groups eat around sundown. And come Easter, breakfast may happen before the egg hunt, or there might be a brunch scheduled for later in the day.
But Fourth of July's big moment? No guessing is required here: Fireworks have a way of bursting right around 9 in the evening in Southern California, with some shows beginning a bit before and some a little after that hour.
What to do, where to go and what to see
There are ways, though, to get into the red, white, and blue spirit long before the sun sets. Prefer your Fourth festivities to happen hours ahead of the pyrotechnics? Look to...
The Great American Kids' Bike Parade, which pedals at 1 Granada Avenue in Long Beach at 10 a.m. on July 4. Patriotic costumes, decorated handlebars, and a speech contest are all on the sweet-of-heart schedule.
Pacific Palisades, the place for an incredibly hometown-y parade early in the day, each and every Independence Day. It's an event that's been around since the late 1940s, there are floats, there are bands, there are skydivers and more.
Santa Monica, and the city's colorful Main Street, as the 12th annual Santa Monica 4th of July Parade steps off at 9:30 in the morning. Everything is wrapped up by noon. Here's a suggestion: Show in all of your favorite Fourth of July wear, from a red hat to a blue and white dress.
'Merica Fest, a jamming party that raises a brew at Angel City Brewery & Public House. The start time for this grown-up bash is 1:30 p.m., there shall be bands, there shall be brews, and tacos will be for sale, too. Make for the Arts District for this star-spangled blowout.
San Gabriel, where the Kids' Day & 4th of July Parade kicks off at 9 in the morning (a full half day ahead of most of the fireworks around the region). Plaza Park and Smith Park are the locations, there will be "BBQ, picnic games, community booths," and more.
Claremont.... has both a Pancake Breakfast, early-early on July 4, and a 5K/1K, not to mention a flag-raising ceremony, bunches of stuff for kids to do, and more. All the info on the early-starter of a celebration? Find it here.
So many other spots, from the Rose Bowl to Grand Park, will start the day early, too, with special concerts, spots to nosh, and more. Check out your favorite fireworks go-to to see if they're beginning the bash earlier in the day or at dark.
Also? Some of the events above will lead into fireworks — Pacific Palisades is one such place — while others, like the bike parade in Long Beach, will not. Visit the events' sites for more details.