A glittery pyrotechnics display is as much a part of the fourth day in July as relish on your hot dog and seeds in your watermelon.
But staying up for a Southern Californian sky show isn't the only choice you have come Monday, July 4. While we do have many of those around the region — look for illuminated booms from Long Beach up to the Rose Bowl — there are a few ways to enjoy Independence Day during the daytime and ahead of July 4, or on the morning of the holiday.
Angel City Brewery has "the day before" part covered with its annual 'Merica Fest. It's on Sunday, July 3 (repeat that a few days, so you don't arrive the next day), and it involves a full-on backyard-style barbecue as well as an afternoon of tunes played live.
"An afternoon"=3 to 7, so bring the sunblock.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Clifton's Canteen will summon the USO spirit to Clifton's Cafeteria downtown on Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3. The look will be '40s vintage, so do up your hair in that Victory Roll and find your seamed stockings and gloves. Big bands and dancing are part of the holiday weekend scene. Are you active military or a veteran? You'll get in free.
Long Beach is home to one of the sweetest celebrations on the Fourth of July schedule, and, unlike many Independence Day events, it begins at 10 in the morning. It's the Great American Kids' Bike Parade, and if you're thinking you'll see a lot of cycles don up in flags and bunting and patriotic decorations, you'd be totally correct.
And if you like your Fourth of July with an historic component, make for San Pedro and the USS Iowa on Monday, July 4. Active military, reservists, retired military, and veterans will receive free admission to the ship, which will offer tours from 10 to 4 o'clock on the holiday. It's also the landmark's fourth anniversary in Southern California.