Weekend: Happy Fourth of July

Big fireworks shows, from Pasadena to the ocean, will lend Independence Day loads of pomp, pageantry, and light.

  • Monday, July 4 will feature fireworks shows across Southern California
  • Several parades and festivals will take place earlier in the day
  • Some spectaculars are free to see, others require an advance ticket

Happy Independence Day: A sparkling sky show, just after sunset, tells us what day has arrived. It's the Fourth of July, the hallowed and happy honoring of Independence Day, and locations across the region will be presenting elaborate and illuminated extravaganzas, with the Hollywood Bowl, Long Beach, and Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery joining in the jubilation. And the oh-so-venerable Americafest, at Rose Bowl Stadium, will also panache-up the Pasadena night. (It's year 96 for this mondo tradition.) Find more fireworks shows happening on Monday, July 4 around the city and beyond.

Daytime Fourth Fun: True, the fourth day of July is very much an after-the-sun-sets sort of occasion, for many people, but plenty of revelers will be out early, riding decorated bikes, marching in patriotic parades, waving at people in patriotic parades, and savoring pancake breakfasts, barbecue, or other early-in-the-day bites. Pacific Palisades is one of the major SoCal places for under-the-sun celebrating, but Main Street in Santa Monica, Sunland-Tujunga, and South Pasadena will all get into the balloon-bright, display-your-flag spirit.

Anime Expo: The "largest Japanese popular culture event in North America" went on hiatus in 2020 and 2021, at least as an in-person affair, but the cosplay-cool convention is back in DTLA for four days of panels, shopping, music, and chances to admire the elaborate fashion. Will you see your favorite character striding through the Los Angeles Convention Center? Better yet, will you be your favorite character? Get everything you need to know about passes, details, and all the important must-knows before you go.

First Fridays: These science-meet-sounds-meet-spirits soirées feel like the most stylish stew, with talks, DJs, museum exploration, adult beverages, and the chance to savor a world-class institution at night all on the menu. But that menu? It does change, and on July 1 the theme is "Mushroom Magic." It's all sprouting at the Natural History Museum, the main discussion will delve into fab fungi (arrive early), and a short screening, "Saging the World," will begin just after 8 o'clock. The full schedule is here, and, oh yes, everything to know about purchasing your entry.

Cats, Big and Big-of-Heart: The first full month of summer is starting, which means we may be hiding from the heat, curling up on the couch, batting at our toys, meowing for treats. Oh, wait: We're talking about our cats, but when you fully fancy felines, you'd like to emulate all of their best and wisest practices. Lucky us: There are two cat-tastic to-dos padding into Southern California, right meow: CatVideoFest at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, on July 2 and 3, and Saber-Toothed Summer, a celebration of the ancient animals, at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum.

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