Weekend: Happy Fourth of July

Fireworks, barbecues, movies, and holiday doings lend sparkle to the spectacular.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS: Wherever you are in Southern California, you're very likely to be within seeing distance of some mondo fireworks spectaculars (the Rose Bowl, Marina del Rey, and Exposition Park have some of the biggies). Or you could skip the pyrotechnics and make for a barbecue-and-beer bash, an old-fashioned Fourth of July barn dance, or some in-the-holiday-theme films (yep, "Jaws" is screening in a few spots). Happy Fourth of July, SoCalers!

ANIME EXPO: Comic-Con International may be revving up in San Diego for next week's cosmically big party, but manga mavens and comic aficionados and spirited sorts who crave creative expression through elaborate costuming will be in downtown Los Angeles over the Fourth of July weekend. Game-centered gatherings, voice-acting presentations, special guest ceremonies, and so many opportunities to show off your glam get-up await at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 2 through 5.

250,000+ LEGOS: What do a quarter of a million LEGO bricks look like when they're all stacked together in neat rows and towers? Well, they can look like the Queen Mary, if that's what the builders were going for. And four pro builders were when they constructed a stunning and sizable replica of the forever-in-Long-Beach ocean-liner. The public can get its first peek of the permanent display on Saturday, July 4 when the LEGO-meets-boat wonder opens.

HUMPBACK WHALES 3D: Summer and the ocean are an age-old pairing, but to get your next delightful dose of whale goodness you won't need to head out onto the Pacific by boat. A new film makes a Friday, July 3 debut at the California Science Center, at the IMAX, so plan on seeing many 50-foot-long humpbacks in full mega expansiveness. But how's your humpback song impression? Perhaps you can work on that during the car ride home.

24-HOUR MOVIE: When "The Clock" tick-tocked into the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a few years ago, impressive lines formed. People were eager to see artist Christian Marclay's 24-hour-long movie, which is full of clocks. Those timepieces all show the exact time that it happens to be in the audience's world, making it all meta and strange and rather wonderful. The offbeat experience is back for a longer run, starting on July 5. 

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