Los Angeles

How to Celebrate the Fourth of July in LA This Year

No fireworks in the city, but there are other ways to celebrate.

If you’re all about fireworks on the Fourth of July, then, well, you’re out of luck this year since nearly all the pyrotechnic shows around town – including all the major displays from the beach to the Hollywood Bowl – have been canceled, though you probably figured that out by now. And while Independence Day is going to look a little different this time around – as will pretty much every other regularly scheduled event in the near and not-so-near future – you can still celebrate the red-white-in-blue holiday both in-person and virtually (while ordering up lots of fine food and drink for the celebration). There are even a few rogue SoCal cities that have decided to light up the skies anyway and trust spectators to watch from a distance or from home. Thus, we’ve updated our annual Fourth of July guide to bring you the area activities, events, and offerings you can partake in live while socially distancing IRL or at home.

Grand Park + The Music Center Fourth of July Block Party Home Edition

Online, Downtown
7pm to 10pm
This always fun, free, and open-to-the-public annual event is taking the festivities online – and on TV – this year. Organizers will be releasing more deets soon, but expect performances by musicians and artists (including Patrick Martinez) on KABC from 7pm to 8pm and then from 8pm to 10pm on several of Grand Park’s digital streaming platforms including Instagram.  

Tribeca Drive-In at the Rose Bowl 

Live, Pasadena 
12:30pm, 4:15pm, and 8:30pm 
If you had a cell phone in high school, there’s a good chance you’ve never been to a drive-in movie. But the option to watch a flick through your car windshield has returned in the name of social distancing. An offshoot of the Tribeca Film Festival, the Tribeca Drive-in is bringing iconic movies and stand-up comedy performances to multiple venues around the country (with The Rose Bowl serving as its only West Coast location) through early August. On the Fourth you can catch movies including The Wizard of Oz, Apollo 13, and Field of Dreams for about 30 bucks a vehicle.

Palisades Rocks the 4th Concert and Flyover

Live and Online, Pacific Palisades
2pm and 8pm 
A fleet of WWII fighter planes (and some bad-ass pilots) will take to the skies for a community flyover at 2pm, followed by a concert that evening at 8pm livestreamed on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch, featuring Ben Harper, Rocky Dawuni, Louise Goffin, and others. But if you live in the beachside community, you’re in luck, and not just because you likely have some really sick house. At 9pm, all residents are invited to step outside and join a serious singalong of “This Land is Your Land.” Somebody better record that. 

Feels Like Summer: An Immersive Audio-Visual Experience

6pm to 9pm 
A digital happy hour, groovy tunes, DJ sets backed by color and light displays, giveaways and more will hopefully give you that summery LA vibe you’ve been looking for. VIP livestream tix go for $10 and give you access to a private Zoom with proceeds benefiting LA food banks. 

Spirit of America Fireworks Spectacular 

Live and Online, Santa Clarita 
After announcing “the show will go on” on the city website, it’s looking like Santa Clarita’s annual fireworks display indeed will, with a launch site near the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and Citrus Street  and many COVID restrictions in place. Spectators are encouraged to watch from their cars where you can tune in to synchronized music on 98.1 FM or 1220 AM and thus, use your car radio for the first time in eight years. You can also catch the show via livestream on Facebook

4th of July Community Fireworks Show by the City of Rancho Cucamonga

Live and Online, Rancho Cucamonga
The Inland Empire community will be launching a short fireworks display from the central location of Chaffey College, but, in the name of safety, no one will be allowed on campus. Instead, spectators are asked to watch from elsewhere around the city, but also to avoid parking in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the school. So, er, we’re not exactly sure where to tell you to view them IRL, but you can also catch the show on Facebook Live

Big Bear Lake’s Annual Fireworks Spectacular 

Live and Online, Big Bear 
Big Bear is touting the fact that you can see its glitzy show in the sky from just about anywhere in the valley, so if you decide to make a weekend out of it, you can likely stay put and get a good view from whatever Airbnb you’re renting. If you’re elsewhere but have always wondered what Big Bear’s 4th of July fest looks like, you can view the fireworks online via a link that will eventually be posted here.

The City of Tustin Parks and Recreation Department Presents 4th of July Fireworks Show

Live and Online, Tustin 

The OC city is asking residents to watch from home and won’t allow anyone onto the campus of Tustin High, so if you don’t have a Tustin-residing pal to whom you can pay a socially distanced visit, you can watch from anywhere online.  

OneHB Neighborhood Parade 

Live, Huntington Beach 
In order to cut down on big crowds gathering in one spot, Surf City has nixed its usual parade down PCH and Main Street (along with its evening fireworks display) and will instead take a south-to-north “tour” of multiple neighborhoods throughout Huntington Beach with a caravan of community officials, live entertainers, frontline heroes, military members, vets, and students. The route map will be posted the day of. 

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Lizbeth Scordo is a food and lifestyle writer who is not canceling her summer. Follow her on Instagram @modlizbeth and Twitter @lalizbeth.
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