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The Best Things To Do In LA This 4th Of July Weekend: July 2 - 4

A person in silhouette watches as fireworks explode in the nighttime sky above homes and buildings
Fireworks go off over Los Angeles on July 4, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images)
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Celebrate Independence Day with drive-in movies and fireworks. Hike a popular coastal trail. Attend Black L.A. Pride events. Catch Kool & the Gang. Take the fam to Bubblefest. Bring your appetite to a fantastic food market's reopening.

(Every Other) Friday, July 2 - Aug. 27; 5 - 9 p.m. PT

Summer Fridays
777 S. Alameda St., downtown L.A.
Kick off the holiday weekend with a free dance class from Kinjaz, after-hours shopping, food trucks, live music, performances and a mollusk feast from Chesapeake Bay’s Rappahannock Oyster Bar. Starting this weekend, the retail series takes place every other Friday. ROW DTLA has also partnered with rideshare service Alto to provide a $75 credit for locals traveling to and from the event. Each RSVP via Eventbrite is entered to win a $500 ROW gift card.

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Various dates through Thursday, July 29

35mm Drive-in Shows: Summer Of Celluloid Series
The Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43
2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
The drive-in cinema presents screenings of 35mm films all month long. Titles include Twister this Friday, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure on July 8, Blade Runner: The Final Cut on July 25 and Purple Rain on July 28.
COST: Tickets start at $25 (includes unlimited popcorn); MORE INFO

Friday, July 2; 6 p.m. PT

OC Parks Sunset Cinema Movie: Independence Day
Carbon Canyon Regional Park
4442 Carbon Canyon Rd., Brea
Orange County and OC Parks continue the family-friendly Friday night film series at parks around the county. This week, catch the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. All events in the series include free parking. Food and drink are available for purchase. The movies begin at sunset (around 8 p.m.).

People enjoy the beach amid the coronavirus pandemic in Huntington Beach on June 14, 2020.
(APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

Friday, July 2 - Sunday, July 4; 9:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Huntington Beach Pier Festival
Pacific Coast Hwy. & Main St., Huntington Beach
The family-friendly 4th of July festivities at the Huntington Beach Pier include entertainment, vendors, food trucks, the Surf City 5K, a beer and wine garden and stellar views of the fireworks show.

Friday, July 2 - Sunday, July 4; 8:30 p.m.

Electric Dusk Drive-In
Old Sears Parking Lot
236 N. Central Ave., Glendale
Celebrate July 4th with family and friends at the drive-in. Choose from Independence Day (Friday), The Sandlot (Saturday) or Jaws (Sunday). Doors open at 7 p.m.
COST: $15 per car, $8 - $12 per ticket; MORE INFO

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Friday, July 2 - Sunday, July 18

Discovery Cube of Orange County
2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana
The popular event returns with bubble artist Deni Yang, the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show and interactive, bubble-centric activities. Tickets include a laser show, the “Me in a Bubble” photo opportunity, science demonstrations, exhibits, a paddle boat attraction and an inflatable, soapy obstacle course.
COST: $10 - $12; MORE INFO

Thinkspace presents the group show ‘Real Life Is Fragile,' featuring works by West African artists, for one week only.
(Courtesy Thinkspace )

Saturday, July 3 - Saturday, July 10

Real Life is Fragile
Thinkspace Projects
4217 W. Jefferson Blvd., Culver City
The gallery opens a group show that brings together 10 West African artists, mostly from Nigeria and Cameroon — Ayanfe Olarinde, Boris Anje, Chigozie Obi, Eshinlokun Wasiu, Elizabeth Ekpetorson, Jimbo Lateef, Michelle Okpare, Patrick Akpojotor and Nwadiogbu. A solo show from Super A (Stefan Thelen) and new works on paper by Lucas Lobo & Imon Boy also open at Thinkspace. The opening reception for all three exhibitions is Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 3; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Independence Day Celebration
International Printing Museum
315 W. Torrance Blvd., Carson
View tours of the museum’s collections and print your own declaration on a replica of Franklin’s Colonial press or have other keepsakes printed on tabletop presses. There are family-friendly activities throughout the galleries and you can see vintage cars in the museum’s parking lot. Admission includes a slice of apple pie and colonial punch.

Saturday, July 3 - Sunday, July 4; 7:30 p.m. PT

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular with Kool & the Gang
The Hollywood Bowl
2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
The beloved concert venue reopens to the public after last summer’s hiatus. The summer celebration kicks off with two nights featuring Kool & the Gang and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by Thomas Wilkins. Stick around for post-show fireworks.
COST: $26 - $294; MORE INFO

LACMA opens the group exhibition, "Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation" on July 4.
(Yue Minjun, photo courtesy Pace Gallery)

Sunday, July 4 - Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022

Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation
Resnick Pavilion at LACMA
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
The exhibition includes works from 15 Chinese contemporary artists including Ai Weiwei, Huang Yong Ping, Wang Guangyi and Xu Bing. Much of the featured art was created in response to global issues, from international trade to political conflict. All visitors, including LACMA members, must purchase or reserve a timed-entry ticket in advance. Tickets cannot be purchased on site.

Sunday, July 4; 1 - 9 p.m. PT

Freedom Fling on the Marina
Marina del Rey Hotel
13534 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey
The hotel holds a day-long 4th of July poolside celebration with food, games, music and drinks. The garden side part of the hotel also features lawn games and a live band from 12 to 4 p.m. The hotel also has great views of fireworks.
COST: $20 - $30; MORE INFO

Sunday, July 4; 3 p.m. PT

1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena
Celebrate the Fourth with a day of tailgating, live performances by Haylee Joe and The Voice contestant Mendeleyev, a motorcycle stunt show and fireworks at 9 p.m.
COST: Tickets start at $20 (free admission for children 5 and younger), parking starts at $45 - $55; MORE INFO

Goat Mafia.jpg
Smorgasburg returns to ROW DTLA with new vendors like Goat Mafia, pictured above.
(Courtesy Smorgasburg)

Sunday, July 4; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. PT

Smorgasburg Reopens
777 Alameda St., downtown L.A.
After a 16-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the open-air food confab returns to the 100-year old 7th St. Produce Market. Check out more than 80 vendors including the Bad Jew, Bridgetown Roti, Goat Mafia, Go Go Bird and Veggie Fam. There's also the I Love Micheladas beer garden and seating for hundreds. Smorgasburg is family-friendly but leave the doggos at home.

Sunday, July 4; 9 p.m. PT

Dirty Dancing
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
Nobody puts baby in a corner... except Patrick Swayze. Cinespia screens the 1987 film starring Jennifer Grey as a daddy’s girl who falls for a bad boy dance instructor at a summer resort in the Catskills. Stick around for the post-show fireworks. Picnic on the lawn with beer and wine.

Through Monday, July 5

LA Black Pride
Various Locations
The 7th annual celebration of the Black LGBTQ+ community features a weekend of conversations and celebrations focusing on issues impacting L.A.’s Black queer community. The kickoff panel discussion takes place on Thursday at the Redline Bar & Lounge in downtown L.A., followed by events at the Chapel at the Abbey on Friday, Catch One on Saturday, Rocco's WeHo on Sunday and a summer day party at The Parlor on Monday.
COST: Many events FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

Palos Verdes
This week's outdoor pick suggests a coastal trail in Palos Verdes.
(sergei.gussev, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Outdoor Pick

Rancho Palos Verdes Coastal Trail
Work off those holiday weekend beers, burgers and hot dogs by heading to the coast for a moderate 5-mile out-and-back hike with great ocean vistas, caves and coves. The trail is popular so expect lots of company. And don’t forget to bring lots of water. Dogs are welcome on the trail but must be kept on a leash. Parking is at a premium in PV. Access the trailhead and park in the lot on La Rotonda Drive and the Trump National Golf Course parking lot.

TV/Streaming Pick

We the People
This new animated musical series from the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions takes the mantle from Schoolhouse Rock (“I’m just a bill....”) with three-minute music videos. The civic lessons are performed by Janelle Monáe, Adam Lambert, H.E.R., Brandi Carlile, Andra Day, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bebe Rexha. It’s only fitting that the 10-episode series drops on the 4th of July on Netflix.

Slater's 50/50, known for its ground beef and bacon patties, celebrates its first-year anniversary in Valencia.
(Courtesy of Slater's 50/50)

Dine and Drink Deals

Here's the 411 from restaurants and bars in Los Angeles and SoCal.

  • Slater’s 50/50 in Valencia celebrates its first birthday through July 4 by giving diners a free slice of cake (one piece per table). The restaurant chain, known for its 50% ground beef and 50% bacon patties, also serves a limited strawberry shake with whipped cream, star sprinkles, a cherry and a Bomb Pop ($14) this week.
  • Louella's Cali Soul Kitchen, the newest project from Alta’s Keith Corbin and Daniel Patterson, opened last week at Citizen Public Market, Culver City’s upscale food hall. It blends soul food dishes (brisket, fried chicken, collard greens, blackeye pea salad) with the spices of West Africa and fresh local ingredients.
  • Messhall Kitchen in Los Feliz offers a limited-time smoked beer can chicken special for two ($51) that includes a whole chicken, corn, baked beans, red, white & blue potato salad, fresh biscuits and Kansas City BBQ sauce. Available July 2-4 for dine-in, takeout, or delivery.
  • The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills celebrates the 4th of July weekend with a "Fireworks Dinner Experience" from 5 p.m. until midnight. The dinner features an a la carte menu with great views of surrounding fireworks shows. VIP seats are available and must be made through the reservations team.
  • The Black Truffle Festival celebrates Italian food by getting chefs around the country to create dishes that feature ingredients such as Urbani black truffles. Participating L.A. restaurants include Angelini Osteria, N.10 Restaurant and Eataly.
  • Thanks to LA Taco for the heads up that Perro 110 has a new location in Cudahy (8415 Atlantic Ave.), serving up tacos perrones, fresh guac and homemade flour tortillas.
  • After a spring pop-up, Tyra Banks opens her first ice cream shop, SMiZE Cream, at Santa Monica Place. The grand opening happens on Friday at 4 p.m. The first 50 customers will receive free servings of ice cream. Flavors include The Best Vanilla I Ever Had, Purple Cookie Mon-STAR & Me and Chocolate Barbeque.
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