From arts and crafts and pony rides in Beverly Hills to body building and fireworks on the beaches, Westsiders will find a variety of safe and sane ways to celebrate the nation's 214th Independence Day.
In Culver City, the Fourth of July will be an international civic celebration of community service as well as a national day of patriotism. During the two-hour program beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Culver City High School's Helms Field, city officials will welcome the mayor of Lethbridge, Canada, the community's latest sister city. The Canadian and American flags will fly side by side as the Paul Bowman Million Dollar Country Western Band plays the national anthems of both countries to an expected 15,000 spectators.
A 30-minute fireworks display at 9 p.m. will cap the program. Parking will be available in the high school parking lot.
For those looking for something a little different, the Venice Beach Recreation Center will sponsor its annual open muscle contest starting at 11 a.m. at the site of the recently closed "Muscle Beach."
A Dixieland jazz concert starts at 2 p.m., and a fireworks display will start at 9 p.m. Recommended for ideal viewing are sites along the beach as far north as Venice.
In Pacific Palisades, more than 30,000 spectators are expected for the annual Fourth of July Parade. The parade, complete with floats and marching bands, will begin at 2 p.m. at Via De La Paz and Sunset Boulevard to Drummond Street and the Palisades Park.
Later, at 7:30 p.m., there will be a fireworks display at the Palisades High School Stadium.
There will not be a fireworks show in Beverly Hills, but there will be an activities fair with art and crafts for children and music from two Dixieland bands at Roxbury Park. The program runs from noon to 4 p.m.
And for those who just can't wait for the Fourth, there are the Hollywood Bowl and Santa Monica's celebration.
On July 2, 3 and 5, there will be music under the stars and a host of Walt Disney cartoon characters as part of Fourth of July celebrations at the Hollywood Bowl. The Los Angeles Philharmonic and other visiting bands and choirs will perform beginning at 8 each night.
In Santa Monica, more than 200,000 early risers and patriots are expected for the 4:45 a.m. Dawn's Early Light Fourth of July Celebration.
After a 30-minute fireworks show north of the pier, the 71-member L.A. Pops orchestra will give a concert at the end of the Pleasure Pier featuring traditional American marches and anthems, including selections from Aaron Copeland's "Rodeo" and John William's score from "Born on the Fourth of July."
But for all the variety of celebrations, these events have one thing in common: They are legal and safe. All fireworks, including the Safe & Sane brand, are illegal in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Culver City and Santa Monica unless they are being used by professional pyrotechnists with a city permit.
EVENTS FOR THE FOURTH
A list of concerts, fireworks and more to celebrate the Fourth of July. J2