Celebrations with a Bang
Independence Day fireworks light up the night over Marina del Rey Harbor and West L.A. College
By Christina Campodonico
The skies light up for the Fourth of July with traditional fireworks shows in Marina del Rey and Culver City on Monday.
Marina del Rey’s 26-minute pyrotechnic display by Zambelli Fireworks International goes off promptly at 9 p.m., with Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) and Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way) offering a patriotic soundtrack to the festivities over outdoor loudspeakers.
The Exchange Club of Culver City’s annual July 4th Fireworks Show marks its 50th year with a longer and larger show shooting off at dusk from multiple launch points at West Los Angeles College.
Boosters of both events encourage families to arrive early to avoid traffic and lengthen the celebration.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than watching fireworks over the marina,” says Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Janet Zaldua.
“You can make a day of the Fourth of July in Marina del Rey,” she says, encouraging visitors and locals alike to take to the water, have dinner and stop by the Marina del Rey Visitor Center at 4701 Admiralty Way to pick up a free American flag for the evening’s festivities.
If you choose to drive, public parking runs $7 to $15 and fills up quickly, so arrive early, as street closures are also planned. Annual sponsors the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors encourage families to take advantage of Marina del Rey WaterBus service (11 a.m. to midnight) and the Beach Shuttle (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
Culver City’s fireworks show opens its gates at 4 p.m. for a community festival complete with entertainment by Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps, gourmet food trucks, a Kids Zone with carnival games, and a charity mega-raffle for a luxury Vegas getaway, an aerial tour of Los Angeles, a big-screen TV and other prizes.
“We are a local family tradition,” says incoming Exchange Club President John Cohn. “For the past half century, our fireworks show has brought together families of every stripe. … Parents who once came to our annual event as children are now celebrating this proud Culver City tradition with their own children and grandchildren.”
This year the celebration features fireworks by Golden State Fireworks, a family-owned pyrotechnics company that has presented fireworks shows at the National Mall in Washington DC, the Statue of Liberty, the Winter Olympics and Disney World.
“Because it’s our 50th anniversary show, we are pulling out the stops,” says Cohn.
The evening is especially dedicated to veterans and features a National Anthem and color guard appearance by The New Directions for Vets Choir. The musical ensemble comprised of formerly homeless veterans was a finalist on “America’s Got Talent.”
“The Fourth of July is more than just sparklers and fireworks,” Cohn says.
A donation of $5 per person is suggested for the event, but children under 5 are free. Parking is $10 and limited, but carpools of up to eight guests get in for a flat $30. Cars enter the campus on Jefferson Boulevard; pedestrians on Overland Avenue.
Proceeds benefit the Culver City Exchange Club’s local youth programs, college scholarships, child abuse prevention efforts, local YMCA programs, the Culver Youth Health Center and the Backpacks for Kids program, which provides struggling families with extra food and supplies.
Find more information and event guidelines (including prohibited items) at visitmarinadelrey.com and culvercityfireworksshow.com.