Westsiders celebrate July 4 with fireworks, parades and community pride

By Christina Campodonico

Americans — we disagree on a lot of things. From politics to religion, immigration and more, disagreeing has become a national pastime second to baseball (or football, depending on who you ask). But one thing that most of us can agree on is that the Fourth of July is
a pretty dope holiday. It’s our nation’s birthday, after all! So whether you identify as Republican or Democrat, diehard Trump supporter or “I’m with Her”-lifer, or even choose to remain politically agnostic, here are four Fourth of July celebrations that almost anyone can enjoy this Wednesday. Three out of four are free, like this dynamic country of ours. And that’s something to celebrate!

Marina del Rey 4th of July Fireworks Celebration

See American pride sparkle over the water during this spectacular 20-minute fireworks display that lights up the marina at 9 p.m. sharp. Watch with synchronized music at Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) or Fisherman’s Village (13737 Fiji Way). Or find an abundance of private viewing options at waterside restaurants, docks, boats and yacht clubs throughout the marina. Either way, be sure to bundle up — and arrive plenty early, as public parking lots ($7 to $15) fill up as early as 1 p.m. and traffic can get pretty intense. Utilizing rideshare, beach shuttle and waterbus options are highly recommended.

The fireworks are free to watch. For more information, call (424) 526-7900 or visit visitmarinadelrey.com/july4.

Westchester Lutheran School dazzled and delighted yet again last year with this spaceman float celebrating the local aerospace industry

Westchester Fourth of July Parade

What began as a one-off, turn-of-the-millennium celebration has become a treasured annual neighborhood tradition. The LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce-sponsored parade, kicking off at 11 a.m. at Westchester Park (7000 W. Manchester Blvd.), celebrates its eighteenth year with the theme “Cities Across America.” Expect to see local celebrities, community organizations, school marching bands and volunteer-built parade floats decked out to represent different municipalities from across the U.S., all promenading down Loyola Boulevard toward the parade’s conclusion on the Loyola Marymount University campus. Plenty of Westchester residents also put on their red, white and blue best to spectate from their own front lawns, creating a slice of small-town America in L.A.’s own LAX-adjacent backyard. In other words, it’s Westchester’s own version of a Norman Rockwell painting come to life.

The parade is free to watch. For more information, call the chamber at (310) 645-5151 or visit laxcoastal.com/parade.

Santa Monica 4th of July Parade

Santa Monica’s Main Street also has its Norman Rockwell moment on Independence Day, starting at 9:30 a.m. Vintage cars and fun floats step off from Main Street and Pico Boulevard, then turn down Marine Street to Barnard Way, where the parade concludes around noon at beach parking lot 5 (2701 Barnard Way). Bring a chair, the kids or even your dog to watch this patriotic procession set against Main Street’s charming shops and restaurants, which bring to mind a Midwestern downtown, but with a funky beach vibe. This year’s theme is “Bringing Communities Together.”

The parade is free to watch. For more information, visit santamonica-parade.com.

Culver City Fourth of July Fireworks Show

The Exchange Club of Culver City brings a plethora of Independence Day entertainment and activities to the grounds of West L.A. College (9000 Overland Ave.), starting at 4 p.m. Get ready for carnival games, lots of gourmet food trucks, music by the cover band Hiatus and raffles with dozens of high-end prizes, including the chance to win a big screen TV, hotels stays and gift cards to department stores and restaurants. Bring a blanket or beach chairs to watch the pyrotechnics, which start at dusk.

Admission is $5; children under five are free. Parking is $15 per vehicle. Proceeds benefit the club’s local youth activities. For more information, visit culvercityfireworksshow.com.

See Westside Happenings for parties, picnics, pub crawls and other activities happening July 4.