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Thursday, July 4, 2013

THE GUIDE's Guide to the Fourth of July in and around Los Angeles -- July 4, 2013

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"L.A. has so many spots, I love it!" gushed one fireworks seeker.
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That's an understatement. It seems fireworks are presented separately by every one of the megalopolised burgs across the shared skies and incomprehensible tangles of municipal boundaries.
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We'll try to untangle it for you, and identify the musical dimensions where we can find them.
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First, there are always wonderful annual fireworks concerts with full symphony orchestras and prominent performing guests. The best ones are in the Hollywood Bowl with the L.A. Philharmonic, and the Orange County Amphitheatre with the OC Symphony. Both do sell out, but if you scramble you'll find tickets.
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See the section titled "MUSIC on the FOURTH" for much more.
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On to the booms and bangs. We are emphasizing places to go where you can see MULTIPLE fireworks shows. Of course, we tell you about some of the best individual shows, too.
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See the section titled "FIREWORKS: BOOMS & BANGS and WHERE TO FIND THEM."
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Happy Fourth of July! And PLEASE remember two very important things:
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• PETS are terrified by fiteworks. Put them inside with classical music station KUSC playing on the radio for them.
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• FIRE SAFETY is paramount in tinderbox dry Southern California. This is the holiday firefighters dread most. Let's send them home safely to their families.
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Let's get started!
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Thursday, July 4th, 2013
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Thursday's sections:
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1)  JULY 4th in HISTORY, in two parts:
-- a)  BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, and
-- b)  EVENTS IN HISTORY on the 4th of July
2)  FOURTH of JULY Message from a Musician
3)  FIREWORKS: BOOMS & BANGS
-- and WHERE TO FIND THEM
4)  MUSIC on the FOURTH
5)  FESTIVALS today in L.A.
6)  FESTIVALS TODAY, elsewhere in America
7)  The Guide's next TICKET GIVE-AWAY
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1)   JULY 4th in HISTORY:
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-- a) BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY:
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George Everest, Welsh surveyor and geographer, namesake of Mt. Everest; Nathaniel Hawthorne, American writer; Hiram Walker, American businessman, founded Canadian club whiskey; Stephen Foster, American songwriter; James Anthony Bailey, American circus ringmaster of Barnum & Bailey fame; Stephen Mather, American entrepreneur and industrialist for whom Mather Pass in the High Sierra is named;  Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States; Ulysses S. Grant III, American soldier; Louis B. Mayer, Canadian-American film producer; Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist for whom all complex mechanical devices that do odd things are named; Irving Caesar, American songwriter and composer; Gertrude Lawrence, English actress; Meyer Lansky, Russian-American gangster; George Murphy, American actor and formet US Senator from CA; Irving Johnson, American sailor and author, namesake of L.A. Maritime academy sail training ship; Gordon Griffith, American director; Gloria Stuart, American actress "Titanic"; Mitch Miller, American singer, musician, and producer; Ann Landers, American columnist; Pauline Phillips, American columnist and radio host, created "Dear Abby" ; Leona Helmsley, infamous American businesswoman, hotelier and slumlord; Philip Rose, American Broadway producer; Tibor Varga, Hungarian violinist and conductor; Eva Marie Saint, American actress; Gina Lollobrigida, Italian actress; Neil Simon, American playwright; Al Davis, infamous American football (Oakland Raiders) executive; George Steinbrenner, NY Yankees owner & American businessman; Stephen Boyd, Irish actor; Peter Behn, American voice actor; Zdzis┼éawa Donat, Polish soprano; Richard Rhodes, American journalist and historian; Bill Withers, American singer-songwriter and musician; Peter Rowan, musician, and composer (Earth Opera and Old and in the Way); Geraldo Rivera, American lawyer, Fox News reporter, and author; Alan Wilson, American singer-songwriter and musician (Canned Heat); Ron Kovic, American activist (subject of "Born on the Fourth of July" movie); Michael Milken, American businessman, financier, convicted felon, and philanthropist; Jeremy Spencer, British musician (Fleetwood Mac); John Waite, English singer-songwriter and musician (The Babys and Bad English) ; Michael Sweet, American singer-songwriter, musician, and producer (Stryper and Boston); Andy Creeggan, Canadian musician (Barenaked Ladies and The Brothers Creeggan); William Goldsmith, American drummer (Sunny Day Real Estate, Foo Fighters, and The Fire Theft)
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-- b)  EVENTS IN HISTORY on the 4th of July:
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The Fourth of July often marks the astronomical event knowm as the Aphelion, the point in the year when the Earth is farthest from the Sun. Seems strange, since it's the hottest part of the summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) and we're farthest from the sun. But it's true, every year.
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MANY things have happened on the Fourth of July. Here are just a few:
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• 1054 – A supernova was seen by Chinese, Arab and possibly Amerindian observers near the star Zeta Tauri; bright enough to be seen during the day for months; it's now the Crab Nebula.
• 1187 – during The Crusades, in the Battle of Hattin, Saladin defeated Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem; the city fell to the Muslims.
• 1636 – Providence, Rhode Island was founded.
• 1744 – The Treaty of Lancaster was signed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, wherein the Iroquois ceded lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio River to the British colonies.
• 1754 – in the French and Indian War, George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to French Capt. Louis Coulon de Villiers.
• 1774 – Orangetown Resolutions were adopted in the Province of New York, one of many protests against the British Parliament's Coercive Acts.
• 1776 – The American Revolution became a complete break with England, with the newly-named United States of America's Declaration of Independence and its adoption by the Second Continental Congress.
• Most Americans simply know that the United States declared its independence in 1776. (We hope they know that much.)
• 1778 – in the American Revolutionary War, Patriot forces under George Clark captured Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign.
• 1802 – At West Point, New York, the United States Military Academy opened. It still celebrates its own birthday every July 4th.
• 1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was announced to the American people.
• 1817 – In Rome, New York, construction on the Erie Canal began.
• 1826 – Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, died the same day as John Adams, second president of the United States, on the 50h anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
• 1827 – Slavery was abolished in New York State.
• 1831 – Samuel Francis Smith wrote "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" for the Boston, MA July 4th festivities.
• 1838 – The Iowa Territory was organized.
• 1855 – In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman's book of poems, "Leaves of Grass," was published.
• 1862 – Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell a story that would grow into "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and its sequels.
• 1863 – In the American Civil War, the Siege of Vicksburg, "The Gibraltar of the Mississippi," ended when the Confederate garrison surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege.
• 1863 – In the American Civil War, 150 miles up the Mississippi River above Vicksburg, a Confederate Army was repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.
• 1863 – In the American Civil War, The Army of Northern Virginia withdrew from the battlefield after losing the Battle of Gettysburg, signalling an end to the Southern invasion of the North.
• 1865 – "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was published.
• 1881 – In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opened as a college for African-American students; it would become famous as the training ground for the Tuskegee Airmen, the famous "Red Tail" fighter plane pilots of WWII.
• 1886 – The people of France offered the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.
• 1886 – The first scheduled Canadian transcontinental train arrived in Port Moody, British Columbia, effectively ending speculation that West Coast Canadians would secede and join the US.
• 1892 - Western Samoa changed the International Date Line, so that year it had 367 days and two occurrences of Monday, July 4.
• 1894 - The short-lived Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.
• 1903 – The Philippine–American War officially ended.
• 1903 – Dorothy Levitt was reported as the first woman in the world to compete in a 'motor race'.
• 1910 – African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocked out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match, sparking race riots across the United States.
• 1911 – A massive heat wave struck the northeastern United States, killing 380 people in eleven days and breaking temperature records in several cities.
• 1913 – President Woodrow Wilson addressed American Civil War veterans at the Great Gettysburg Reunion of 1913, on the 50th anniversary of the battle and the Civil War.
• 1914 – The funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie took place in Vienna, six days after their assassinations in Sarajevo; it was the event that started World War I.
• 1918 – Bolsheviks killed Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (Julian calendar date).
• 1934 – Leo Szilard patented the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb.
• 1939 – Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), told a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considered himself "The luckiest man on the face of the earth," then announced his retirement from major league baseball.
• 1941 – In WWII, Nazi troops massacred Polish scientists and writers in the captured Ukrainian city of Lviv.
• 1943 – In WWII, The Battle of Kursk began; it would become the largest full-scale battle in history; fought near Prokhorovka village.
• 1946 – After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attained full independence from the United States. Thus the Fourth of July is also Independence Day there.
• 1947 – The "Indian Independence Bill" was presented before the British House of Commons, proposing the partition of the Provinces of British India into two sovereign countries – India and Pakistan.
• 1950 – Radio Free Europe first broadcast.
• 1951 – A court in Czechoslovakia sentenced American journalist William N. Oatis to ten years in prison on a charge of espionage.
• 1951 – William Shockley announced the invention of the junction transistor.
• 1960 – Due to the post-Independence Day admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959, the 50-star flag of the United States debuted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, almost ten and a half months later, on July 4th. • 1966 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act into United States law; the act went into effect the next year. (Quite topical, with the US government hunt today for Edward Snowden.)
• 1976 – Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.
• 1977 – The George Jackson Brigade planted a bomb at the main power substation for the Washington state capitol in Olympia, in solidarity with a prison strike at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary.
• 1987 – In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the "Butcher of Lyon") was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.
• 1997 – NASA's Pathfinder space probe landed on the surface of Mars.
• 1998 – Japan launched the Nozomi probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as a space exploring nation.
• 2004 – The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
• 2005 – The Deep Impact collider intentionally hit the comet Tempel 1.
• 2009 – The Statue of Liberty's crown reopened to the public after eight years of closure following the September 11 attacks.
• 2012 – The discovery of particles consistent with the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider was announced at CERN.
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2)  FOURTH of JULY Message from a Musician:
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Folk-Americana musician JONATHAN BYRD wrote this morning:
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"Happy birthday America! I'm celebrating by burning an obscene amount of fuel, driving to Nova Scotia.
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"We woke up in Massachusetts this morning, where big lighted highway marquee signs warned, 'FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL. PENALTIES JAIL AND FINES' and license plates proclaimed 'The Spirit of America.'
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"Crossing the border, 'Maine. The way life should be. Open for business.'
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"America, I want to give you a big hug and take you to Italy for your birthday. You try too hard. You work too much. You only hate extremists because you don't want to be outdone. Rest assured, no one is more attached to their ideals than you are. I'll take that back if you can get through the day without someone saying, 'the greatest country in the world!'
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"Take the day off. Stick it in the wrong hole. Smoke a joint. Light a firecracker. Chill. The. Flag. Out. Letting go is part of growing up.
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"Big thanks to the toll booth workers and gas station attendants this weekend. Any American holiday would be incomplete without excessive driving. Be careful in The Greatest Traffic In The World. Try this: go inside the McDonalds. Drink the whole cup of coffee before you get back in your car.
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"I'm only giving you a hard time because I love you. You're family. I want you to enjoy your life. It's a limited time offer. Happy birthday, America!"
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3)  FIREWORKS: BOOMS & BANGS
-- and WHERE TO FIND THEM:
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A great resource for finding INDIVIDUAL shows is the ABC7 map, online at:
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http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/feature?section=news/local&id=7530370
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We're fans of catching several different displays from a strategic vantage point. And there are bunches of 'em!
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HERE ARE THE GUIDE'S SUGGESTIONS!
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•  BLUES & FIREWORKS at Willow Springs Park, 2745 Orange Av, just N of Willow & the historic Municipal Cemetery, in Long Beach. BERNIE PEARL BLUES BAND plays
7-9 pm; the park is atop Long Beach's highest hill, has a panoramic view of the entire area, with a dozen or more fireworks shows visible. Activities for the family, events start at 6 pm, food trucks until dusk, DJ, live Blues at 7. Bring your picnic basket, blanket, or chairs; free. You can call to reserve a space, 562-570-7777.
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• BALDWIN HILLS SCENIC OVERLOOK, 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, may be THE best place to watch an uncountable number of shows, and this is the year to do it. It hasn't been (re) opened long, and by next year, it'll be a hilltop Coney Island. Plan your parking: it's a steep walk up there once the lot on top is full; it's a 1.4 mile walk from the Culver City Station on the Expo Light Rail line, or a 1.1 mile walk from the Metro 101 bus line. But the views if fireworks will be ahh-mazing.
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• ROSE BOWL STADIUM. Pasadena -- only one show, but many will tell you, it's still the best one. It's FREE outside the bowl, with food trucks and more available (but some godawful electronica "music" blasting at one end of the park) and it costs to be inside the Bowl for the full program (and it also sells-out in there).
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• GRAND PARK in downtown L.A. -- City Hall to Bunker Hill -- will, this year, host "Grand Park's 4th of July Block Party," its first Fourth, and there's live music, kids activities, and more there, all day. Light show projections AND pyrotechnics promise to "delight all ages and spotlight Los Angeles"; more at http:// grandparkla.org/  -- Easy to get to and to get out, using the Red Line subway.
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• GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY in Griffith Park (213-473-0800) is an L.A. favorite, with some of the best views, but parking is a nightmare; go many hours early.
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• UNIVERSAL CITY OVERLOOK has a view of SFV shows and more to the north and northeast.
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• HOLLYWOOD BOWL OVERLOOK lets you see the Bowl's fireworks free, and more shows to the south.
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• ARCLIGHT CINEMAS in Hollywood are said to have a good view and a good scene, but this is a scene, not a vista.
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• COLORADO STREET BRIDGE, Pasadena, is the venerable landmark that offers a popular alternative to descending into the Arroyo Seco for the Rose Bowl. We find the freeway noise.from the.adjacent 134 too distracting, but many folks love being up on the bridge. Metro operates a bus (180 / 181) from Pasadena to Hollywood and downtown L.A. that crosses the bridge.
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• SURFRIDER BEACH, Malibu, affords great fireworks views and crashing ocean sounds.
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• HOWARD HUGHES CENTER offers a high view of many shows north of LAX.
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• GLENDORA RIDGE ROAD is a favorite vantage point for San Gabriel Valley peeps -- a high perch with views if many fireworks shows, but to distant to hear bangs and booms.
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• HUNTINGTON BEACH PIER has a massive annual fireworks show, and massive annual crowds on the order of 200,000. Don't show up at the last minute expecting they have a place for you to park. Impossible.
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• SANTA MONICA PIER is a perennial fave for Westsiders. Parking problems? Yes. But everyone seems to know where the extortion lots are, and there is excellent bus service throughout the area.
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• WATCHING WHILE DRIVING? What could be more L A. than that idea.  Great, in a convertible with the top down! And great for the passengers, but the driver needs to pay attention to DRIVING. Here are two:
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-- a)  OC / SOUTH: Drive north up the 5 and 405; one report of leaving San Clemente last year at exactly 9 pm indicated they lost count at 14 fireworks shows on the drive up, with some flashes directly overhead and no one else driving on the freeways at the time.
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-- b)  SOUTH BAY - CENTRAL - TOWARD DOWNTOWN: The 110 from the 105 toward downtown is a gauntlet of fireworks. But seriously, designate a driver who won't stare or there will be a Sig Alert.
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Be safe and have fun!
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4)  MUSIC on the FOURTH:
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Thu, Jul 4, in Long Beach:
7-9 pm BERNIE PEARL BLUES BAND plays a Free 4th of July Concert, Willow Springs Park, 2745 Orange Av, just N of Willow and the historic Municipal Cemetery, Long Beach.
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The park is atop Long Beach's highest hill, offering a panoramic view of the entire area, including a dozen or more fireworks shows taking place to celebrate Independence Day.
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The concert is sponsored by James Johnson, the city's 7th District City Councilman, as evening of activities for the family.  Events start at 6 pm. Fun things for the kids, food trucks until dusk, a DJ, and live Blues at 7. You are welcome to bring your picnic basket, blanket, or chairs.
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Free admission, open to all. Willow Springs Park. You can call to reserve a space, 562-570-7777.
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Thu, Jul 4, in Hollywood:
7:30 pm Annual "FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR" concert with the L.A. Philharmonic and thid year's guest JOSH GROBAN runs three nights, July 3-5, at the Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N Highland, Hollywood; www.hollywoodbowl.com.
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Thu, Jul 4, in OC:
8 pm  "PACIFIC SYMPHONY'S ANNUAL JULY 4th EXTRAVAGANZA" with a delightful concert and fireworks up close is a fine and fun event.
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Pack a picnic and head to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine (the former OC Amphitheatre).
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These are music-filled evenings under the stars,as the orchestra celebrates its 35th anniversary season.
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Tonight kicks-off the Symphony’s 2013 Summer Festival, as the annual “July 4 Extravaganza” features the heartfelt classics of Neil Diamond and a stunning fireworks finale.
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Info and tix, www.pacificsymphony.org
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Thu, Jul 4:
10:30 pm Post-fireworks music with "MARTINI'S ROCKABILLY DANCE CLUB PARTY" at Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Dr (adjacent to the L.A. Equestrian Center) in Burbank.
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Special guest DJs, discounted drink specials. No Cover.
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Park free across the street at Pickwick Bowl.
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5)  FESTIVALS today in L.A.:
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Many things today are being called festivals. We know of a few that qualify for that title:
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Thu, Jul 4,
FESTIVAL,
in downtown Los Angeles:
All day  First Annual "GRAND PARK'S 4th OF JULY BLOCK PARTY" in Grand Park, downtown L.A., from City Hall to Bunker Hill will, this year, host its first Fourth, with live music, kids activities, and more, all day. Light show projections AND pyrotechnics promise to "delight all ages and spotlight Los Angeles"; more at http:// grandparkla.org/  -- Easy to get to and to get out, using the Red Line subway.
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Thu, Jul 4,
FESTIVAL,
Daily, Jun 28-Sep 1,
in Laguna Beach:
47th Annual "SAWDUST ART FESTIVAL" at the spacious, art-filled permanent festival grounds, 935 Laguna Cyn Rd, Laguna Beach 92651; 949-494-3030; www.sawdustartfestival.org
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There's music on two stages today:
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• 10:30 am-12:30 pm Laguna Concert Band; patriotic music.
• 11:30 am-4 pm 22 Kings; folk-indie.
* less music than usual, because Sawdust closes early, at 6 pm, for the Fourth.
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Sawdust is operated by a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and promoting the art created in Laguna Beach. Visitors are invited to shop along sawdust-covered paths through a handcrafted village of fine arts and superb craftsmanship.
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Full summer schedule, including who's-on-what-stage, at http://sawdustartfestival.org/entertainment-schedule/
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6)  FESTIVALS TODAY, elsewhere in America:
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Jul 4-7, FESTIVAL, in Oregon:
Annual “WATERFRONT BLUES FEST” in Portland, Oregon brings 75 bands, from blues to swing and a Zydeco lineup includes CHUBBY CARRIER & THE BAYOU SWAMP BAND, LIL’ WAYNE & SAME OL’ 2-STEP, THE PINE LEAF BOYS, HORACE TRAHAN & THE OSSUN EXPRESS, TOOLOOSE, & ATOMIC GUMBO. Most of the 75 blues & swing bands had yet to be posted at press time. The fest is in Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, and brings over 20,000 attendees each day.
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Our Cajun-zydeco dance friends tell us, “If flying in, best to avoid a rental car & parking fees in downtown. Options for rooms include www.hotwire.com for a 3-star hotel ($68) at the airport (with shuttle from terminal) within walking distance to the Cascade light rail station. To / from downtown takes 45 minutes, and drops you 4 short blocks from the fest. [Another option is the] University Place Hotel (www.uplacehotel.com) for $113 / night, including tax & breakfast, ten blocks from the fest.” They also suggest the PSU campus dorm rooms with bath & amenities, $56 to $66 / night, 12 blocks from the fest; www.pdx.edu/conferences/stay-us, where you can click on “individual stay contract” for details.
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Hotels across the street from the fest include the Marriott and Hotel 50. Both are over $150 / night. The Hilton Hotel (6 blocks away) may be willing to bargain if you arrive without reservations and they have empty rooms.
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7)  The Guide's next TICKET GIVE-AWAY:
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We're giving away pairs of tickets to see SARAH LEE GUTHRIE and JOHNNY IRION in a live performance-interview at the Grammy Museum. Details soon!
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MORE, including a fresh NEWS & REVIEWS edition, will be along soon.
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Entire contents copyright (c) 2013,
Lawrence Wines and Tied to the Tracks.
All rights reserved.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are just the greatest.
Jim Dean