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Fun for the Fourth : There's something for everyone in the Valley, from fireworks to a nature hike.

June 25, 1993|JAMES E. FOWLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Without Christmas' rampant commercialization or New Year's bittersweet hue, theFourth of July makes a case for being America's best holiday. There's a certain unpretentiousness about the Fourth that is quintessentially American. No fancy clothes on this holiday, strictly T-shirts and blue jeans. No turkey to cook; hamburgers are just fine, thank you. Music! Picnics! Baseball! And of course, fireworks.

The traditional public fireworks displays in this part of the hemisphere:

* The Hollywood Bowl will present its 21st annual Fourth of July celebration with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, continuing a tradition that began in 1973. Due to increasing ticket demand, the Bowl presented two holiday fireworks programs in 1988, then extended it to three concerts in 1990. This year's musical program will include "Overture to Oklahoma" by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gershwin's "American in Paris," selections from Meredith Willson's "The Music Man," and finally, Sousa marches accompanied by a fireworks display.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. July 2, 3, and 4. Tickets range from $52 for boxes to $3 for bench seats. Limited parking near the Bowl is $12. Concert-goers can park in lots on Ventura or Barham boulevards and catch a shuttle to the Bowl for $2 round-trip. Or the BowlBus can be caught at special bus stops in Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park for $4 round-trip. Call (213) 850-2000.

* The city of Burbank Parks and Recreation will present its Fourth of July Celebration at the Starlight Bowl featuring the Horace Heidt Orchestra with vocalist Stephenie Monico, children's entertainer Caren Glasser, Lancer's Youth Band and an aerial fireworks show. Gates will open at 6 p.m., the concert begins at 7, and fireworks are set to go off at 9:15.

Tickets are $20 for box seats, $7 and $10 for reserved seats, $5 for lawn seats. $5 seniors 60 and older, children 12 and under, and wheelchair seating. Call (818) 953-9572.

* Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia plans to present an expanded version of its regular Batman Nights, Fireworks and Laser Show on July 4th in the Mystic Lake area of the park. The park's fireworks show consists of three laser systems producing 300 laser beams run by seven computers, plus two shimmering water curtains more than 20 feet tall, all choreographed to a musical score based on the Batman theme. The display will begin at 9:30 p.m.

In addition to its regular attractions, starting July 4th weekend, the park also will present the Chinese Acrobats of Taipei in the Golden Bear Theater. On July 4th, the troupe will perform at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Park admission is $27, $17 seniors 55 and older, $15 for children under 48 inches tall and children 2 and under are free. Take the Golden State Freeway north to the Magic Mountain Parkway exit. Call (805) 255-4111 or (818) 367-5965.

* The City of Santa Clarita will present its "Stars and Stripes Festival" from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Newhall Park, 24923 Newhall Ave., featuring the Cajun sounds of the Zydeco Party Band and the classic rock tunes of the Homewreckers. The Theater of the Puppets' production of "Holidays USA!" also will be presented, in addition to games and food. Admission to the festival is free. Call (805) 298-ARTS.

* The Conejo Recreation and Park District will sponsor a number of Fourth events at various locations throughout the day. A nature walk for energetic early risers, 7 to 9:30 a.m., will be offered at Wildwood Park, 650 W. Avenida de los Arboles. Free. Call (805) 494-8301.

For hungry early risers, the annual pancake breakfast at Borchard Community Center, 190 Reino Road, Newbury Park, will be served from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Breakfast is $4, $1 for seniors and children 3 to 5, children 2 and under are free. Call (805) 498-3124.

For those who haven't eaten too many pancakes, a Home Run Derby will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Field No. 2 at Borchard Park. $1 participants' fee. A home run derby is a variation on baseball in which the batter takes a cut and tries to hit the ball as far as possible. There is no baserunning and only home runs count as scores. Call (805) 495-4674. Meanwhile, at Conejo Community Center, Dover and Hendrix avenues, there also will be a home run derby for seniors, 9 to 10 a.m.. $2 participants' fee. Call (805) 497-1639.

A Family Open Swim at the Thousand Oaks High School pool, 2323 N. Moorpark Road, and the Newbury Park High School pool, 456 N. Reino Road, will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $1, children under 2 free. Call (805) 495-4674.

A Fourth of July Concert in Conejo Park will feature the Conejo Pops Orchestra from 5 to 7 p.m. and culminate with a fireworks show launched from the hill behind the old civic center. The display can be seen best from the parking lot of Oaks Mall at 9 p.m. KNJO-FM will broadcast music accompanying the aerial display. Free. Call (805) 499-4355.

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