Whether it's an indication of better times or just patriotic fervor, several communities that scrubbed their July 4 fireworks displays in recent years are bringing their shows back when dusk falls Wednesday. Night skies will be popping over Marina del Rey and South El Monte, for instance, as both shows return after taking a hiatus last year.
The majority of the displays in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and Riverside counties are free or nearly free. If you're looking for a more elaborate affair, shows in Hollywood, Pasadena, Long Beach and Newport Beach are bringing more frills and ticket prices to match.
Sing along with Barry Manilow on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at the Hollywood Bowl, with fireworks topping off each performance. Newport Beach's annual shindig, held at the tony Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, stretches for two days, with a food truck competition, aquatic activities and a concert by the Bangles.
The Queen Mary in Long Beach offers a whole day of music, shopping and dining, with a deckside view of the historic ocean liner's world-class fireworks display. At the Rose Bowl, an afternoon of family activities is followed by 30 minutes of fireworks mounted by Pyro Spectaculars, which has choreographed shows for the Super Bowl and the Olympics.