Whether you live in Los Angeles or are just visiting for vacation, you can always find something exciting going on around town. From cultural events to famous award shows and holiday events, it’s practically impossible to be bored when you’re in Los Angeles. But to get to know the city and its diverse people a bit better, these are 10 of the top annual events to check out in Los Angeles.
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Golden Dragon Parade (Nearby Hotels)
The Chinese New Year isn’t just celebrated in China, and in fact, Los Angeles has an amazing celebration to attend next time you’re here in February. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles produces a Chinese New Year celebration and the Golden Dragon Parade, which draws in thousands of people to experience the tradition. Here you’ll watch lots of floats, hear traditional Chinese music, and be awed by fireworks as the celebration commences on North Broadway in L.A.’s Chinatown. With hundred-foot-long dragon decorations and art and culture demonstrations in the street, there’s nothing quite like the Golden Dragon Parade in Los Angeles.
L.A. Film Festival (Nearby Hotels)
Los Angeles is famous for its filmmaking history, but many people only know the hit blockbusters that come to mainstream movie theaters. To get more involved in the city’s diverse film scene and see some incredible productions, attend the L.A. Film Festival in June. This annual event puts hundreds of feature films on display and includes interviews with filmmakers and musical concerts as well. It also offers an opportunity to watch films from international filmmakers at the various participating theaters hosting festival events. Many of the screenings and panel discussions here are free, which makes this festival a more accessible public option compared to the big award shows around town.
Grammy Awards (Nearby Hotels)
The Grammy Awards celebrate music recording artists and all of your favorite songs. Although the Grammys have taken place in other cities in the past, they typically occur in Los Angeles in February. The award show happens at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and is broadcast live on both coasts. As the “entertainment capital of the world,” this is the place to be on the biggest night in the music industry. Tickets to the Grammy Awards are well into the hundreds of dollars and are typically reserved for voting members, guests, and performers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t join in the pre-show and post-show fun at local parties in Los Angeles.
Academy Awards (Nearby Hotels)
The Academy Awards, also nicknamed the Oscars, celebrates the fine art of filmmaking and awards those iconic Oscar trophies to top-notch movie stars. In addition to the anticipation of hearing the award announcements, it’s also exciting to watch the celebrities arrive and depart from the show in all of their fashionable glory. While the general public will have a difficult time getting tickets to the Oscars, you may be able to attend an Oscars party for the right price. Alternatively, there are lots of restaurants, bars, and clubs in town where you can watch the awards show in the company of other film fans in a fun environment.
L.A. Pride Festival (Nearby Hotels)
Many cities across America host pride festivals that celebrate LGBT culture – and Los Angeles is certainly no exception. The L.A. Pride Festival takes place each June in West Hollywood and features an exciting parade that is full of costumes, art, and plenty of enthusiasm. Come to celebrate diversity and inclusion, see a great lineup of artists on stage, and to express yourself. The festival takes place in West Hollywood Park, and a single day adult admission ticket is $30.
July 4th Fireworks Spectacular at Hollywood Bowl (Nearby Hotels)
It’s fun to spend your 4th of July holiday in Los Angeles too because of the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl. This has become a popular tradition in Southern California because of its awesome musical performances and fireworks display at this beautiful outdoor venue. Past musical performances have included the Go-Gos, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West.
Nisei Week Japanese Festival (Nearby Hotels)
The city of Los Angeles celebrates it Japanese cultural heritage during the Nisei Week Japanese Festival each August in Little Tokyo. This is a neighborhood in the downtown area of Los Angeles, and during the festival, you can experience traditional Japanese food, a parade, martial arts, and other entertainment. A new queen of Nisei Week is named each year, and there’s also a car show, street dancing, and eating championship to check out during the festival days.
Emmy Awards (Nearby Hotels)
Another award show that defines Los Angeles is the Emmy Awards, which celebrate the best television shows of the year. The Emmys take place at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles in September. When the Emmys roll into town, so do lots of Emmy parties at the local entertainment venues and with celebrities in the city’s top restaurants and clubs.
Los Angeles County Fair (Nearby Hotels)
If you happen to be in Los Angeles in September, make a point to check out the Los Angeles County Fair at the Pomona Fairplex. This fair has been going on in town since 1922 and attracts over a million people annually. The fair lasts for about three weeks, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get in on the fun. Come here to enjoy live concert performances, your favorite fair foods, thrilling carnival rides, and excellent people-watching opportunities. This is one of the largest county fairs in the country and includes all of the livestock shows and fair exhibits you’d expect from a county show as well.
Halloween Carnival, West Hollywood (Nearby Hotels)
When October rolls around each people, Los Angeles residents flock to West Hollywood for the famous Halloween Carnival. This is a huge Halloween street party that’s free to attend, welcomes all ages, and has lots of live music acts to watch and listen to. This street party features everything from patio parties to costume contests, and drag queen shows as well to get you in the fun spirit of the Halloween season. It takes place on Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega and North Doheny and runs from 6pm to 10:30pm on Halloween night.