This may come as a shock since L.A. is just heating up, but summer is coming to an end. The unofficial end of the season, Labor Day, is September 2, and while we love to get out of town for a three-day weekend, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with staying local. Here are some of our favorite events and activities to make the most of Labor Day in L.A.
The L.A. County Fair opens on August 30. This year the theme is POP (as in pop art and pop culture and pop music), and the festivities feature all the games, rides, fried foods, and assorted fair things your heart could possibly desire. Check out exhibits on L.A.’s pop architecture and “Millard Sheets: A Shifting Aesthetic.” Be there when low brow and high brow meet and fall in love by the Tilt-a-Whirl.
The Cure invited a bunch of good bands—Mogwai, the Pixies, Throwing Muses, etc.—to play alongside them at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. The perfect end to any goth summer.
A lot of great shows are opening next weekend, but if your summer wasn’t as productive as you’d hoped it would be art-wise, squeeze in some shows before the season’s over. Very important: Soul of a Nation, a groundbreaking survey of works by African America artists at the Broad, closes September 1. We also recommend Donna Huanca at Marciano Art Foundation, Harry Fonseca at the Autry, and The Disruptors at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
As summer “ends,” so goes Ice Cream Alley at the weekly outdoor food extravaganza Smorgasburg. Sunday, September 1 is the last time you can find Ample Hills, McConnell’s, Sweet Rose, and loads of others all in one place—at least until next year.
The Dodgers return home from Arizona for a date with the Colorado Rockies on Monday, September 2. It’s City of Long Beach Night, so expect lots of Snoop Dogg on the organ.
Delicious Records’ annual neighborhood block party has become a Labor Day tradition. Throughout the day on Sunday, September 1, groove to DJ sets, eat Delicious Pizza pizza, and check out performances by Big Daddy Kane and more. Bonus: the party is free and open to all ages.
Remember back in the spring, when you were so excited for the outdoor movie screening schedules to come out? How many have you actually gone to this season? Labor Day Weekend is your chance. Our guide has a slew of showings over Labor Day weekend for you to pick from, including The Shining at the Autry, Mary Poppins in Pasadena, and a Labor Day screening of When Harry Met Sally at Hollywood Forever. Get your blankets and lawn chairs ready.
Curated by the Los Angeles Times, this huge food festival consists of four individually-ticketed events, all taking place at the Paramount Studios backlot. It kicks off on Friday with an opening night soirée full of bites, drinks, and copious celebrity-chef-spotting. On Saturday and Sunday the snacking and drinking continue, as do panel discussions and live demonstrations.
Splash Around at a Pool Party
Summer isn’t over until it’s over, so live your best flamingo-floaty life at a Labor Day weekend pool party. On Saturday, check out the Fun Dip Queer Rooftop Pool Party at the W Hollywood or the Labor Day Pool Party at the Mondrian. And on Monday the Standard, Hollywood hosts its own Labor Day pool shindig. Check out our full guide to other L.A. pools you can visit.
Fleet Week is an annual tradition in which Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard ships will dock in a particular city to allow sailors a chance to do the town–and offer civilians a chance for a patriotic display. L.A.’s version, which happens in San Pedro, may not be quite as famous as New York’s, but military buffs still seek it out. The weekend schedule includes fireworks, public tours of seacraft, film screenings, and the Bob Hope USO Rock Out featuring the Record Companys.
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