Los Angeles is the Mecca for everything under the warm, southern California sun.
From movie stars to famous athletes, magnificent beaches to cloaked canyons, from historical architecture to modern day dwellings and chic to vintage, the City of Angles is a sprawling metropolis offering something for everyone.
It’s the home of the rich and famous and thousands of annual events beginning every New Year’s Day with the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.
Every year since 1890, the Rose Parade meanders its way through the streets of Pasadena with its elaborate floral floats, musical performances and marching troupes. The annual celebration draws more than a million spectators each year, who also come for one of college football’s biggest games held at the nearby Rose Bowl later that day.
February brings with it a bit warmer temperatures and the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated with the a parade of its own.
The Golden Dragon Parade winds through downtown LA’s Chinatown, and is the highlight of this annual two-day street fair, which also includes a carnival, lantern processions, fashion shows and plenty of food.
The month also celebrates Los Angeles’ movie connection, with the Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The ceremony is held on a Sunday, and fans line up for days to get places in the stands where they can catch a glimpse of their favorite movie stars as they pass by on the red carpet.
The spring brings even warmer weather, inviting Angelinos to spend more time outside, and with that comes the annual Los Angeles Marathon and the Blessing of the Animals at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument at Olvera Street.
The month is also the occasion for the LA Times Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Southern Californian , the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio.
The cowboy festival is a unique LA movie experience, allowing attendees a peek into American Western movie culture, and includes the Walk of Western Stars gala, horseback rides, a cowboy couture fashion show, poetry and plenty of cowboy chow. The festival is the only time that Gene Autry’s ranch opens to the public.
The month ends with the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world. The Fiesta Broadway takes place the last Sunday in April, and covers 36 square blocks, drawing crowds over 500,000 attendees. The annual festival commemorates the day when Mexicans defeated French invaders in 1862.
As summer approaches, the weather heats up and so do the events, beginning in June with the LA Gay Pride Festival, Pasadena Chalk Street Painting Festival, Los Angeles River Ride Bike Ride and the city’s biggest Independence Day celebration.
Held every July 4th, the Hollywood Bowl hosts LA’s most famous fireworks display, synchronized to music by the LA Philharmonic.
In August, the summer winds down with the Festival of the Chariots at the Ocean Front Walk Plaza in Venice Beach, the Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo in downtown LA, and the Watts Summer Festival at Will Rogers Memorial Park.
The annual celebration is the longest-running African-American cultural festival in the country and features music and performances, a fashion show, a parade and kid activities celebrating black pride.
In the fall, the City of Los Angeles comes alive with its annual Greek Festival the weekend after Labor Day, the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival and the LA County Fair held every September.
The Calabasas Pumpkin Festival kicks off LA’s Halloween festivities in October, followed by the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on the firstSaturday in November at historic Downtown paseo of Olvera Street. The haunting of the Golden Age of cinema is also celebrated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Finally, the holidays are celebrated in proper LA style with the glitzy, star-studded annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, followed by the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, Hanukkah Family Festival and the LA County Holiday Celebration at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown. The day-long festival of art and music aims to represent the range of cultural and religious traditions that have put down roots in LA.
There’s never a shortage of things to do in Los Angeles, where as you can see, there are major festivals and events somewhere in the city every week.