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Top Events and Festivals in Los Angeles

Top Events and Festivals in Los Angeles

If you are looking for the next city for some interesting, exciting and enlightening events, why don’t you try Los Angeles? The start of the new year in particular is the perfect time to check your calendar and plan for your next trip to the Los Angeles county and its similarly-named city, which has a lot of things in store for you in the coming months. If you are a fan of the movie culture in particular, you will find plenty of film festivals and other related events in Los Angeles, the home of the famous Hollywood. There are other events that cater to niche markets and audience as well.

The following are just some of the most notable events and festivals in Los Angeles that you should not miss:

Golden Dragon Parade
The Golden Dragon Parade has been going strong for more than a century. It attracts over 110,000 tourists and well-wishers each year lining the parade. This vibrant and colorful event is, of course, in line with the Lunar New Year celebrations which happen every the end of January or early February. The parade comes complete with a hundred-foot-long dragon, floats, marching bands and firecrackers.

Academy Awards
More popularly known as the Oscars, this famous event is staged annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize cinematic excellence. The iconic “Oscar” trophies are awarded to (arguably) the year’s best in acting, directing, writing, film editing, sound and other aspects of film-making.

Consider yourself lucky if you are connected to someone who works for AMPAS or who has worked in the nominated film, then chances are you will be able to get inside the theater where the ceremony actually takes place.

Otherwise, you have to be content to go to the red carpet area outside the theater. Usually, there are only 700 seats at the bleachers that line the red carpet. The good news is that the tickets for the bleachers are free – a golden chance and a dream come true to see your favorite movie stars walking down the red carpet. The bad news, though, is that getting those tickets are not that easy. Go to the Oscars’ official website and register months in advance. The Oscar organization draws these registrations like the lottery, so you have to rely on only your prayers, hoping that you will become one of the 700 lucky spectators at the red carpet.

Grand Prix of Long Beach
The Grand Prix of Long Beach is an IndyCar Series competition which is held on Long Beach’s street circuit. For most of its 40-plus-year history, this event is traditionally held every April. This is one of the biggest paid spectator events in Southern California. It attracts over 200,000 race car fans and curious onlookers who come to witness and enjoy the races which include the Indy Lights and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Toyota has been a major sponsor of this event since its inception, that’s why it is sometimes known as the “Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.” If you are a serious race car fan, this is the one event you cannot afford to miss.

Doo Dah Parade
The fun, irreverent and flamboyant parade was conceived in 1978 as a farcical jab at the traditional and formal Rose Parade. The Doo Dah Parade, which is held every April in the city of Pasadena, follows the same route as the Rose Parade. But instead of floats decked with beautiful and well-arranged florals, the Doo Dah Parade features several wacky, outlandish and grotesque floats that are known for their deliberately bad taste. But the Doo Dah Parade is pure harmless fun and revelry, providing a perfect escapism from the world’s every day cares.

L.A. Film Festival
One of the most important film festivals in the world is the L.A. Film Festival, which has been annually held since its establishment in 1995. This nine-day festival, which is held every June, screens over 200 films that include features, short films and episodes, as well as world premieres, free screenings and panels with stars. It also showcases productions created by young film-making hopefuls.

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular
Some of the best, the biggest and the brightest fireworks displays every the Fourth of July happen in Los Angeles. Behold those fantastic and dazzling fireworks-filled spectacles, no matter where you are in the area. Among the popular fireworks-viewing sites in L.A. include the Hollywood Bowl (where it also holds its annual 4th of July party with a rock music concert), Long Beach, Disneyland and even Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Los Angeles County Fair
One of the biggest and oldest county fairs in the country, the Los Angeles County Fair has been held annually since its inception in 1922. Once a purely agricultural fair, the Los Angeles Country Fair has become a big extravaganza that hosts a variety of events such as wine-tastings, contemporary acrobats and musical performances, while maintaining its agricultural and rural appeal. The fair is held every August to September on fairgrounds and commercial/exposition complex, which is popularly known as the Fairplex.

L.A. Fashion Week
Los Angeles has grown to be a serious fashion hub in the West Coast and it rivals that of its East Coast counterpart, New York. In fact, Los Angeles has recently become the fifth fashion capital as big-name designers have set their foot in L.A. and new L.A.-based fashion names have been enjoying worldwide attention.

The L.A. Fashion Week is one of the big reasons why Los Angeles has become a bona fide fashion destination. Held only biannually, the L.A. Fashion Week devotes to raising the profile of home-grown fashion designers, fashion producers, stylists, artists and brands to the world stage. Find Los Angeles as one of the Most Fashionable Cities in the World.

Getting around Los Angeles

Getting around Los Angeles

The county of Los Angeles, California is a popular tourist destination. It attracts millions of visitors every year; in 2017 alone, it received 48.3 million tourists, which has set a new record for the county’s tourism history.

When you think of Los Angeles, you automatically think of Hollywood and Disneyland. While these two are the most popular, there is more to see in the county and the city of the same name. There are other exciting attractions, unique neighborhoods, great beaches, historic landmarks, and more places to shop, dine, and relax.

Yes, Los Angeles can be a bit overwhelming, especially for the first-time visitor. A popular tourist destination should not be lacking in options to get to and around the place and luckily, Los Angeles offers a lot of those. If you have got your own car, you’ll be fine. But if you arrive in L.A. without your own automobile, here are some alternatives.

1) By renting a car
Say you are flying into Los Angeles and you want to drive around the city after you land, but obviously you don’t bring your own vehicle with you. The other option is to rent one. While it’s not the only option to get around the city, many tourists think that it is the most convenient and practical, especially when visiting a place as sprawling as Los Angeles.

Car rentals are the most accessible; many airport companies have their own car rental services and they are the ones that offer the best rates. There are also other car rentals outside the airport that sometimes offer one-off specials.

Driving a car is also the best way to knowing L.A.’s roads as they are essential for getting around the city. It enables you to know the major thoroughfares such as the Interstate 405, 10 and 5, as well as the famous roads like Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip. Journeying along the coast, such as the Pacific Coast Highway, will reward you with the most scenic drives.

2) By public transport
If you’re traveling on the cheap, public transport is certainly your best bet. In fact, traveling to Los Angeles without a car might be more sensible than you think, as it is the case in many other tourist spots. Public transit is the most feasible option especially if you intend to go to specific places or if driving to unfamiliar areas might be too stressful for you. In no time you’ll be traveling around L.A. like a local.

Plus, you can still catch a nap while commuting, right?

Luckily, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as Metro) serves commuters by way of buses, light rail and subway trains. The Los Angeles Metro Rail is a rapid transit system that consists of six lines serving 80 stations in the county of Los Angeles, connecting several cities such as downtown L.A., Hollywood and Long Beach. Tourists will be happy to know that the subways and over-the-ground train systems are just within walking distances to many of the city’s top tourist attractions.

If you want to get around by bus, Metro operates around 200 buses in the city and provides three types of bus services:

  • Metro Local buses (in orange) frequently make stops along the major roads throughout the city.
  • Metro Rapid buses (in red) make fewer stops and use special transponders that cause traffic signals to turn the green light in favor of such buses.
  • Metro Express buses (in blue) link communities from downtown LA and other business districts and usually pass by the city’s freeways.

3) By riding a bike
Riding a bike is also a good way to navigate Los Angeles, thanks to the increasing number of bicycle paths and lanes that welcome both passionate cyclists and regular commuters who ride bikes. Metro helps cyclists to explore Los Angeles by offering them options to take the bus and train for lower fares. There is a major event that held every four times a year, called CiCLAvia, where streets are closed to motor vehicles to allow the public to walk, skate as well as bike in the open streets.

Among the most popular places for biking in Los Angeles include the famous Venice Beach (and the iconic Venice Beach Boardwalk), Santa Monica State Beach, Griffith Park Trail, the Santa Clarita Cloverleaf, Ballona Creek Bike Path, Metro Orange Line Bike Path, and many more places that offer safe and scenic bike rides.

There are numerous bike rentals in Los Angeles which offer different kinds of bikes for lease – road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes and hybrid bikes.

Even cyclists are prone to foot pain and soreness because of constant pedaling. To give your feet additional comfort and protection, you should have insoles to your shoes. Give your feet the additional care and pampering that they deserve. Check out the article “Best Foot Massagers and Inserts for Runners and Athletes” and browse foot care options that will heal your overworked feet.

A Walk Down Rodeo Drive

A Walk Down Rodeo Drive

America is the place where anyone can be anything they want. It is the place you go to make your wildest dreams a reality, and no where is this more true than in Los Angeles. This is the city of glamor. To be seen without a designer handbag would be committing the worst crime that is known the man.

And yet, the city faces massive problems. It is a center of violence, crime and drugs. It also faces a homelessness epidemic – home to 47,000 homeless people it is one of the largest homeless population in the country. The article that was just linked to has some interesting reasoning on what needs to happen to control the homeless population in America.

But what about the glamor of Hollywood?

A walk down Rodeo Drive serves as a memory of what this city is known for. Not just a parallel of the southern states but of itself too. Standing beside the items that not even a middle class earner could afford is a man begging for a dollar. It is one of the most bizarre contrasts in the country if you open your eyes to it.

Still, Rodeo Drive maintains its charm and offers and opportunity to escape the real world. But this is the most important point of all – it is simply not the real world.

Once you leave the designer goods where a pair of shoes costs what a normal person spends in a year, you are again confronted with the situation that is really at hand. That the materialistic and consumerist society that we live in has dominated our greater judgement. We want to be seen wearing the top clothes, the best brands and with the best hair and make up to match. But what we forget is those that are left behind.

Rodeo Drive offers a nice escape from reality, but it is not reality.