Kind of like hot sauce, fireworks just make everything better.
So in addition to celebrating our nation's independence, celebrate the bombs bursting over everything from soccer matches to Irish stadium rock this July 4th.
Marina del Rey: Smoke on the Water
This annual fireworks show is visible from Fisherman's Village, Burton Chace Park, and Marina Beach. There's also the 4th of July Dinner or Observation Cruise, affording prime views of an explosive, 20-minute pyrotechnic display in the night sky. And the water.
Wed July 4. $93 dinner cruise: 6:30-10p. $60 observation cruise: 7:30-10p. Free fireworks celebration: 9p.
Long Beach: All Aboard the Queen Mary
The Beatles face off against the Beach Boys on this musical cruise. Stroll along the decks of SoCal's own floating landmark, where magic acts, face-painters, and disco divas gear up for a fireworks display directly overhead.
Wed July 4 10p (fireworks at 9p). 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach (877-342-0742). $20-40, parking $15.
Baldwin Park: A Beautiful Day
Featuring food trucks, vendors, and carnival rides, this local celebration also comes with a tribute show by Hollywood U2. Rest assured, the explosive grand finale will truly rock.
Wed July 4 5-10p (fireworks at 9p). Sierra Vista High School, 3600 North Frazier St., Baldwin Park (626-813-5345, Ext 317). Free.
Carson: LA Galaxy vs Philadelphia Union
Good thing David Beckham's English. He and the rest of the LA Galaxy will be working Wednesday, taking on the Philadelphia Union in a soccer match that kicks off a Fourth of July spectacle in the sky.
Wed July 4 6p. Home Depot Center, 18400 Avalon Blvd., Carson (310-630-2200). $30 and up.
Hollywood: Looks Like We Made It
Make your grandmother proud and say you saw the hottest gig in LA: Barry Manilow, who's as American as apple knish. Speaking of, don't forget to pack a Fourth of July picnic for this show at the Bowl, where Manilow and the LA Phil are merely the opening act for the real headliners: the fireworks.
Mon-Wed July 2-4 7:30p. 2301 North Highland Ave., Hollywood (323-850-2000). $18-234.