Where is the Best Place to see 4th of July Fireworks in Los Angeles? 2015

Q: Where’s the Best Place to see Fourth of July Fireworks in Los Angeles?

A: Here’s my short list of Independence Day events for 2015:


Grand Park BLOCK PARTY!  July 4, 2015 >>> 3:00 pm – 9:30 pm

200 North Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012

FREE!  www.grandparkla.org #GO4THDTLA

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

From the Grand Park website:

LOS ANGELES! Grand Park is the place to celebrate together with music, food, and an incredible fireworks display launched from the civic center skyline. Grab the best friends, the whole family, and main squeezes and enjoy a bit of togetherness under the beautiful Angeleno sky. **Safety for everyone is número uno. Please read all event info to know what to bring and what to leave at home:**

PICNIC and OUTSIDE FOOD is welcome. SIZE OF BAGS AND BACKPACKS/TOTES and COOLERS must be standard backpack size or smaller (16.75 inches x 13 inches x 8.5 inches). NO OUTSIDE BEVERAGES including juice and soda. ONLY EMPTY (non glass) WATER BOTTLES allowed. FREE WATER FILLING STATIONS will be available in the event space, provided by LADWP, in addition to several booths with water for sale. HANDHELD UMBRELLAS allowed, no tents, large umbrellas or anything that spikes into the ground

NOTE: This will be an alcohol-free event: no beer garden or point of purchase / no outside alcohol permitted in event space. All bags will be checked.

SCHEDULE: Doors open at 3pm for early birds (no prior admittance). Rooftop fireworks show at 9pm. Event ends at 9:30pm. 

FIREWORKS!  HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

FIREWORKS! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

PLEASE LEAVE AT HOME: Grilling gear, alcohol, narcotics, fireworks, sparklers, candles, large coolers (handheld coolers OK but subject to search), lawn furniture including low folding chairs, tents, lawn umbrellas or sun umbrellas (handheld umbrellas OK) or anything that spikes into the ground or would obstruct views of stages.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES ARE PROHIBITED: Public Intoxication / Rollerblading / Skateboarding / Smoking / Vaping / Unauthorized Vending / Aggressive Solicitation / Staking Objects to Ground

Grand Park is an LA County park powered by The Music Center. 

http://grandparkla.org/event/4th-of-july-block-party/



The Rose Bowl Stadium and outside the Rose Bowl – Pay to see the 89th Annual “Americafest” show inside, pay for parking to see the fireworks show from the outside. It’s the biggest and longest running 4th of July party in the L.A. area.

Join in celebrating our nation’s independence with the 89th Annual Fourth of July Celebration at AMERICAFEST! The largest fireworks show in Southern California! 

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

2 PM: Festival begins outside the stadium (parking lots open at 9am)

There will be food vendors, entertainment, crafts, exhibits and inflatable rides for the kids outside the stadium starting at 2 pm and closing following the fireworks. Fanfest is located in Area H southeast of the Rose Bowl marquee sign.

Live Motorcycle Stunts by TNT Action Sports

Celebrating, “The 50th Anniversary of when Elvis Met the Beatles in Los Angeles”

9 PM: Fireworks Spectacular! produced by Pyrospectaculars by Souza

In celebration of the upcoming Universal Pictures “Minions” movie there will be a viewing of “Despicable Me 2” on the videoboard directly following the fireworks.

General Admission $13 Reserved Seating $25 TicketMaster 800-745-3000

General Admission children 5 years and under will be admitted free. Reserved Seating children 2 years and under require a ticket in these sections.

Day of event tickets will be available 10am– 9pm at the ticket booth at Gate B. Before 2pm guests may park in Lot B at no charge for 15 minutes to purchase tickets and leave or they can pay to park in any general parking lot and remain. After 2pm guests will be required to pay to park in general parking as directed to purchase tickets. After 2pm there are no in-and-out privileges.

Active military who present a valid Military ID will gain free admittance (up to 4 per family). Tickets can be obtained from the ticket booth at Gate B beginning at 3pm on July 4th only. Veterans who present a valid Military ID will gain free admittance (1 ticket only). Tickets can be obtained from the ticket booth at Gate B beginning at 3pm on July 4th only.

Parking is $25 per car payable at the parking lots. Advanced parking for $20 per car will be available at the Rose Bowl Will Call Booth by Gate B beginning Sunday, June 28; hours-10am to 5pm; everyday through July 3.

Parking lots will open to the general public starting at 9am on July 4. Guests will be directed to the closest available lot.

For your safety and the enjoyment of all, we ask that you please help by observing the tailgating guidelines. (READ THE RULES!)

Pasadena Police and Pasadena Fire Departments will be patrolling the lots. There is a zero tolerance policy regarding illegal fireworks.

A shuttle from Old Town Pasadena will NOT be in operation this day.

http://www.rosebowlstadium.com/events/detail/americafest-1



3-Day July 4th Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl

FIREWORKS! Hollywood Bowl 4th of July!

FIREWORKS! Hollywood Bowl 4th of July!

Smokey Robinson, the King of Motown will be headlining the three-day Independence Day celebration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a Fireworks Spectacular each night at the Hollywood landmark. July 2-4th, 7:30pm $15-$250 + fee

www.hollywoodbowl.com



Marina del Rey Fireworks 9:00pm

Celebrate the 4th of July in Marina del Rey with a spectacular fireworks show over the water! Fireworks are shot from a barge across the Marina’s main channel, lighting up the night sky and water below. The show begins at 9 pm and lasts approximately 20 minutes.

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

Depending upon weather and cloud cover on the night of the show, the fireworks can usually be seen throughout the marina, and from the waterfront side of most hotels, restaurants, beaches, apartments and anchorages. Popular viewing locations include:

Fisherman’s Village, 13755 Fiji Way (2 blocks west of Lincoln Blvd.)
Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way (1 block west of Admiralty Way)
**This location will have speakers set-up near the Helmsman statue, allowing spectators to watch the display and  listen to synchronized music 
Marina Beach (Mother’s Beach) 4101 Admiralty Way (1 block south of Washington Blvd.)

Parking
Come early! There is no on-street parking inside Marina del Rey. Parking is available in 14 self-pay public lots. Park early because most public parking spaces are filled by 6pm!

The Marina del Rey Visitors Center (at the corner of Mindanao & Admiralty) will also be open from 10am – 4pm with festive giveaways like complimentary flags , red & blue bead necklaces, and other items to celebrate the 4th!

http://www.visitmarinadelrey.com/events/4th-of-july



Santa Monica 4th of July Parade 

July 4, 2015 – Parade starts at 9:30am

This year’s theme: Inspirational Heroes!

Main Street from Pico Blvd, turning on Marine to the beach in Downtown Santa Monica

The entire stretch of Main Street in Santa Monica will be closed. http://www.opa-sm.org

The Flag of the United States of America

The Flag of the United States of America


The annual Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach  July 4, the 2015

Pre-Judging begins at 10am, Finals at 1pm

Sign up the morning of the competition. No Late Fee! Registration is 7am – 9:30am.

Muscle Beach – 1800 Ocean Front Walk, between Navy Street and Washington Boulevard, at the Venice Recreation Center in Venice, California.

Bodybuilding.com presents the Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach, Saturday July 4, 2015. Hosted by Profight Supplements. BB, Figure, Bikini, Men & Women’s Physique, Couples (Mixed Pairs). Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach features men and women amateur athletes competing in a muscle and fitness competition. Categories include figure, bodybuilding, women’s physique, and men’s physique.

FREE and OPEN to the public. All are welcome!

http://www.musclebeachvenice.com



“Top Gun” + Fireworks! Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Gates open at 7:15pm, Screening at 9pm, Fireworks to follow!

Admission $25 (SOLD OUT!)

6000 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood

http://cinespia.org/event/top-gun/

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!



There are many good options for the 4th of July in L.A., and there are many other smaller celebrations, both public and private events, happening all over Southern California. Check the local listings! LA Weekly, LAist, LA Times & google.

The Queen Mary and Disneyland have special events and extra-special fireworks for the holiday. Disneyland has special fireworks all week long!

Disneyland Fireworks!

Disneyland Fireworks!

The Dodgers are playing the Mets at Dodger Stadium at 4:15pm with Fireworks after the game, but we are BOYCOTTING the Dodgers until we can watch the games on television.

BOYCOTT THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS AND TIME WARNER CABLE!

Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1qL


Happening the weekend before:

Celebrate America!

Saturday June 27 at 5pm – Corsair Stadium​ at Santa Monica Community College

SMC’s Independence Day Celebration, the biggest, most sensational patriotic community event on the Westside! Bring your family and friends to SMC for a star-spangled salute to our nation’s independence. Come early, picnic on the lawn, enjoy continuous entertainment and special exhibits (with plenty of refreshments available for purchase), and cap off the evening with a spectacular fireworks salute to America.
Celebrate America 2015 Flyer

Celebrate America – June 27th, 2015 at Corsair Field at Santa Monica Community College

http://www.smc.edu/ACG/Marketing/Events/Pages/Special-Events.aspx


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Best Place to See Fourth of July Fireworks in Los Angeles?

NOTE: Independence Day is only two weeks away!

Q: Where is the best place to see Fourth of July fireworks in Los Angeles?

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

A: July 4, 2014 – Independence Day Fireworks in Los Angeles

Grand Park BLOCK PARTY! Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012

COST: FREE! 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm    www.grandparkla.org

From the Grand Park website: “Launching the biggest rooftop fireworks display in DTLA and expanding festivities from Temple to Second Streets, Grand Park’s 4th of July Block Party is bigger, better and FREE FOR ALL!

NOTE: Doors open at 1pm for early birds. Entertainment begins at 4pm. Prepared food picnics encouraged in the park. Grilling & cooking prohibited. Visitors may not bring alcoholic beverages into the event.” (but they’ll have some for sale I’m sure)

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

The Rose Bowl Stadium and outside the Rose Bowl – Pay to see the 88th Annual “Americafest” show inside, pay for parking to see the fireworks show from the outside. It’s the biggest and longest running party in the L.A. Area.

2 PM: The 1st annual America’s BBQ & Brews Festival begins outside the stadium. This 2-day event showcases 200 vendor barbeque competitors from all over the U.S along with national and local Breweries presenting over 55+ brands of beer and wine. 7 PM: Live motorcycle stunts and musical performance by Liverpool Legends, the Ultimate Beatles Experience.

9 PM: The largest fireworks show in Southern California by Pyrospectaculars by Souza http://www.rosebowlstadium.com/events/detail/americafest

3-Day July 4th Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers will be headlining the three-day Independence Day celebration with fireworks each night at the Hollywood landmark. July 2-4th, 7:30 pm $15-$243 + fee www.hollywoodbowl.com

FIREWORKS! Hollywood Bowl 4th of July!

FIREWORKS! Hollywood Bowl 4th of July!

Santa Monica Pier and Marina Del Rey

Celebrate America – Sat., June 26 5pm at Santa Monica College Corsair Field – Fireworks salute to America and our nation’s independence. Call (310) 434-3005.

4th of July Parade 9:30-11:30am Main Street – The entire stretch of Main Street in Santa Monica will be closed. After the parade there will be a refreshment area at Ocean View Park, including one band that will continue to play until noon. Call (310) 564-1968

Marina del Rey Fireworks 9:00pm Burton Chace Park & Fisherman’s Village – Fireworks shot over the Marina’s main channel. Park early most public spaces are filled by 6pm.

So there are five good options for the 4th of July in L.A., but there are many other smaller celebrations, both public and private events, happening all over Southern California. Check the local listings! LA Weekly, LAist, LA Times & google.

The Queen Mary and Disneyland both have special events and extra-special fireworks for the holiday. Disneyland has special fireworks all week long!

Disneyland Fireworks!

Disneyland Fireworks!

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FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

 

Trade Show Time! SoCal Hotel and Lodging Conference at the Palm Pacific Hotel Resort

Here’s a blog that never got posted! The conference was at the end of May.

I traveled to the City of Industry to the Palm Pacific Hotel Resort  and Spa for the Southern California Hotel and Lodging Conference.  It was a fun event in beautiful hotel with lots of good people to meet, vendor booths to visits, and free swag (“stuff we all get”) to collect.

605 south

605 south

Yes, that’s right, there is a beautiful resort and conference center in the City of Industry.  It even has it’s own 18 hold championship golf course and driving range.

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Conference Check in – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort Lobby (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

AM Coffee Service! – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Front Desk – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort Lobby from the mezzanine (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ornate skylight – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Mezzanine Level View – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Program!

The Program! (and coffee)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Session #1 – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Session #1 Audience – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Session #2 – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Session #3 – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hallway Action! – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch!  Hot or Cold? – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hot Buffet AAHOA Lunch- Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

AAHOA speaker – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch on the Terrace – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Box Lunch on the Terrace – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch Speaker and Panel – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch Panel – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Expo!

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Expo! Vendor Ballroom – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Vendor Tables in the Lobby – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I also got a quick tour from the Manager of RED Restaurant

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Patio at RED Restaurant – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Patio at RED Restaurant – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Bar at RED Restaurant – Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Plenty of Free Parking!

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

18 Hole Golf Course!

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Driving Range!

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Tuesday Night at the Hollywood Expo in Hollywood!

Special Blog!

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce “Hollywood Expo” at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood on April 2nd, 2013.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel - Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Willett Travel is a proud Member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and we were invited to the event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  I drove into Hollywood from the valley at 5pm, there was some rush hour “stop and go” traffic on the 101 Freeway before the 134 Freeway but once I got past the split it was smooth sailing into town.  It’s always tough to work your way through traffic down Highland but it really gets bad at this time of day.  Hollywood (at the intersections of Highland/Franklin, Hollywood/Highland-Cahuenga-Vine, Sunset/Highland-Cahuenga-Vine) needs pedestrian walkway/overpasses like they have in Las Vegas! 

Highland Ave approaching Hollywood

Highland Ave approaching Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I could have valet parked, but instead self parked in the concrete dungeon at Hollywood & Highland across the street.  First two hours are only $2 with validation vs. discounted $6 for valet parking at the hotel.  Validations can be obtained from most of the merchants with a purchase or you can get one for FREE at the Visitor’s Information Desk.

Travel Tip: REMEMBER WHERE YOU PARKED!  The levels are color coded but once you’re on the escalators, it’s easy to forget or get confused because the doors and floors are not clearly labeled and the parking levels are as large as a football field.  Also, be sure to AutoPay before returning to your car.

Self Park at Hollywood and Highland

Parking Dungeon at Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I walked past the street performers and crowds on The Walk of Fame in front of the Dolby, El Capitan, and Chinese Theaters at Hollywood and Highland.

Hollywood Blvd (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Street Performers and a Crowd on Hollywood Blvd (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood and Highland

Street Performers at Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Crowd at the Chinese Theater Courtyard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Crowd at the Chinese Theater Courtyard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I took a few pictures on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And then I crossed Hollywood Boulevard to the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

On Hollywood Boulevard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chaplin in bronze on at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chaplin Bronze – the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Because I entered from Hollywood Boulevard instead of from the valet parking portico, I had to go down one flight of stairs, through the basement hallway, and up the stairs on the other side of the hotel to check-in.

Hollywood Roosevelt Basement Hallway

Hollywood Roosevelt Basement Hallway (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Hollywood Expo was held in the Lobby and Roosevelt Room (where the first Academy Awards were held).  The hotel was completely renovated and is beautifully restored.  It has retained it’s historic decor and atmosphere while providing all the amenities of a first class property.

Hollywood Expo - Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Lobby (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Expo in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Lobby (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Expo in the Roosevelt Room (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Expo in the Roosevelt Room (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Expo in the Roosevelt Room (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Expo in the Roosevelt Room (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There was food and drink provided by some of the vendors (and two drink tickets for the full bar).  I had a hotdog from Pink’s, steak slices from BLT Steak, a mini thai shrimp salad, a cream puff from Panos Pastries, a little piece of red velvet cheesecake, a slice of pizza from Village Pizzeria, ice cream from Baskin Robbins, and a hamburger slider from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  There were other food vendors including Togo’s sandwiches, Fabiolus Cafe, event caterers and even a “shot from a block of ice” with ultra premium liquors that I did not sample.

I met Johnny Depp! (but he looked a little stiff and waxy and didn’t even say hello)

Johnny Depp from Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum in Hollywood

Johnny Depp from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The costumed women from the Hollywood Carnavale were definitely the “Best Dressed”!

The Women from the Hollywood Carnavale at the Hollywood Expo

Women of the Hollywood Carnavale – Hollywood Expo (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And Hollywood Politicians had vendor tables and were in attendance too.

Mike Feuer

Mike Feuer presses the flesh at the Hollywood Expo (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The event ended about 8pm and I walked back to the parking garage.  Of course I took a few pictures on my way back.  Hollywood Blvd at Night is always very interesting!

Hollywood Blvd at Night

Traffic on Hollywood Blvd at Night (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Blvd Darth Vader, an Imperial Stormtrooper and Bumblebee the Transformer on The Walk of Fame in front of the Chinese Theater and the Disney El Capitan Marquee (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Blvd at Night – Darth Vader, Stormtrooper & Transformer on the Walk of Fame in front of the Chinese Theater & the El Capitan  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Blvd and the courtyard in front of the Chinese Theater wasn’t very crowded for whatever reason, so I had to take a few more pictures:

Chinese Theater Hollywwood at Night (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chinese Theater Hollywood at Night (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Doors Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Doors Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Jack Nicholson's hand and footprints at the Chinese Theater

Jack Nicholson’s hand/footprints at the Chinese Theater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Dean Martin's hand and footprints at the Chinese Theater

Dean Martin’s hand/footprints at the Chinese Theater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And even though it wasn’t Oscar night, it’s always fun to walk the Academy Awards path.

Dolby Theater entranceway

Dolby Theater entranceway (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staircase at the Dolby Theater

Staircase at the Dolby Theater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Down the escalator, paid the AUTOPARK, back to the car, out of the garage and onto Highland.

Loews Hotel on Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Loews Hotel on Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Traffic on Highland heading for the 101 Freeway (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Traffic on Highland heading for the 101 Freeway (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood knows how to throw a trade show!  There was lots of SWAG, food, drink, candy, and stuff but it wasn’t overwhelming.  I was there for about two and a half hours, met a lot of people who want to do business and collected their business cards, product information, and lots of fun stuff!

Best swag: there wasn’t really anything great.  I asked for a bottle of the Hula Girl mixer, which was great blended with ice and rum, but they were being super tight even at the close of the show and wouldn’t give it up (and I still gave them a mention here).

Best food: the Pink’s hotdog without having to wait in line, the steak from BLT Steak and the delicious cream puff from Panos Pastries!

SWAG from the Hollywood Expo

SWAG from the Hollywood Expo (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I had a good time while I ate, drank and met some good people at the event.  It was definitely worth the price of parking.  NOTE: the first two hours at Hollywood&Highland are only $2 with validation, but if you go over two hours they stick you with an additional $4 charge.  It cost $6 and I didn’t have to tip the valet, so it’s still the least expensive parking in Hollywood!

$6 Parking at Hollywood&Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

$6 Parking at Hollywood&Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoyed.  Your questions, polite comments and feedback are welcome.

“Trade Day” at the LA Times Travel Show 2013

On Friday, February 22, 2013, I got up very early and traveled the 101 freeway to the L.A. Convention Center downtown for “Trade Day” at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show.  Registration was $35 and parking $15.  And for my $50 ticket, I spent the day at the industry conference participating in seminar sessions, networking with other travel professionals, touring the exhibition hall and meeting the vendors.  Included in the registration fee was a buffet lunch and two drink tickets for the post show reception.IMG02116-20130222-0831

8:30am – Check-in at Registration

NOTE TO EVENT PRODUCERS: There really should have been a morning reception with COFFEE (and maybe bagels, baked goods, fruit, water and juice) before the sessions started!  There’s a Starbuck’s in the lobby of the West Hall of the Convention Center, but it was closed.  The closest place for coffee was the Starbuck’s in the South Hall a long way away and with a very long line.

9am – Using Social Media to Build Your Brand

Lillian Africano, the president of the Society of American Travel Writers moderated the session with Johnny Jet (johnnyjet.com) and Jessica Marati (gadling.com) as the featured speakers.

Jessica, Johnny and Lillian on Social Media

Jessica Marati, Johnny Jet and Lillian Africano on the Social Media morning panel

10:15am – General Session: What Are the Opportunities and Issues in Social Media?

A panel of experts moderated by James Shillinglaw, editor in chief of travAlliancemedia.  Stacy Small, Lark Gould and David Anderson as the featured speakers.IMG02121-20130222-1022

11:30am – General Session: Bridging the Gap to Profitability

Another panel of experts with Susan Tanzman, James Berkeley, Andi McClure-Mysza and Mark Murphy as the featured speakers.IMG02122-20130222-1222

12:45pm – Luncheon with Featured Speaker: Trends, Threats and Tips…2013 NOT Business as Usual with John Severini, President and CEO, California Travel Association

A buffet lunch (chicken, mashed potato, salad, bread and butter, chocolate cake and iced tea) and a very nice presentation by John Severini.  Sorry NO COFFEE at lunch!

John Severini onstage at lunch

John Severini onstage at lunch

2pm – Cruising 2013 and Beyond

Moderated by Michelle Fee, this panel featured the sales directors from six cruise companies: Norwegian, Princess, Azamara, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival (insert Carnival Cruise joke here, although NOBODY was joking in this session).IMG02124-20130222-1412

3pm – Exclusive Access to the Exhibition Floor

Special exhibitor access, met some of the travel vendors and collected lots of information, some free SWAG and assorted candy.

Music from Ecuador on the exhibition floor

Music from Ecuador on the exhibition floor

Best SWAG: Sunset Plaza Hotel’s box of chocolate covered almonds and pistachios.

In less than three hours: brochures, magazines, maps, SWAG and candy...I'm a Trade Show Professional

In less than three hours: business cards, brochures, magazines, maps, SWAG and candy…I’m a Trade Show Professional

4pm – Hosted Reception in the Exhibition Hall Lounge

I used my two drink tickets (absolut & pineapple juice), grabbed a free bottle of water and talked with a few people before heading back to the exhibition floor.  And at 4pm they finally had coffee available in the exhibition floor lounge…way too late.

6pm – Friday STOP AND GO TRAFFIC on the 101 Freeway all the way home.  No Fun!

Los Angeles Times Travel Show 2013 at the L.A. Convention Center

Los Angeles Times Travel Show 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center 22-FEB-13   (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(all photos copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel – taken with my Blackberry camera)