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Travel Column IN THE LOOP

(by) Donna McCrohan Rosenthal

July brings everything from festivals to fireworks (of course) as you will see in this month’s roundup of hints for short hops and trips around the Golden State.

Fireworks everywhere include Friday-Monday, July 1-4, at SeaWorld in San Diego, visible throughout the 100+ acre park; Monday, July 4 Big Bay Boom Fireworks, four barges and multiple viewing sites and billed as the “largest fireworks show on the West Coast”; July 4 Carnival and Patriotic Dog Contest in San Marcos, admission free, advance registration requested; and July 4 at Legoland in Carlsbad, Red, White & BOOM! Fest & Fireworks.

To the south for ongoing dazzle, Disneyland Resort’s nighttime spectaculars “Main Street Electrical Parade,” “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, and “World of Color” have made their long-awaited return (

Down below in Los Angeles through Sunday, July 31, the Ahmanson Theatre presents the sharp, endearing musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” centered around a troubled teenager who fabricates a lie that traps him in a fantasy that spirals out of control. Also at the Ahmanson, Wednesday, July 27, through Saturday, August 28, comedian/ storyteller Mike Birbiglia delivers “The Old Man and the Pool,” a tale of life, death, and a highly chlorinated YMCA (; 213-628-2772).

At the Hollywood Bowl Saturday-Monday, July 2, 3, and 4, Steve Martin and Martin Short host the Fireworks Spectacular; “The Music of Leonard Bernstein” follows on Tuesday July 12 and Thursday July 14; and Ricky Martin performs on Friday July 22 and Saturday July 23 (; 323 850 2000

On the L.A. Loyola Marymount University Campus, Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23, Shakespeare on the Bluff – Loyola Marymount University on the Bluff offers free Shakespeare under the stars with “The Tempest.”  In one of Shakespeare’s final plays, Prospero summons a mighty storm. To enact horrible revenge? Or to make the world right again? Registration requested to receive a free parking code (; 213-736-1000).

Off the shore on Catalina, Independence Day Two Harbors spells a children’s festival and dinghy parade on Saturday, July 2, a fireworks display on Sunday, July 3, and a wine festival on Sunday, July 10 (; 877-778-8322).

To the northwest in Oakland, Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10, and again Saturday and Sunday July 16-17 in Los Angeles, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo honors black cowboys and cowgirls and their contributions to building the West, highlighting their global appeal and the stories behind a sub-culture that remains strong today (

Up north in Santa Rosa, “Spark Plug to Snoopy: 100 Years of Schultz” runs through Sunday, September 18. In this exhibition, venture back to a world before Peanuts and see original work by the artists who influenced Schultz to believe, “I will be a cartoonist.”

(; 707-579-4452).