Labor Day in LA is a celebration of the most quintessential aspects of the city. There are film festivals screening classic cinema, food festivals gathering the city’s best chefs, concerts featuring essential Hollywood composers, beachside shindigs, and the kick off of SoCal college football. To put it mildly, there’s no reason to stay home over the holiday weekend. Here are the best things to do in LA during Labor Day weekend.
Eat Your Way Through an LA Times Festival
The Taste, the annual food festival presented by the Los Angeles Times, takes over the fake streets of the Paramount backlot, cramming in some of the paper’s (and readers’) favorite cooks and chefs at stall after stall of culinary hits. There’s plenty to drink too from local wineries, breweries and distilleries, as well as cooking demonstrations and panels. This year’s line-up includes notable restaurants like Otium, Tacos 1986, LASA, Ma’am Sir, and Guelaguetza.
Los Angeles Times The Taste
Hear John Williams as He Was Meant to Be Heard
You can likely conjure many of the tunes composed by John Williams for some of America’s greatest films: "Jurassic Park," "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones," "E.T.," "Harry Potter" -- the list is ridiculous. While it’s great to hear the composer’s iconic themes blaring behind their intended cinematic visuals, it’s possible to enjoy them even more sitting in front of a live orchestra, especially if that orchestra is the LA Phil, and especially especially if the LA Phil is playing them at the Hollywood Bowl.
The Hollywood Bowl
Celebrate Your Patriotism With Some Sailors
LA Fleet Week arrives to the city’s shores each year over the Labor Day weekend, giving the fighting men and women of our Navy a chance to relax with family, friends, and welcoming Angelenos. The official celebrations take place over several days at the Port of Los Angeles, including a flyover, live music, an obstacle course, naval exhibits, and a cook-off between the Navy and Coast Guard.
LA Fleet Week
Geek Out Over Classic Cinema
For over half a century (so basically half as long as movies have been around), film geeks have gathered at the annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival over Labor Day weekend to screen some of their faves from the silver screen. Movies tend toward the obscure and underappreciated, so even the most studied film buff can expect to see something new -- well, new to them anyway. The weekend kicks off with a gala on Thursday at Grauman's Egyptian Theater, followed by four full days of films.
Cinecon Classic Film Festival
Catch Kick Off at the Coliseum
The Bruins may be on the road for Week 1, but USC fans are in luck with a home opener on August 31. The Saturday night game is the perfect excuse to break out the grill and begin the NCAA season right with a proper tailgate. Don’t forget to load up on craft brews from local breweries like Smog and Monkish.
USC Football Schedule
Return to the L.A. County Fair
The County Fair returns this year with several headlining performers over the Labor Day weekend, including Pitbull and George Lopez. Deep fried foods, classic fair rides, games, family fun -- you can find it all out in Pomona.
L.A. County Fair
Shop for Art by the Beach
The self-proclaimed “largest arts & crafts fair in Southern California” returns to Hermosa Beach on August 31. Fiesta Hermosa brings together 300 artists, photographers, jewelers, sculptors and other creatives, who sell their works alongside food vendors, a charitable beer and wine garden, and live music from two stages. Even if you’re not in the market for new decorations, you can enjoy the sunshine, the food, the music and the crowd.