Los Angeles Events

The many Los Angeles events could fill a substantial book or two. There is something special going on pretty much every day throughout the year, but the city is known for some LA festivals and events that are world famous and international in appeal. A good number of these are film festivals in Los Angeles and a myriad of awards ceremonies around film, television, and other entertainment milieus. Probably the most famous of the events in Los Angeles is the annual Academy Awards, also known simply as the Oscars. The awards ceremony is part of the movie industry history of the city, and began in 1929 as a little publicized event in the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Tickets for this first Oscars cost $5.00 per person. From 1961 to 1968, the ceremony was held at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica. In 1969, the ceremony was held at the new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In 2002, the Dolby Theatre became the permanent home of the awards ceremony.

There are scores of film festivals in Los Angeles throughout the year. Some of the more prominent and interesting include the day-long screening of Oscar nominated documentary films in February at the Writer's Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills; the LA Comedy Shorts Festival in April in downtown Los Angeles; the Asian Pacific Festival, held in April and May on Sunset Boulevard; the Outfest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, held in July in Hollywood; the International Short Film Festival (largest in the world), also held in July in Hollywood; and the Hollywood Film Festival, a week-long October celebration of international repute. For slightly offbeat film festivals in Los Angeles you might head to the quirky and bohemian community of Venice Beach, just south of Santa Monica. It calls itself the "Other Venice Film Festival" (a reference to the one held in that "other" city in Italy). Here you can view some of the more avant garde and cutting edge offerings in the film industry.

Other events in Los Angeles that relate to film are the many movie premiers that are often star-studded red carpet affairs with klieg lights and throngs of adoring fans. They are held all over the city, but you will often find them at one of the many cinemas in Westwood or at Hollywood movie houses like Graumans Chinese Theatre. This is also the site of another of the famous Los Angeles events—the footprint ceremony in which celebrities have their handprints, footprints, and sometimes other body parts imprinted in the concrete in front of the theatre. Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope both had their famous noses immortalized. Groucho Marx's cigar is commemorated, as are the hoof prints of Gene Autry's and Roy Rogers's horses, Al Jolson's knees, and Joe E. Brown's big mouth. More frequent events are the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies.

The Mexican American and Spanish influence is a part of the city's history, and there are many Los Angeles events celebrating special dates for Hispanics. One of the most important dates is Cinqo de Mayo (fifth of May), the day in 1862 when the vastly outnumbered soldiers of Mexico defeated the forces of Napoleon and France in 1862. The Cinqo de Mayo Street Fair that encompasses a mile of Broadway and Olympic Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles is the largest in the world, including in Mexico. Many smaller neighborhood celebrations occur all over the city, and include mariachi bands, colorful Mexican costumes, piñatas for the children, and folkloric dancers. One is held at the Gene Autry National Center of the American West in Griffith Park, and another in Santa Monica, which also includes a classic car show where you are apt to spot Jay Leno.

Events in Los Angeles also include sporting events such as Lakers basketball home games (in the Staples Center) and concerts by famous musicians. If you are planning vacations to the city, check out the calendars of some of the entertainment venues, including the Staples Center and Hollywood Bowl. Angel Stadium and Dodger Stadium both are concert venues in addition to being the homes of the local baseball teams. You can hear one of the largest pipe organs in the world at the massive Crystal Cathedral in Orange County during music performances almost every week—much like the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City—and its annual Glory of Christmas performance comes complete with flying angels and an entire stable of live camels, donkeys, sheep and other Nativity animals.

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