The Home of the Brave

For Independence Day this year, some of my friends and I decided to get tickets to the 87th Annual Americafest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. We spent a few hours picnicking on the grass and keeping ourselves busy with cards and a volleyball, but once it got closer to the evening, we made our way inside the stadium for some entertainment.

Rose Bowl Group

The last time I was at the Rose Bowl was during my first year at UCLA, when I attended the homecoming game against Berkeley. We won and that is still the only college football game that I have ever attended.

Rose Bowl

Anyway, the pre-fireworks program consisted of mariachi singers, some trick motorcycle riders, a Condor Squadron flyover, and the headlining act…Kenny G. Yep. Honestly, I feel like the Kenny G performance was so unnecessary and by its end, the crowd seemed more interested in making a successful human wave than listening to the concert. I wish I enjoyed it more, but I was also annoyed by Kenny G’s constant tendency to hold out notes forever and a day longer than they needed to be held. It just came off as tedious and show-offy. It got so bad that they even started announcing the fireworks and its sponsors before Kenny G even finished the national anthem.

Kenny G

The fireworks show, which was developed by the Pyrospectaculars and advertised as “the largest and best fireworks show in Southern California”, definitely did not disappoint. Even though it seems like it was less than the 30 minutes we were promised, I enjoyed it a lot. I approve of the good mix of American staple ballads like “America the Beautiful” and modern pop hits like Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” that they used to soundtrack the night.

Fireworks1 Fireworks2Fireworks3 Fireworks4
Fireworks6 Fireworks5
I think I would recommend checking out Americafest at the Rose Bowl at least once in your life. It is probably better to just buy your tickets at the stadium since all the fees and additional charges that were tacked on by Ticketmaster almost doubled the $13 that the ticket is supposed to be. We ended up hanging out for a bit after the show was over to avoid the crazy stadium traffic and even though we still hit it, it wasn’t as bad as it probably could have been.Rose Bowl Night

Anyone know of any other great places to spend the 4th of July in Southern California? I definitely want to try the Queen Mary some day!


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