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A Star-Spangled Party at L.A.’s Grand Park

Fireworks explode over the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as tens of thousands of people look on from the Grand Park Fourth of July celebration in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, July 4, 2014. (Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Fireworks explode over the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as tens of thousands of people look on from the Grand Park Fourth of July celebration in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, July 4, 2014. (Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Attracted by live music, food and an elaborate fireworks display, thousands of people filled Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on Friday to celebrate the Fourth of July under a hot afternoon sun.

In another sign of a resurgent city core, event organizers said that about 25,000 people were expected to attend the park’s second annual Independence Day block party. By early evening, the crowd was estimated at more than 15,000 and growing, a number well ahead of last year’s.

“I think it’s great they’re doing this for L.A., especially downtown L.A.,” said Carlos Ramos, 46, who lives a few blocks from the park. “I think downtown needs to be a little more friendly, and this is a good thing. We don’t have to go to Santa Monica or somewhere else.”

The celebration began about 1 p.m. and ended after a spectacular fireworks show from the roof of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center. The first bursts went off about 9 p.m. while speakers blared Jimi Hendrix’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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