The July 4th party is in Malibu, where the chosen few (hundred) will flock to private beach parties and watch fireworks shot from one of four privately hired barges anchored off the shore. And while said chosen few (hundred) will have their cars valet-parked and their food catered, nothing will stop the unchosen few (thousand) from gate-crashing the best they can: PCH will turn into a virtual parking lot with people perched atop the hoods of their cars to watch the fireworks shows they weren't invited to, just like they do every year.
Malibu is the place to see and be seen on July 4th. Corporations have typically rented summer beach houses in Malibu for the purpose of entertaining and generating publicity. Frequently, Hollywood celebrities attend these parties -- or at least make an appearance -- and have their photos taken next to whatever product the corporation or agency is marketing. (In some cases, it's the celebrity who is being marketed.) In years past, LG and Polaroid practiced so much product placement that the houses they leased actually became known as the "LG House" and the "Polaroid House."
This year, four private firework barges have been permitted for July 4th. Because it got so many complaints about large parties lasting days, the city now regulates crowd control at private parties by requiring a permit for gatherings of more than 100; five permits for residential parties and two parking lot permits were granted for Independence Day.
Expect most of the action to be in the guard-gated Malibu Colony, where residents each year each chip in a few grand to pay for the fireworks barge and pretty much everyone throws a beach party, according to Hilton & Hyland Realtor Chad Rogers, who grew up in Malibu Colony and whose parents still own a home there. Rogers says it's also a time where major deals are brokered -- real estate or otherwise. One of the chicest parties takes place every year at the home of Ron Meyer, head of Universal Studios.
Rogers, who does a brisk summer beach lease business in the Colony, says he's invited a few friends over but will be "beach-combing" -- walking up the shoreline and stopping by clients' parties. It's kind of like just another day in the office, but sandier, he says.
The permitted fireworks barges will be off-shore near the 21500 block of PCH, 22300 block of PCH, 27900 block of PCH and off Malibu Colony Drive.
BEFORE YOU GO
Firework-viewing and 4th of July events in Southern California.