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Los Angeles Film Festival (June 18 -- 28) Since the Oscars are a closed shop to the general public, turning up in L.A. for the biggest night in the movie calendar -- unless you happen to be on the guest list -- is pretty much a non-starter.

If you're a film buff much better instead to hit town for the annual film festival, where you can delight at over 100 features, as well as star-studded premieres, seminars with industry bigwigs and outdoor screenings.

Mr and Mrs Muscle Beach Competition (July 4) It may not seem the obvious way to celebrate America's emancipation from British colonial rule, but the annual Independence Day competition on Venice Beach is definitely a spectacle, and a unique slice of Americana to boot. Now in its 75th year, the event features bikini-clad women contestants as well as a plethora of Arnie Schwarzenegger wannabes all hoping to be crowned the golden couple of muscle. Read full article »

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