Best San Diego July 4th fireworks spots
Unless otherwise noted, all events take place on Saturday. And please note, many venues do not allow grills, tents, canopies, tall chairs, alcohol or pets. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, please call or check the website for specifics.
Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show
Unquestionably San Diego’s largest pyrotechnics event, the 15th annual show features fireworks discharged simultaneously from four barges placed around San Diego Bay. The display begins at 9 p.m., lasts about 18 minutes and is accompanied by a patriotic score simulcast on radio stations FM 105.7 and AM 1090. You can also watch it live on Fox 5 San Diego and KTLA 5 Los Angeles. Check the website for recommended viewing locations and information about transportation options, parking and free shuttles. Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village/South Embarcadero and Coronado Ferry Landing. Free. (619) 686-6200, bigbayboom.com
Escondido’s 52nd annual Independence Day Festival and Fireworks
For 52 years, friends and families have been packing a picnic basket for Grape Day Park’s annual Independence Day celebration. Presented by the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, an estimated 20,000 people are expected to enjoy the festivities, which begin at 4 p.m. with live entertainment, food vendors and children’s activities. Throughout the day, enjoy live music and old-fashioned field games and contests. End the day with a performance by the 1st Marine Division Band of Camp Pendleton, followed by fireworks at 9 p.m. Grape Day Park, 321 N. Broadway, Escondido. Free admission. (760) 839-4138, artcenter.org
Coronado Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks
Traffic is going to be crazy, so consider taking the ferry from downtown San Diego. Festivities are happening all day, beginning with a 7 a.m. run/walk at Tidelands Park, the Art in the Park art show from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Spreckels Park, a 9 a.m. annual rough-water swim at Central Beach and a 10 a.m. parade down Orange Avenue. The festival at Spreckels Park includes demonstrations by the Adrian Empire San Diego Chapter and the San Diego Star Wars Society and a patriotic 4 p.m. concert by the Coronado Community Concert Band. Celebrations end with a 9 p.m. fireworks display over Glorietta Bay, simulcast with music by radio station 96.5 FM. Tidelands Park, Spreckels Park and Glorietta Bay Park, Coronado. Free admission. (619) 319-5147, ecoronado.com/4th
“Santee Salutes” Fourth of July Celebration
Santee kicks off its holiday celebration at 3:30 p.m. with the 80z All Stars band performing all day, including after the fireworks display. The Kids’ Fun Zone includes carnival rides and games for a small fee, bounce houses, face painting, gourmet food trucks and food booths. A patriotic ceremony will feature a rendition of the national anthem and a presentation by the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines Color Guard. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Leashed dogs are welcome. Admission is free; paid parking ($5-$15 cash) will be available, as will free shuttle service between 3:30 and 11 p.m. Town Center Community Park, 550 Park Center Drive, Santee. (619) 258-4100, ci.santee.ca.us
“Star Spangled Pops”
For a classic Fourth of July celebration, join Summer Pops conductor Bill Conti (composer of the “Rocky” theme) leading the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Master Chorale, with Jessica Sanchez as guest vocalist, in a patriotic extravaganza of All-American hits from Main Street to Broadway. At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, enjoy John Philip Sousa marches and a tribute to the military, followed by a fireworks display at all three performances. $30-$87. Embarcadero Marina Park South, 206 Marina Park Way, Marina. (619) 235-0804, sandiegosymphony.org
University City 27th annual Fourth of July Neighborhood Festival
Start the day with the 5K or 1-mile Fun Run at 8 a.m., or a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. Show your spirit by decorating your bike and/or pet for the 10:30 a.m. parade. Beginning at noon is a photo scavenger hunt, a Polynesian dance performance, field games for all ages and a free swim at Swanson Pool. Throughout the day, enjoy festival and food booths, a rock-climbing wall, jumpers for the kids and a beer garden. From 5 to 7 p.m. enjoy live music by Dawn Mitschele, Josh Damigo, and David Fleminger and True Stories. Complimentary trolley service will be available along Governor Drive from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. No fireworks are planned. Free admission. Standley Park, 3585 Governor Drive, San Diego. Free admission. (858) 552-1652, universitycitynews.org/uc-4th-of-july
Julian 4th of July Parade and Community BBQ
Pre-parade activities at 10 a.m. with a historical comedy skit by the Julian performance group Doves and Desperados, followed by several musical performances, and a flyover by vintage World War II military aircraft at 11 a.m. A canon shot at noon is the traditional start to the parade, which will feature the United States Marines Color Guard, four marching bands, homemade floats, vintage cars, equestrian units, and Miss Julian and her court. Just as the parade ends, at 1 p.m., enjoy the American Legion Post 468’s 74th annual deep-pit beef barbecue lunch for $10. No fireworks are planned. Free admission. (760) 765-1857, julianca.com
San Diego County Fair and Fireworks
Beginning at 10 a.m., enjoy traditional entertainment and contests throughout the day, a 6 p.m. demonstration by the Frog-X parachute team, and the annual Hometown Heroes parade at 7 p.m. The Heineken Grandstand Stage is the place to be beginning at 7:30 p.m. for a performance by the Navy Band Southwest and fireworks at 9 p.m., followed by comedian Dana Carvey’s show around 9:30 p.m. General admission to the fair is $15 ($8 for ages 6-12, and for ages 62 and older). Reserved grandstand seating costs $38-$42. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. (858) 755-1161, sdfair.com
Second annual 4th of July Family Festival
Kids on the Go and Two 77 present this year’s celebration featuring inflatable jumpers, an inflatable water slide, a video game truck, laser tag and parlor games from 3 to 10 p.m. Food and beverage vendors will be on site (sorry, folks, no alcohol will be served). There will be no fireworks in the park, but you’ll have a view of multiple area fireworks displays between 9 and 10 p.m. Parking is free in the main parking lot, and street parking is available along side the park. The event uses a ticket transaction system for the attractions, food and merchandise. Tickets are $1 each, and attractions, food and merchandise range from 1 to 12 tickets each; an all-access, all-day wristband is available for $50. A portion of all ticket sales supports local schools. Mount San Miguel Community Park, 2335 Paseo Veracruz, Chula Vista. On-site host is the Chula Vista Recreation Department. 4thfestival.com
1800s Fourth of July
At one of our most authentic Independence Day commemorations, enjoy games, crafts activities and contests typical of early San Diego, as well as informational demonstrations and wagon rides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The band, Made in America, will perform historic and patriotic music beginning at 10 a.m. At 11:30 a.m. there will be a flag-raising ceremony, a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a parade around the plaza. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street. Free admission. (619) 220-5422, oldtownsandiegoguide.com
Poway Old-Fashioned Fourth of July and Fireworks Celebration
Enjoy a turn-of-the-century Independence Day celebration, including live music, craft activities and old-fashioned field games. A variety of refreshments and rides aboard the 1907 Baldwin Steam Engine will be offered for a nominal fee. Free shuttles to and from the event will be available at Poway City Hall and the Poway Adult School. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road, Poway. Free admission. Later, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. enjoy fireworks from the Poway High School Stadium, 15500 Espola Road, Poway. $5 admission per person (free for ages 11 and younger). (858) 668-4576, poway.org
Central San Diego
Fireworks and dinner: Enjoy an Independence Day picnic dinner aboard the Berkeley ferry, followed by the Big Bay Boom display. First seating at 5 p.m.; second seating at 7 p.m. $35 for adults; $18 for ages 3-12. Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Drive, Harborview. (619) 234-9153, sdmaritime.org.
Fireworks Dinner Cruise: Enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly, a gourmet buffet dinner and DJ music and dancing, and a three-hour cruise on San Diego Bay. Then, watch the Big Bay Boom fireworks show from the deck of a Hornblower yacht. $149.95 per person; wine and cocktails available for purchase. Hornblower Cruises & Events, Grape Street Pier, 1800 N. Harbor Drive, Harborview. (619) 686-8715, hornblower.com.
La Jolla Fireworks: Fireworks will blast off at 9 p.m. from La Jolla Cove. The display can best be seen from Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla Shores and Kellogg Park. Free. La Jolla Cove, 1180 Coast Blvd., La Jolla. lajollabythesea.com
Ocean Beach Fireworks: Enjoy a day at the beach and a fireworks display launched at 9 p.m. from the Ocean Beach Pier, at the foot of Newport Avenue and Abbott Street. Please note: As of 2014, the “marshmallow war” is over. Free. (619) 224-4906, obtowncouncil.org.
Mira Mesa Fourth of July Parade and Family Fun Day: A 41-year tradition continues with an 8 a.m. pancake breakfast at the Epicentre, Family Fun Day in the Park starting at 11 a.m., and a parade at 11:30 a.m. Family Fun Day includes carnival rides, food vendors and entertainment until 9 p.m., with a fireworks show staged from the field at Mira Mesa High School. Free admission. Mira Mesa Community Park, 8575 New Salem St., Mira Mesa. miramesatowncouncil.org
El Cajon annual Fourth of July Celebration: The picnic starts at 1 p.m. with food vendors, carnival games, inflatables, crafts, kiddie train rides and more. Live musical entertainment begins at 3 p.m. At 9 p.m. enjoy a fireworks show synchronized to music. Kennedy Park, 1675 E. Madison Ave., El Cajon. Free. cityofelcajon.us
National City 4th of July Carnival: The National City Host Lions Club invites you to celebrate Independence Day with four days of carnival fun complete with rides, games, food and fireworks. Don’t miss the Miss National City Pageant at 7 p.m. Friday and, of course, the fireworks show at 9 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. 5 to 11 p.m. today and Friday; noon to midnight Saturday and 1 to 11 p.m. Sunday. Kimball Park, 12th Street and D Avenue, National City. (619) 477-9339, www.ci.national-city.ca.us
Fifth annual Independence Day Festival @ The Border (July 3): The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce presents this family festival with more than 50 vendor booths, two stages of live music, dancing, a beer garden, a car show, mechanical bulls and more. And just for the kids, there’s a Children’s Inflated City. The U.S. Navy Band will perform a selection of songs in tribute to veterans, culminating in the fireworks show starting at 8:45 p.m. Free admission. 3 to 9 p.m. Friday at Larson Field, Cesar Chavez Park in front of Las Americas Premium Outlets, 4061 Camino De La Plaza, San Ysidro. (619) 428-5200 or sanysidro.biz
Imperial Beach Fireworks: Gather your friends and family, bring a picnic basket and spread your beach blanket for a view of the fireworks launched from the end of Imperial Beach Pier at 9 p.m., with choreographed music on KYXY 96.5 FM. Live DJ music will be playing until 10 p.m. at Imperial Beach Pier Plaza. Organized by the IB Chamber of Commerce and city of Imperial Beach, sponsored by the Port of San Diego. Free admission. Imperial Beach Boulevard to Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach. imperialbeachca.gov/fireworks
Oceanside Fireworks (July 3): El Camino High School and Oceanside High School bands perform at 8 p.m., and food trucks will be on site. Fireworks display begins at 9 p.m. Recommended viewing area is Rancho Del Oro Drive between Mesa Drive and Oceanside Boulevard. (760) 435-5041, ci.oceanside.ca.us.
2014 Ken Grody Ford 4th of July Beach Bash: Marine Corps families and their friends are invited to enjoy live bands, activities for kids, a tribute-to-heroes video, fireworks and opportunities to win cash prizes, a Ford Focus ST and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Grab your beach chairs, towels and sunscreen and head to the beach at Del Mar Beach Resort, MCCS Camp Pendleton, southwest corner of Camp Pendleton, just off Interstate 5. From 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Guests must have ID. mccscp.com/beachbash
Fallbrook’s 10th annual Grand Tradition July Fourth: This family-friendly fundraiser supports the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance. Activities from 4 to 9:30 p.m. include the Rubber Raft Regatta Race, the Rubber Duck Race, a military tribute, kids’ games, dancing, food and beverages, and fireworks. Tickets are $20-$25, which includes admission, parking, entertainment and fireworks. Children 11 and younger are free. VIP tables available for $900-$1,500 and include dinner, beer, wine and other beverages. Grand Tradition Estate & Gardens, 220 Grand Tradition Way, Fallbrook. (760) 728-5845, fallbrookbeautification.org
Legoland ‘s Red, White and BOOM!: Enjoy a picnic, games, a water toss and sack races along with patriotic music and entertainment. 8:30 p.m. fireworks. Activities included with admission. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad. (760) 918-5346, legoland.com
Oceanside’s 13th annual Yankee Doodle Dinghy Parade: The Oceanside Yacht Club will hold its small-boat parade at Oceanside Harbor at 1 p.m. featuring boats, paddleboards and dinghies decorated in patriotic colors. Free. (760) 722-5751, oceansideyc.net
Family Picnic and Fireworks Show: Presented by the Ramona Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club from 5 to 9:30 p.m., the event includes games for the kids, food and vendor booths. The fireworks display begins at 9 p.m. in sync with patriotic music by KYXY 96.5 FM. Bring chairs, blankets, etc. No pets, no alcohol, no tobacco. Olive Peirce Middle School, 1521 Hanson Lane, Ramona. Information: Peter Schiff, (760) 787-0188
Rancho Bernardo “Homegrown Heroes” Celebration and Fireworks: The 45th annual festivities begin at 6 p.m. with entertainment by the Eve Selis Band and the 2014 RB Idol winners, followed by a fireworks display at 9 p.m. $10 per person, $20 per family. Bernardo Heights Middle School, 12990 Paseo Lucido, San Diego. (858) 335-7906, spiritofthefourth.org
Rancho Peñasquitos Community Fireworks Show: The annual community fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. at West View High School, 13500 Camino del Sur, San Diego. The stadium gates open at 7 p.m. (858) 538-8131
Rancho Santa Fe Independence Day “Concert on the Green”: Catch a concert by the Coastal Communities Concert Band. Bring blankets and chairs. Free. 1:30 p.m. at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, 5951 Linea del Cielo, Rancho Santa Fe. cccband.com
San Marcos “This Is My Country” Fourth of July Celebration: The evening begins at 6 with carnival games, jumpers and entertainment at Bradley Park, Santa Fe Road and Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos. Food will be available for purchase. Bring your chairs and blankets for lawn seating. Fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Free. san-marcos.net
Scripps Ranch Fourth of July Parade and Festivities: At 10 a.m. the Scripps Ranch Civic Association presents the 44th annual parade, themed “Scripps Ranch Celebrates the ‘70s!” It begins at Red Cedar Drive and Iron Wood Road and ends with a free community festival from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hoyt Park, Scripps Ranch Boulevard at Aviary Drive. scrippsranch.org
Vista’s Independence Day Celebration “Honor Our Heroes, Celebrate Our Freedom”: Celebrate Independence Day at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive. Celebrants can enjoy a Light Up the Night dinner at 6 p.m., a ceremonial program at 7 p.m., followed by music onstage at 7:30 p.m. A grand fireworks display rounds out the evening at 9 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $60 for adults and $40 for children 10 and younger; $5-per-person admission to the Moonlight Amphitheatre; $15-$30 parking. (760) 639-6151, cityofvista.com
Compiled by Cynthia Zanone, Carolina Gusman and Linda McIntosh.
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