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Where to find San Diego’s best Fourth of July fireworks, festivals and parades

Big Bay Boom Fireworks explode above the San Diego downtown waterfront during the Big Bay Boom Fourth of July fireworks show.
(Hayne Palmour IV | San Diego Union-Tribune)

Back this year in many communities across the county, here’s a guide to Fourth of July fireworks, parades and festivities throughout San Diego County

Fireworks and festivities are back for Independence Day in many communities, but there are some modifications. Here’s a guide to Fourth of July fireworks and celebrations throughout San Diego County:

CAMP PENDLETON
Del Mar Beach Day celebration: for authorized military and their families, July 4 at Del Mar Beach on base. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Military ID card required. Visit mccscp.com.

CARLSBAD
Legoland’s “Red, White and BOOM!”: Independence Day festivities from 1 to 9 p.m. at Legoland, 1 Legoland Drive, with picnic games such as water balloon toss, sack races, Lego hamburger relay and building challenge along with performances and patriotic costume parade. Come dressed in red, white and blue. Fireworks at 8:30 p.m. Activities included with admission to the park. Visit california.legoland.com.

Fireworks: Park Hyatt Aviara, 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, hosts a firework show at 9 p.m. July 4 as part of its Light up your Fourth of July weekend festivities. The fireworks can also be seen from surrounding areas. Visit parkhyattaviara.com.

CHULA VISTA
The city of Chula Vista will not hold a fireworks display this year.

CORONADO
Crown City Classic: 7 to 10 a.m. July 3 at Coronado Tidelands Park. Visit crowncityrun.com.

Rough Water Swim: 7 a.m. check-in July 3 at Central Beach (live or virtual). Visit coronadoroughwaterswim.org/fourth-of-july.

Independence Day Parade: 10 a.m. to noon July 3 on Orange Avenue from First Street to Churchill Place and Ocean Boulevard. Livestreamed at tv.coronado.ca.us.

Ferry Landing Concert: 2 to 5 p.m. July 3.

Art in the Park: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4 at Spreckels Park, Sixth Street and Orange Avenue.

Navy Leap Frogs Demonstration: 2 to 3 p.m. July 4 at the Golf Course near Glorietta Bay.

Fireworks: 9 p.m. July 4 over Glorietta Bay, near Stingray Point, and San Diego Fireworks over San Diego Bay can be viewed at the Ferry Landing. Visit commentcoronado.org.

DEL MAR
Celebration at San Diego Fairgrounds: Patriotic celebration all day topped off with fireworks at 9 p.m., which can be viewed throughout the grounds. Parking is $12; admission is $10 for ages 6 and older. Visitors must purchase tickets and parking online in advance. Visit sdfair.com.

EL CAJON
Fireworks: 9 to 9:30 p.m. July 4 at Kennedy Park, 1675 E Madison Ave. Visit ci.el-cajon.ca.us or call (619) 441-1754.

ESCONDIDO
Fireworks: 9 p.m. at Grape Day Park, 321 N. Broadway, and can be seen from central Escondido. Visit escondido.org.

FALLBROOK
There will not be fireworks or festivities this year at the Grand Tradition.

IMPERIAL BEACH
The city will not be hosting fireworks this year.

JULIAN
Parade: noon to 1 p.m. July 4 on Main Street. Pre-parade activities include two flyovers by vintage aircraft starting at 10 a.m. along with entertainment such as a Marine Band, George Washington and patriotic musical presentations. After parade at the American Legion, there will be a barbecue, live music, dancing and quilt show. All shops will be open after the parade. (No fireworks.) Visit julianparade.com.

LA JOLLA
Fireworks? The status of the La Jolla show was unclear as the weekend began after the Coastal Commission ruled on Wednesday that the planned display should be moved from La Jolla Cove.

MIRA MESA
No parade or Fun Day in Mira Mesa this year, and fireworks at Mira Mesa High School have also been canceled. Visit miramesatowncouncil.org.

MISSION BAY
SeaWorld fireworks: SeaWorld San Diego puts on a fireworks show set to a patriotic soundtrack starting at 9:30 p.m. July 4. The park offers entertainment throughout the Fourth of July weekend, including a roaming brass band, a pop and rock band on stage and DJs for a family-friendly dance party. Cirque Neon World, opens the Fourth of July weekend featuring a new cirque theatrical production with a mix of circus acrobatics, dance and athletic stage performance, world-beat music, sets and costumes. Fireworks are each night in July. Visit seaworld.com/san-diego/events/electric-ocean.

NATIONAL CITY
Free Fourth of July Camp: for National City’s young residents ages 6-12 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 3 at Kimball Park, E. 12th St., with old-fashioned games, lunch and goodie bag. Register at nationalcityca.gov/littlepatriots.

OCEANSIDE
City’s 133rd annual Fireworks Show: 9 p.m. July 3 at El Corazon. The recommended viewing area is on Rancho Del Oro Drive, which will be closed at 5 p.m. from Oceanside Boulevard north to Mesa Drive. Live music and food beginning at 6 p.m. on Rancho del Oro Drive. Health guidelines will be followed. Visit oceansiderec.com or call (760) 435-5041.

Yankee Doodle Dinghy Parade: Boat parade starts at 1 p.m. July 4 in the Oceanside Harbor at the Oceanside Yacht Club and continues on to the south end of the harbor. Decorate a patriotic dinghy 12 feet and under and enter the parade. No entry fee; trophies eill be awarded. Register at skippers meeting at 10 a.m. July 4 or before July 4 at the yacht club, 1950 Harbor Drive North. Call (760) 722-5751 or visit oceansideyc.net.

Oceanside beach and pier: Additional vendors will be open selling food and beverages and renting water sports equipment in Pier Plaza and parking lot south of the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre. The Strand roadway by the beach will be closed to cars from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit MainStreetOceanside.com.

Fireworks show at Grace Church: 7 to 10 p.m. July 3 with music, food trucks and games for kids at the church, 1602 S. El Camino Real. Parking is limited. Bring a beach chair. Visit gracesd.tv or call (760) 433-9922.

POWAY
Fireworks: Two Independence Day fireworks displays will run simultaneously starting at 9 p.m. July 4 from Poway High School, 15500 Espola Road, and the Sportsplex in the Poway Business Park, 12349 McIvers Court. Viewing from Poway High School returns this year, with games, activities and a DJ. Gates open at 6 p.m. Entry costs $5 per person at the gate; free for children 11 and younger.

“Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration”: The annual event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road, with patriotic entertainment, western re-enactors, free children’s crafts, train displays and old-fashioned games. Treats and train rides will be sold. VFW Post 7907 and the Poway Veterans Park Committee host a ceremony honoring service members at Veterans Park (adjacent to Old Poway Park) beginning at 11 a.m. The park’s civil war-era cannon will be fired. Free shuttles at Poway City Hall Parking Lot, 13325 Civic Center Drive, and Poway Adult School Parking lot, 13626 Twin Peaks Road. Lake Poway is open to the public on July 4 and will stay open as a viewing area for the fireworks at the high school. Parking is $10 for nonresidents; free for residents and military with ID. Visit poway.org.

RAMONA
Festivities and fireworks: This year’s Fourth of July activities, celebrating Independence Day and Strength in Community, start at 4 p.m. July 4 in the back field behind Olive Peirce Middle School, 1521 Hanson Lane, and culminate in fireworks at 9 p.m. set to music from Star 94.1FM/iHeartRadio. Food vendors include Kona Ice, Senor Woofle, The Corn Lady and EZ Kettle Corn. Fireworks donations are appreciated at ramonachamber.com. Visit ramonaevents.com.

RANCHO BERNARDO
Parade and carnival: Pre-Fourth of July parade and carnival games start at 10 a.m. July 3 at Rancho Bernardo Community Park, 18448 W Bernardo Drive. The parade is from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by food trucks and carnival booths until 2 pm. Visit happeningnext.com/event/independence-day-celebration-eid3a07um1ofc.

Fireworks: Spirit of the Fourth Fireworks display starts at 9 p.m. at the Rancho Bernardo High School complex, 13010 Paseo Lucido. Park in the High School Student Parking Lot south of the Bronco Stadium accessible from Avenida Venusto. Park in every other parking space, allowing for social distancing and room for chairs in the open space between vehicles. Viewers must remain in the parking lot areas. No access to the campus proper or the athletic fields. Picnicking allowed; no alcohol. When the parking lots reach capacity, viewers must park on adjacent city streets. The “US” Band will provide entertainment near the Performing Arts Center beginning about 6 p.m. Monetary donations needed to offset event expenses.

Independence Day Ceremony: The Rancho Bernardo Veterans Memorial Association will host its annual Independence Day Ceremony from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 4 at the Rancho Bernardo Veterans Memorial, Webb Park, 11666 Avena Place. Keynote speaker is former U.S. Army Capt. Ronald Samuel “Sam” Magtanong, an Iraq War veteran. Co-hosting organizations include the Major Abraham J. Baum Post 7766 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and General J.P. Holland Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars. Boy Scout Troop 685 will support the event. Bring lawn chairs. Visit rbvma.org.

RANCHO SANTA FE
“Celebrating America Independence Day Parade:” Starts 1 p.m. July 4 and runs through downtown along Avenida de Acacias and flag lined Paseo Delicias. U.S. Coast Guard-San Diego Sector’s Color Guard will lead first responders. The parade features a number of veterans. Nick Dieterich of Rancho Santa Fe’s Patriots AWARE will drive Grand Marshall Supervisor Jim Desmond. Cutter Clotfelter will be the emcee. There will be floats, decorated cars and equestrians along with kids on bikes and patriotic music. Arrive early.

SAN DIEGO
Big Bay Boom: The fireworks show will be displayed simultaneously from four barges on San Diego Bay at 9 p.m. July 4. Barge locations will be off the shorelines of Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero and South Embarcadero. Bring lawn chairs or get in a boat to watch. The 20-minute fireworks will be telecast live on Fox 5 San Diego and affiliates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield. A musical simulcast will be broadcast live on KGB 101.5 FM radio. The Metropolitan Transit System will expand train, trolley and bus service and will offer “Friends Ride Free,” where a friend may ride free with a fare-paying customer on MTS routes on July 4. Visit bigbayboom.com.

SAN MARCOS
Fourth of July at Lake San Marcos: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. July 4 starting with Honor Guard and posting of the colors. The “Freedom Singers” will lead in singing some patriotic music. Veterans will be recognized. There will be several speakers including San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones at 11 a.m. Highlights include a Patriotic Dog Contest, hamburgers and hot dogs, kids games, bounce house and club booths along with a Patriotic Boat Parade at 4:30 p.m. on the lake. Visit lsmkiwanis.org.

Fireworks: 9 p.m. July 4 at Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Drive, but folks are encouraged to view the fireworks from their backyards instead of gathering at the park. Visit san-marcos.net.

SANTEE
Santee Salutes: The Fourth of July celebration is back starting 6 p.m. at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center, topped off with fireworks at 9 p.m. Parking lots open at 2 p.m. Food vendors and Riverwalk Grill open at 4 p.m.; patriotic ceremony at 6 p.m., and 80z All Stars Concert is at 6:30 p.m. Advanced parking purchase required for $10 at cityofsanteeca.gov.

SCRIPPS RANCH
Parade: The annual parade themed Celebrate Our Victorious Independence Day 2021 (C.O.V.I.D. 2021) begins at 10 a.m. July 4 at Red Cedar Drive and Ironwood Road and ends at Scripps Ranch Boulevard and Aviary Drive by Hoyt Park. After-parade festivities are at 11 a.m. at Hoyt Park. Free admission; donations appreciated at gofund.me/78321a10. Visit scrippsranch.org. A Virtual Freedom Run & Ride is July 3-5; visit runride.org.

VALLEY CENTER
Western Days Country Fair and Parade: Themed “Better Together,” the event kicks off with the Guns & Hoses Chili Cook-off from 5 to 7 p.m. July 2 at the Lilac Fire Station, 28234 Lilac Road. Country fair entertainment, food, vendors and beer garden from 5 to 10 p.m. July 2 at the Valley Center Community Center, 28246 Lilac Road.
Independence Day Parade is from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. July 3, running from Cole Grade Road to Lilac Road; roads close at 8:30 a.m. The fair continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the community center. Visit m.facebook.com/events/822480535030706.

Car show: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4 with music, food and entertainment at Bates Nut Farm,15954 Woods Valley Road. Open to all cars, trucks and motorcycles. Free for spectators. Vehicle preregistration is $25 at carshowcalifornia.com.

VISTA
Celebration with fireworks: 9 p.m. July 4 at Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive. Live entertainment and pre-fireworks barbecue dinner at the Moonlight Amphitheatre. Brengle Terrace Park will open at 5 p.m. to ticket holders. Entry into the Moonlight Amphitheatre is $5 per person. Barbecue dinner is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for $45 per person; must be purchased by June 28. Vehicle entry tickets will not be sold at the event and walk-in traffic to Brengle Terrace Park will not be permitted. Fireworks can be viewed from surrounding neighborhoods. Tickets for park admission are $15 per vehicle; $30 recreational vehicles at cityofvista.com/july4 or at VisTix, 200 Civic Center Drive.

If you would like to add a communitywide Independence Day activity, email linda.mcintosh@sduniontribune.com.


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