From Escondido to Imperial Beach, from La Jolla Cove to Santee, San Diego County will celebrate America’s 241st birthday in grand style - with fireworks, parades, concerts and community festivals. Here’s a list of our favorite stretches of sand, patches of grass and stadium seats for watching spectacular fireworks shows planned throughout the region. (Traffic and parking will be impacted by the volume of people concentrated in the event areas. We recommend you refer to the websites provided for details, travel and parking tips and any venue restrictions.)
CENTRAL SAN DIEGO
ANNUAL BIG BAY BOOM JULY 4 FIREWORKS SHOW
9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at multiple locations along San Diego Bay.
With fireworks launched from four barges strategically placed around San Diego Bay, spectators can see the displays from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero and Seaport Village, and Coronado Landing. Accompanying patriotic music is simulcast live on THE MIGHTY 1090 AM and MAX FM 105.7. New this year, try the newly updated Parking Panda app to select and purchase a parking spot from several area parking facilities. Your spot is guaranteed available whenever you get there. More information here.
OCEAN BEACH JULY FOURTH CELEBRATION
9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at the Ocean Beach Pier, Newport Avenue.
Celebrate the fourth of July in OB-style with a beach day: picnicking, playing in the waves, shopping along Newport Avenue and watching a rad sunset. Fireworks launched from the end of the pier begin around 9 p.m. Tune in to KyXy 96.5 to hear the fireworks soundtrack being broadcast simultaneously during the show. Finally, “make s’mores, not wars” is OB’s newest mantra. Check the website for more information on the community’s Fourth of July “Mallow Out” campaign. More information here.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION IN CORONADO
7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at various locations throughout Coronado.
The Coronado celebration starts with a parade down Orange Avenue at 10 a.m.; catch a concert in Spreckels Park at 4 p.m. and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9 p.m. In between, a number of activities are planned, including a 12K run and 5K run-walk, rough-water swim and demonstrations by military personnel. Although not affiliated with the Big Bay Boom, the Coronado fireworks display also launches from a barge, this one situated in Glorietta Bay. More information here.
LAKE MURRAY FIREWORKS AND MUSICFEST
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at Lake Murray Community Park, 7001 Murray Park Drive, San Diego.
After several years on hiatus, the beloved Lake Murray event returns this year with a full day of live music followed by a fireworks display set to a custom soundtrack. Admission is free, and a variety of food vendors will offer hotdogs and hamburgers, BBQ corn and kettle corn, Italian ice and more. More information here.
EL CAJON FOURTH OF JULY PICNIC AND FIREWORKS
1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at Kennedy Park, 1675 E. Madison Ave., El Cajon.
The city of El Cajon’s free community event starts at 1 p.m. with food vendors, games, prizes, kiddie train rides and more. Live musical entertainment begins at 3 p.m. and fireworks start at 9 p.m. More information here.
3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at Town Center Community Park E., 550 Park Center Drive, Santee.
Santee Salutes features live music by the 80z All Stars, a patriotic ceremony, kid’s fun zone, a variety of food vendors and a fireworks display. Admission is free, and parking costs range from $5 to $15 - unless you purchase a reserved canopy space with preferred parking - that will cost $125. Or choose free parking at the Costco parking lot and catch the free shuttle to and from the event site between 3:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. More information here.
INDEPENDENCE DAY FESTIVAL & FIREWORKS
4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido.
Join 20,000 patriotic festival-goers for Escondido’s free community event featuring live music, food vendors, children’s activities and games for everyone to enjoy. Following the Camp Pendleton 1st Marine Division Band performance, a fireworks display starts at 9 p.m. New this year is a VIP beer tasting experience. Limited to 600 guests, the $10 per person upgrade includes shaded and air-conditioned areas, private restrooms and four 4-ounce tasters. For more information, call (800) 988-4253 or click here.
MIRA MESA FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at Mira Mesa Community Park, Mira Mesa Boulevard and New Salem Street, Mira Mesa.
Come early for the pancake breakfast (from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.), parade (at 11:30 a.m.) and Family Fun Day in the Park (from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.), and stay late for the fireworks. The fireworks show, synchronized to music broadcast on KyXy radio, is launched from Mira Mesa High School at 9 p.m. More information here.
POWAY OLD-FASHIONED FOURTH OF JULY AND FIREWORKS
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at 14134 Midland Road, Poway; 9 p.m. at Poway High School Stadium, 15500 Espola Road, Poway.
Following Poway’s free annual Old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration at Old Poway Park, head to Poway High School for DJ music, activities and fireworks. Gates open at 6 p.m., and admission is $5 per person (free for children ages 11 and younger). More information here.
RANCHO BERNARDO’S THE SPIRIT OF THE FOURTH
9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Tuesday, July 4, at Webb Park, Avena Place and Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego; 9 p.m. fireworks at Bernardo Heights Middle School, 12990 Paseo Lucido, San Diego.
After a day of fun with a community fair at Webb Park, starting at 6 p.m. activities shift to the athletic field at Bernardo Heights Middle School with live music and food and refreshments for purchase. The fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Seating is on the grass, so bring blankets or lawn chairs. A donation of $10 per person or $20 for a family is requested at the event to support the fireworks show. Parking is free in the student parking lot. More information here.
SAN MARCOS FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at Bradley Park, at Rancho Santa Fe Road and Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos .
The city of San Marcos’ free annual Fourth of July celebration, “Celebrate Freedom, a Fireworks Extravaganza,” features live music by Liquid Blue, children’s activities like face painting, party jumps and carnival games, and food concessions. Bring chairs or blankets for lawn seating. The fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. More information here.
VISTA INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at Moonlight Amphitheatre at Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista.
Vista celebrates the Fourth of July with live music, an honorary ceremony, family fun and fireworks. At 7:15 p.m. is a salute to 2017 military honorees, Lance Corporal Christian J. Arnett and Sergeant Shinice M. Davenport, both with the United States Marine Corps. The Mar Dels perform from 7:35 p.m. until the fireworks display at 9 p.m., and again after fireworks, until 10 p.m. Admission to the Moonlight Amphitheatre is $5 per person (children five and under, active and retired military members and their immediate family are free); parking in Brengle Terrace Park is $15 per car and $30 per recreational vehicle. More information here.
OCEANSIDE FIREWORKS SHOW
6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday, July 3, at Oceanside Boulevard and Rancho del Oro Road, Oceanside.
Oceanside has family-friendly patriotic events happening all week, including an Independence Day Parade at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 1. The city’s fireworks show is Monday, July 3, at 9 p.m. A section of Rancho del Oro will be closed and is the recommended best viewing site for fireworks. Arrive any time after 6 p.m., bring your beach chair and walk to the viewing area on Rancho Del Oro road. Food trucks will be parked on Rancho Del Oro as well. More information here.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY FAIR FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar.
Independence Day is not only one of the best days to visit the San Diego County Fair, it’s the last day of the monthlong festival. After a day of stampeding turkeys, racing pigs, pie eating and watermelon seed spitting contests, find a seat at the Heineken Grandstand Stage for the 9 p.m. fireworks extravaganza (included with paid admission to the fair). More information here.
FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS AT LA JOLLA COVE
9 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at Ellen Browning Scripps Park, 1180 Coast Blvd., La Jolla.
Celebrate the Fourth with friends, family and fireworks at La Jolla Cove. Festivities at Ellen Browning Scripps Park are free and open to the public. Come early, find a spot and enjoy the sunset views. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. More information here.
CHULA VISTA FOURTH FEST
9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, 2800 Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista.
The event is free, open to the public, and all ages. Gates open at 6 p.m., giving plenty of time before the 9 p.m. fireworks display to find a comfortable spot for your blanket or chairs, enjoy a picnic supper and tune in to one of these participating stations planning to broadcast a simultaneous soundtrack: 91X, Magic 92.5 and Z90.3. More information here.
INDEPENDENCE DAY FIREWORKS IN IMPERIAL BEACH
9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at the Imperial Beach Pier, 10 Evergreen Ave., Imperial Beach.
The City of Imperial Beach will be hosting a fireworks show off the Imperial Beach Pier choreographed to radio station KyXy 96.5. The display, being launched from the IB Pier, begins at 9 p.m. Stick around after the fireworks display for live music at Imperial Beach Pier Plaza. More information here.
INDEPENDENCE FESTIVAL @ THE BORDER & FIREWORKS
3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, July 1, at Larsen Field/Cesar Chavez Park, 455 Sycamore Road, San Ysidro.
This free Independence Day celebration comes with a “city of inflatables” and arts and crafts for children, food and drink vendors, including craft beer, and fireworks. Hosted by the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, enjoy entertainment all day on multiple stages, including performances by electro-World Music artists Cumbia Machin, Latin-rock-punk fusion ensemble Marujah and folklorico dance company Nanahuatzin Folklorico, among others. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. More information here.