There is no better way to help celebrate America’s 238th birthday than with fireworks, at one of the many waterfront pyrotechnics shows scheduled throughout Southern California on the Fourth of July.
Boaters will have the best vantage points for viewing these aerial displays. However, those preparing to head out for the festivities are advised to plan accordingly, as the number of boaters on the water will increase dramatically on July 4.
Along with advising boaters to get to local harbors before the crowds start to gather, Southern California harbor patrols have also issued advisories covering areas that boaters must stay clear of during fireworks displays. Boaters should be aware of these exclusion zones before they hit the water.
In addition to fireworks, boaters will find boat parades, barbecues, car shows and a variety of other activities to enjoy at harbors from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
To help you with your holiday plans, here is The Log Newspaper’s annual list of Independence Day fireworks shows and related activities that Southern California boaters can enjoy.
San Diego: Big Bay Boom
Where: San Diego Bay
When: 9 p.m. July 4
Best Views: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park, Coronado Landing and Imperial Beach
Boating Info: Boaters are instructed to stay outside of the 300-yard safety zones around the fireworks barges off Shelter Island (32 degrees, 42.78 minutes north latitude; 117 degrees, 13.28 minutes west longitude); Harbor Island (32 degrees, 43.33 minutes north latitude; 117 degrees, 12.00 minutes west longitude); the Embarcadero (32 degrees, 43.04 minutes north latitude; 117 degrees, 10.82 minutes west longitude); Seaport Village/Coronado Landing (32 degrees, 42.20 minutes north latitude; 117 degrees, 10.04 minutes west longitude) and the Imperial Beach Pier
Fun Events: The 15th annual firework show will light up San Diego Bay. For the first time, over 20 million people from Ventura to L.A. to Riverside to San Diego to Baja, Mexico, will be able to view the show live on television. Fox5 (San Diego) and KTLA (Los Angeles) will start their live programming at 8:30 p.m. and run through 9:30 p.m. The show will also have choreographed music on The Walrus 105.7 FM
San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Independence Day Festivities
Where: The Embarcadero
When: 5-9:45 p.m. July 4
Best Views: Aboard the 1898 steam ferry Berkeley, the tall ship Californian or the museum’s 1914 pilot boat.
Fun Events: An Independence Day barbecue dinner — $35 for adults, $18 for children — will be held on the observation deck of the museum’s historic steam ferry Berkeley (first seating 5-6:30 p.m., second seating 7-8:30 p.m.), where there will be spectacular views of the Big Bay Boom fireworks display. The museum is also offering front row seats to the show aboard the museum’s 1914 pilot boat ($40 per person). Passengers on Californian will experience the booming sound of the ship’s 6-pound deck guns as they are fired to signal the start of the fireworks show.
Coronado: Independence Day Celebration
Where: Glorietta Bay
When: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. July 4
Fun Events: A day packed with festivities starts with the 39th annual 15K Run/Walk at Tidelands Park at 7 a.m. Other events include a rough-water swim at Central Beach (check-in at 7:30 a.m.), Art in the Park (8 a.m.-4 p.m.), the 66th annual Independence Day Parade along Orange Avenue (9 a.m.), a Coronado Community Concert Band performance at Spreckels Park (4 p.m.) and fireworks viewing over Glorietta Bay at 9 p.m.
La Jolla: La Jolla Cove Fireworks Show
Where: Ellen Browning Scripps Park
Best Views: Scripps Park, along with nearby La Jolla Shores and Kellogg Park
When: 9 p.m. July 4
Parking: At Scripps Park: Along Coast Boulevard and nearby streets in downtown La Jolla Village. At La Jolla Shores and Kellogg Park: Large parking lots are located next to the beach and park, and visitors can park along adjacent streets.
Mission Bay: SeaWorld “Reflections” Fireworks Show
Where: SeaWorld San Diego
When: 10:15 p.m. (approx.) July 4
Best Views: South Shore Park east of SeaWorld, Crown Point Park and Beach in North Mission Bay, Tecolote Shore Park in East Mission Bay, Ski Beach Park and Fiesta Island.
Info: Fireworks Show provides a spectacular ending to Independence Day celebrations.
Oceanside: Yankee Doodle Dinghy Parade
Where: Oceanside Yacht Club
When: 1-3 p.m. July 4
Info: Boaters can enter the annual contest and decorate their dinghies (12 feet and smaller) in the most patriotic way possible. Trophies are handed out to the top four entries. Skipper’s meeting starts at 10 a.m. The parade can be seen from the municipal fishing pier, the Jolly Roger docks, the grass lawns along the harbor and from Dolphin Dock.
San Clemente: Fourth of July
Where: San Clemente Pier
When: 9 p.m. July 4
Dana Point: Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza
Where: Doheny State Beach
When: 9 p.m. July 4
Best Views: Fireworks are shot from a barge outside the harbor, so boaters in Dana Point Harbor have some of the best views. Heritage Park and Lantern Bay Park are also good viewing points.
Fun Events: Dana Wharf Sportfishing is offering a fireworks barbecue buffet dinner cruise from 7:30-9:30 p.m. ($84 for adults, $39 for kids ages 5-12, free for children ages 4 and younger) and a fireworks-only cruise from 8-9:30 p.m. ($29 for adults, $19 for kids 3-12, free for children 2 and younger).
Contact: danapoint.org; danawharf.com
Laguna Beach: Fourth of July
Where: Monument Point, Heisler Park
When: 9 p.m. July 4
Best Views: Main Beach
Newport Beach: Independence Day on the Back Bay: July Fourth Celebration
Where: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina
When: Activities from noon-10 p.m., fireworks start at 9 p.m. July 4
Fun Events: Daytime activities include food truck wars, artisan and merchant booths, a buffet and live entertainment. Tribute bands are scheduled to take the stage throughout the day. A fireworks spectacular will cap off the event at 9 p.m. VIP Package is $150, Access Ticket for four with parking is $200, walk-in admission is $25.
Newport Beach: Old Glory Boat Parade
Where: American Legion YC, Newport Harbor
When: 7 a.m-5 p.m. all-day gala, with a 1 p.m. boat parade start time; July 4
Boating Info: All boaters are invited to decorate their vessels and participate in American Legion Yacht Club’s yacht parade.
Fun Events: Pancake breakfast 7-11 a.m. ($10); barbecue lunch and dinner noon-5 p.m. ($10), and live music and dancing 1-5 p.m.
Newport Beach: Independence Day on the Back Bay: July fifth Celebration
Where: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina
When: Activities from 1 p.m.-10 p.m. July 5
Fun Events: Beach House of 80s at the Dunes will include food trucks, watersport rentals and live music from Flashback Heart Attack at 4 p.m., along with a variety of live bands scheduled to take the stage. General admission is $16.37 and $26.62 for general admission with parking included, VIP ticket is $41.99.
Catalina Island: Avalon Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Display
When: Parade starts at 1 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. July 4
Fun Events: The annual golf cart parade down Crescent Avenue will be lead by the University of Southern California Matching Band this year. A barbecue and buffet dinner, along with music, can be enjoyed by guests at the Casino Ballroom’s balcony, overlooking the fireworks display ($40 for adults, $20 for children ages 3-11). The 2014 Catalina Island Museum Fourth of July Music Festival takes place at The Point, immediately adjacent to the Avalon Casino, at 3 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. over Avalon Harbor.
Catalina Island: Independence Day Festivities at Two Harbors
Where: Two Harbors
When: July 5
Fun Events: A fireworks spectacular is set to blast off over Isthmus Harbor, beginning at dark July 5. Boaters are invited to decorate their dinghies in the most patriotic way possible, and participate in a parade through Catalina’s West End coves. Prizes will be awarded to the most creatively decorated dinghies. The 28th annual Children’s Festival will will feature crafts and activities.
Huntington Beach: Pier Plaza Festival
Where: Huntington Beach Pier
When: July 4-6
Fun Events: The three-day event will feature food vendors, live entertainment and family activities every day from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. The Fourth of July events include the Surf City 5K Run and Fitness Expo (7 a.m.-noon), the 110th annual Fourth of July Parade (10 a.m.-noon) and the grand finale fireworks display shot off the end of the pier, beginning at 9 p.m.
Long Beach: Party on the Pier
Where: Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier
When: 10 a.m-10 p.m. July 4
What: Live music, featuring classic rock and the latest hits. A fireworks show can be enjoyed at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Party on the Pier event ($10 for adults, kids free with paying adult).
Long Beach: Queen Mary All-American Fourth of July
When: Noon-11 p.m. July 4, fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
Fun events: Onboard activities include a 1910 old fair-style welcome complete with carnival games. The events span 104 years of American history, such as the Roaring 20s Gatsby Buffet in the Grand salon, complete with jazz while flappers take to the dance floor. A Royal Speakeasy will combine live jazz with period cabaret; juke box favorites, Lindy Hoppers and hula hooping bring back the tail-fin days of the Fabulous 50s; and a Beatles celebration featuring Abbey Road tribute band. The Queen’s Salon’s Studio 54, and SoCal’s reigning “Best Live Band” – Robert John and The Wreck – The MVP’s and DJ Dennis Owens complete the entertainment line-up. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $39.99 for adults, $19.99 for children ages 12 and younger. Adult VIP admission, are $59.99. Overnight packages are available.
Port of Los Angeles: Cars and Stripes Forever
Where: Harbor Boulevard and the Vincent Thomas Bridge, San Pedro
When: 5-10 p.m. June 27; fireworks at 9:20 p.m.
Parking: There will be parking at Harbor Boulevard and First Street, and Ports O’Call Village. A free shuttle to downtown San Pedro will be provided.
Fun Events: More than 100 classic cars on display, live music, dancing water shows at the Gateway Plaza Fanfare Fountain, gourmet food trucks and a beer garden, and fireworks at 9:20 p.m.
Marina del Rey: Fourth of July Fireworks
Where: Burton Chace Park
When: 9 p.m.
Best Views: Waterfront sides of most hotels, restaurants, beaches, apartments and anchorages throughout the marina. Fisherman’s Village, Burton Chace Park and Marina Beach are popular spots to watch the 20-minute fireworks show.
Boating Info: Vessels are allowed to idle in the main channel, but anchoring is prohibited. Boats are not to enter designated fallout zones near the fireworks launch site.
Fun events: The Marina del Rey WaterBus will be in operation from 11 a.m.-midnight July 4, to provide a waterside shuttle to seven locations throughout the harbor.
Redondo Beach Fourth of July Fireworks and Independence Day Celebration
Where: Seaside Lagoon, pier and King Harbor
When: Gates open at 2 p.m. July 4; fireworks at 9 p.m.
Fun Events: The eighth annual event includes food and beverages, swimming in the lagoon, arts and crafts, live music and a DJ, free paddleboard experience, a kids’ parade, Happy Birthday America puppet show, the Free to Be Me South Bay Drum Circle and a Beach Sports Piano Run in the lagoon. Fireworks will be launched 300 feet off the lagoon starting at 9 p.m., timed to patriotic music. Food options will include barbecue chicken and tri-tip plates, sandwiches, salads, burgers, hot dogs, funnel cake, Italian ices and a wide selection from the Ruby’s Diner service window on the lagoon. Many ticket and seating options are available online.
Channel Islands Harbor: 17th Annual Fireworks by the Sea
Where: Channel Islands Harbor
When: Activities from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. July 4; fireworks at 9 p.m.
Fun Events: Daytime activities at Marine Emporium Landing start at 10 a.m. and include a farmer’s market, an old-fashioned family barbecue, live music, a petting zoo, an inflatable fun zone, a rock climbing wall, arts and crafts, and food booths. The annual Children’s 4th of July Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. and proceeds from Albacore Way up to Harbor Blvd. to Cabezone Circle. A 10k and 5k fun run/walk begins at 8 a.m. along Sunset Lane, Hollywood Beach, with registration at 7 a.m. Then, visitors can enjoy the fireworks at 9 p.m.
Santa Barbara: 52ndt Annual Spirit of ’76 Parade
Where: This year’s parade theme is “Made in the USA – Bill of Rights … Guard it.” The parade begins at Micheltorena Street and proceeds down State Street to Old Town Santa Barbara, concluding at Cota Street.
When: 1 p.m. July 4
Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Fireworks and Freedom Celebration
Where: West Beach
When: Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. July 4
Fun Events: The city of Santa Barbara will host a fireworks display lasting 18 to 20 minutes. Music for the celebration will be simulcast on radio. A variety of other Independence Day celebrations are planned citywide.
Contact: santabarbaraca.gov or bit.ly/sbfireworks