The Log’s annual compilation of firework shows in Southern California highlights family-friendly fun for boaters.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA —What would Fourth of July be without a firework show? In Southern California, locals and visitors are spoiled for choice as there are plenty of firework-centered events to choose from.
Boaters may have the option to watch these spectacular shows from their vessels, but if you are unaware of the safety standards, it is a good idea to check in with local city staff members, harbormasters or marina managers to stay safe during the show. Other popular events include boat parades where owners can jazz up their boats in the most patriotic style for the change to win prizes and more.
Here’s a selection of viewing locations, times and safety zones for boaters (if applicable) that the whole family can take part in for the Independence Day festivities!
San Diego: Big Bay Boom
Location: San Diego Bay
Viewing Locations: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing
Time: 9 p.m.
Boating Safety Zone: Observe the 1,000-foot safety zones around the barges:
Shelter Island: 32 degrees, 42.8’ north latitude; 117 degrees, 13.2’ west longitude.
Harbor Island: 32 degrees, 43.3’ north latitude; 117 degrees, 12.0’ west longitude.
North Embarcadero: 32 degrees, 42.9’ north latitude; 117 degrees, 10.82’ west longitude.
South Embarcadero: 32 degrees, 42.3’ north latitude; 117 degrees, 10.3’ west longitude.
Info: The annual firework show will light up San Diego. Boaters are advised to arrive before nightfall, use proper signals and navigation lights and have a life jacket onboard for each passenger. Fox 5 (San Diego) and KTLA 5 (Los Angeles) will start their live programming at 8:00 p.m. The fireworks will also have a musical simulcast on The Mighty 1090 AM and Max FM 105.7.
San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Independence Day festivities
Location: The Embarcadero
Time: 5-8:30 p.m.; Fireworks 9-9:45 p.m.
Info: For those looking to just view the fireworks from a unique venue, a discounted fireworks viewing admission starts at 8:00 p.m. at a cost of $10. The schooner, Californian, will be offering a fireworks cruise for $85 a person and includes a full bar for those over 21 to purchase alcohol. If you would rather enjoy a picnic dinner aboard the steam ferry Berkeley, the dinner is $45 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under with seating for the fireworks. Pilot, a 1914 pilot boat, offers front-row viewing of San Diego Bay Fireworks Spectacular for $40 per person. There are many other splendid packages to choose from in addition to these highlighted cruises.
Coronado: Independence Day Celebration
Location: Coronado Island
Time: 5 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Info: Festivities start at 5 a.m. (preferably 4:30 a.m. for those who want to nab a good viewing spot) along Orange Ave. lining up for the annual parade. The Annual Independence Day 12K run-5K run/walk will be at Tidelands Park. “Art in the Park” will be on display at Spreckels Park from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. followed by a concert in the park. The annual rough-water swim at Central Beach starts at 8:30 a.m. with check-in at 7:30 a.m. “The American Dream” Independence Day Parade is set for 10 a.m. along Orange Ave. From 2:30-4 p.m. Adrian Empire Demonstration and San Diego Star Wars Society will have events at Star Park. Coronado Community Concert Band will perform in Spreckels Park at 4 p.m. Fireworks shoot off from the barge over Glorietta Bay starting at 9 p.m. accompanied by music from KYXL 96.5 FM. Fireworks can be viewed from Stingray Point or the golf course.
Mission Bay: Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular at SeaWorld
Location: SeaWorld San Diego
Time: 9:45 p.m.
Info: The firework show at SeaWorld is approximately 15 minutes set to a patriotic soundtrack. Admission to SeaWorld amusement park includes the firework show as well as the new Electric Ocean attraction.
Ocean Beach: Fourth of July Celebration
Location: Ocean Beach
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Info: A fireworks display will blast off Ocean Beach Pier, giving patrons the opportunity to enjoy shops, restaurants, beach culture and other entertainment before the show. Free parking is available at Main Beach Parking Lot and Pier Parking Lot. Tune radio to KyXy 96.5 to hear the broadcast and firework soundtrack.
Oceanside: Yankee Doodle Dinghy Parade
Location: Oceanside Harbor
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Info: This event, in its 17th year, allows participants to decorate their dinghies in patriotic themes and parade them around the inner harbor. All are welcome to participate and judges will award trophies to the best decorated dinghy. No entry fee is required and registration can be completed at Oceanside Yacht Club’s office before July 4.
Imperial Beach: Independence Day Fireworks
Location: Imperial Beach
Time: 9 p.m.
Info: Grab a blanket, picnic and your family and friends to enjoy this fantastic free firework show. Tune into KyXy Radio 96.5 FM for a synced music set to the fireworks show. Enjoy music at Imperial Beach Pier Plaza following the fireworks. Donations can be made to support the firework show on the official website.
Chula Vista: 4th Fest
Location: U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC)
Viewing Locations: USOTC campus, Mountain Hawk Park and along Hunte Parkway.
Time: 9 p.m.
Info: This firework show is free to all ages. A custom soundtrack can be heard on 91X, KFM-BFM 100.7, Magic 92.5, Z90.3 and AM 760. Parking costs $10 at USOTC campus or is free along Olympic Parkway and Lake Crest Drive. No alcohol, drones, dogs or skateboard allowed.
Dana Point: Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza
Location: Doheny State Beach
Time: 8:45 p.m.
Info: All day from 6 a.m.-10 p.m., no fee will be charged to gain admission into the park, so get there early to enjoy a full day at the beach. Listen to the patriotic music accompanying the fireworks on FM 88.5, KSBR. Alcoholic beverages and firecrackers are prohibited in the park.
Laguna Beach: Fourth of July
Location: Monument Point at Heisler Park
Time: 9 p.m.
Info: Monument Point and the area of Heisler Park from Rock Bench at Myrtle Street to Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street will be closed to the public to prepare for the fireworks. While the free trolley will be available, limited service (9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.) will be available on this day.
Newport Beach: Old Glory Boat Parade
Location: Starts at Collins Island and continues through the Newport Harbor
Time: 1-3:30 p.m.
Info: Boaters are invited to decorate their boats in pride and patriotism for the holiday celebrations. Registration is free. This year’s theme is “United We Stand.” Activities planned for the day include a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m. (open to the public), a lunch buffet, rock and jazz music performances after the boat show and fireworks from 9-10 p.m.
Newport Beach: Independence Day on the Back Bay
Location: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina
Time: 2-10:30 p.m.
Info: Music, food trucks as well as a wine and beer garden begin at 3 p.m. Firework show begins at 9 p.m. On-water activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding and other watersports, will be available. All ages are welcome. General admission and beach access is free, but VIP seating costs $60 per person. Parking opens at 8 a.m. and costs $50 per vehicle or $100 to reserve a space in advance.
Catalina Island: 2019 Fourth of July Celebration in Avalon
Time: 1-9:30 p.m.
Info: The annual golf cart parade down Crescent Avenue begins at 1 p.m. At 4 p.m., the Avalon Bay Dinghy Parade starts. Fireworks shoot off over Avalon Harbor at 9 p.m. Several other activities, such as 4th of July at the Spa and Beach BBQ Buffet at Descanso Beach Club are available for purchase to enhance your celebrations.
Catalina Island: Two Harbors Fireworks Celebration
Location: Two Harbors
Time: 9 p.m. (after the sun goes down)
Info: On Friday, July 5, Two Harbors will have its own Independence Day festivities over Isthmus Cove. Moorings are available for reservation at visitcatalinaisland.com. Those who wish to attend, but who don’t have a boat, can catch the Cyclone from Green Pleasure Pier in Avalon and book an overnight stay at one of the local hotels. Show up early for a bite to eat. Call 310-510-4249 for more information.
Huntington Beach: Pier Plaza Festival
Location: Huntington Beach Pier
Time: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Info: A parade consisting of bands, floats, celebrities and equestrians will be marching through downtown Huntington Beach. Firework show begins after dark.
Long Beach: All-American Fourth of July
Location: Queen Mary
Time: 2-10 p.m.
Info: Entertainment on this day includes music, games, arts and crafts, historical tours, patriotic 4-D movie and fireworks. Events include holiday celebration aboard the iconic and famed Queen Mary.
Port of Los Angeles: 69th Annual John Olguin July 4th Spectacular
Location: Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro
Time: Noon-10 p.m.
Info: A celebration consisting of music, activities, food trucks and fireworks on the sands of Cabrillo Beach.
Redondo Beach: Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Location: Seaside Lagoon
Time: 2-11:59 p.m.
Info: This event features food, arts & crafts, slides, patriotic music and fireworks. Tickets will be sold for $25 for adults and $15 for children. Parking is $20 at Marina Parking Lot and Pier Garage. Ruby’s Diner will plan a special meal for the day. Seating at Seaside Lagoon is first come, first served.
Marina del Rey: Fourth of July Fireworks Show
Location: Burton Chace Park or Fisherman’s Village
Time: 9 p.m.
Info: Firework show accompanied with music will last 20 minutes. Hornblower Cruises will be offering special fireworks-viewing cruises for a price. Local streets will be closed, so staff advises arriving no later than 1 p.m. and planning to spend the day in town.
Channel Islands Harbor: Fireworks by the Sea
Location: Channel Islands Harbor
Time: 9-10 p.m.
Info: Channel Island Harbor hosts an all-day 4th of July celebration including activities, entertainment, food, games, an artist’s market and more. The fireworks show takes place later that night. This event is free.
Santa Barbara: Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Location: West Beach
Time: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Info: Life music, water-taxi rides, arts and crafts, fishing gear rentals, delicious food and more make this a wonderful celebration of July 4th. The firework show, which lasts 20 minutes, begins at 9 p.m. Shuttles and other transportation will be running all night.