***UPDATE: After being shut down by the city temporarily, the 4th of July fireworks at the Cove are back on! Show your support and read about how to donate to the cause.
The La Jolla Cove 4th of July fireworks annual display has faced obstacles and opposition nearly every step of the way and for the past several years, it’s been an almost constant battle between lawyers, environmentalists, and the rising costs of production and permit-holding. Each year, as the beloved homegrown production is threatened out of existence, the community of La Jolla comes together to raise money and show its support for a longstanding local tradition.
Back in 2009, an eleventh-hour internet drive turned out to be a lifesaver for the nearly-canceled 4th of July Cove fireworks: anonymous donors raised $27,000 the night before the planned display to combat its numerous financial hardships, many of which were due to rising permit costs and the nation’s deepening recession. Then in 2011, a City judge made a sweeping ruling that would subject all Fourth of July fireworks shows and tens of thousands of other festivities to rigorous environmental review – and subsequently dealt a crushing economic blow to San Diego’s financial reserves (which are largely funded by tourism).
SEE ALSO: La Jolla Beach Spotlight: La Jolla Cove
In 2012, a lawyer who had previously won two related lawsuits against the city in Superior Court told the City Council he wouldn’t seek a restraining order against the fireworks display planned for the Cove. The lawyer, Marco Gonzalez, was part of a Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation that was fighting to protect what they called a biologically sensitive marine area; despite his past victories, Gonzalez told the council that he didn’t think he would convince a judge to cancel the next week’s celebrations. The show went on.
The fight for the fireworks is far from over, though. La Jolla patrons have attended the festivities, fireworks, and accompanying picnic in Ellen Browning Scripps Park for years; since 2010, La Jollans have contributed anywhere from $5 to $5,000 towards the fireworks that longtime George’s at the Cove restaurateur George Hauer financed himself for more than 20 years. The display at the Cove is the only place in La Jolla, besides the top of the cross on Mt. Soledad, to view fireworks for the 4th of July. The Cove is the perfect family-friendly location for viewing, and there are few backdrops more picturesque than the coastline of the Pacific Ocean.
Needless to say, the La Jolla Cove‘s beloved fireworks have withstood their fair share of animosity. This year, donations from the public are more necessary than ever and it’s once again up to the community of La Jolla to step in and start raising money for one of our most treasured summer traditions.
Go to www.lajollafireworks.org for more information! From there you can donate directly to the cause using a credit card or a PayPal account.
[Images courtesy of georgesatthecove.com, kpbs.org]
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