Summer may already be in full swing in San Diego (beautiful weather and long days definitely help), but the 4th of July is always a highly-anticipated celebration – and what would the holiday be without fireworks, food, and friends? We’ve put together a list of the best places to see fireworks and dine in style this year. Check out these San Diego 4th of July fireworks & events!
SEE ALSO: How to Plan the Perfect Fourth of July Menu.
FESTIVITIES & EVENTS
The USS Midway’s annual 4th of July celebration is a great family event. Watch the Big Bay Fireworks from the flight deck; it’s the best view of the largest fireworks show on the west coast! Festivities start at 6pm with live music and concessions. Guests are invited to bring a blankets, lawn chairs and small coolers with picnic-type snacks.
The 4th of July is the last day of the San Diego County Fair! Gates will open at 10am with an opening ceremony, and festivities will continue throughout the day; enjoy rides, exhibits, concerts, and a fireworks display at 9pm followed by a live musical performance at 9:30pm. The grounds will stay open until midnight.
Beaumont Avenue 4th of July Parade in Bird Rock
The annual parade winds through Bird Rock and Upper Hermosa and is one of the most anticipated events of the year! Children in costume ride home-made floats, skateboards, and bikes down the streets. This year’s theme is “A Hometown 4th of July,” so bring your home city pride and join in the festivities. The action starts at 10:00am.
There will be activities all day long at Spreckels Park, located at 601 Orange Avenue, including Art in the Park, the annual Rough Water Swim, a parade, live music concerts, and a fireworks display over Glorietta Bay at 9pm.
Enjoy a day of fun that starts with a pancake breakfast; Family Fun Day in the Park opens at 11am with carnival rides, food vendors, and entertainment. The annual 4th of July Parade steps off at 11:30am and Family Fun Day continues until 9 pm, when the Park provides a front row seat for the Fireworks Extravaganza.
***Please note that this event will be held on June 28th, 2014*** The 20th annual Independence Day Parade will make its way north on Coast Highway from Wisconsin Avenue to Civic Center Drive (just past City Hall). Come see floats, bands, walking groups, cool cars and much more!
The parade starts in front of the 101 Cafe (Coast Highway at Wisconsin Avenue) at 10:00.
Rancho Santa Fe Independence Day Concert on the Green
Head over to Rancho Santa Fe (near the Inn) and enjoy a free concert at 1:30pm of patriotic and popular music on the green presented by the Coastal Communities Concert Band. There will be food and drinks available for purchase.
University City 4th of July Celebration
The festival will feature a 5K race, pancake breakfast, bike/pet parade, photo scavenger hunt, family field games, free swimming, craft, information and food booths, a rock wall, inflatables, a book barn, games, food, shopping, entertainment, a beer garden, and more. Events will go from 7am to 7pm. Standley Recreation Center, 3585 Governor Drive, San Diego.
Old Town’s Historic 4th of July Celebration
From 11am-4pm, enjoy an historic 1800s 4th of July festival in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. There will be wagon rides, a parade, crafts, period games, music, food specials, pie-eating contest and more. Flag raising, keynote speakers, and military involvement. Free admission but some events require a fee. The Historic Park is located at 4002 Wallace St, San Diego 92110.
FIREWORKS SCHEDULE & LOCATIONS 2014
Watch the biggest fireworks display on the west coast! There are 5 recommended locations from which to view the display at its best: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village, and the Coronado Ferry Landing. The fireworks are being synchronized with a music simulcast that can be heard on The Walrus 105.7FM.
La Jolla Cove Fireworks 9:00 pm
Head over to the beautiful La Jolla Shores and enjoy a day at the beach. There will be a free concert at Ellen Browning Scripps Park at 5 pm. Fireworks will be over the La Jolla Bay and are best viewed from The La Jolla Cove and Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Enjoy dinner afterwards at any of the fine restaurants La Jolla has to offer. Location: Scripps Park, 1180 Coast Blvd.
Ocean Beach Fireworks Off the Pier 9:00 pm
Celebrate Independence Day by viewing a spectacular fireworks show in Ocean Beach! Fireworks will be launched from the end of the Ocean Beach Pier, near Newport Ave & Abbott St.
The Community Services Department presents a 4th of July Fireworks Celebration! DJ music and recreation games will keep you entertained as the fireworks are being prepared. Fireworks at 9:00 pm. Ticket prices are only $2 at the gate and children under 11 accompanied by an adult are free. Location: 15500 Espola Road, Poway 92064.
Sea World/Fiesta Island Fireworks Display 10:00 pm
A spectacular evening fireworks show can be seen near Sea World and East Mission Bay. Fireworks will be launched from a sandy mound on Fiesta Island and can be seen from surrounding areas: Crown Point Park & Beach, North Mission Bay; Tecolote Shores Park & Fiesta Island near East Mission Bay; Ski Beach Park, east Vacation Isle, South Shores Park, east of SeaWorld.
Fireworks Viewing at Cabrillo National Monument 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Come and be above the Fireworks on 4th of July. This is the second time ever open to the public. Come for the sunset and stay for the fireworks; watch more than 6 different fireworks displays. Bring chairs, flashlights, and blankets. Tickets are $35 per passenger vehicle. Location: Cabrillo National Monument, 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego.
The City event starts at 1:00 p.m. with food, games, prizes, kiddie train rides and more! Live musical entertainment begins at 3:00 p.m. and fireworks are at 9:00 p.m. Arrive early for parking to find the best viewing spot! Location: Kennedy Park, 1675 E. Madison Ave, El Cajon.
Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and head to Grape Day Park for a fun-filled, star-spangled celebration that includes food vendors, a community art sale and free children’s activities including face painting, feather hair extensions, and airbrush tattoos. The night concludes on the Center’s Great Green with the Marine Division Band, and a dazzling Fireworks display at around 9:00 pm.
Scripps Ranch puts on one of the best 4th of July fireworks shows in San Diego so that the communities of Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa can enjoy a traditional and family friendly finish to their Independence Day celebration. The show is 20 minutes long, contains over 600 shells and is synchronized to music broadcast on the radio. The show is funded entirely by residents and businesses in the community. Best viewing location: Mira Mesa Community Park Center at 8575 New Salem St.
The summer heats up at LEGOLAND with a star-spangled Fourth of July celebration, “Red, White and Boom!” The awe-inspiring fireworks show begins at 8:30 PM and blends patriotic music with dazzling pyrotechnics. Throughout the day, kids of all ages can enjoy live musical performances and participate in all-American family picnic games like water-balloon tosses, burlap sack races and building activities. Location: One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad 92008.
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