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Stirring Displays Can Add Sparkle to Your Holiday

Americans love explosions--the bigger, brighter and noisier the better. It’s a national obsession, and not just on the Fourth of July. One big reason “Lethal Weapon” and James Bond films remain so popular is that audiences know they’ll be packed with enough pyrotechnic razzle-dazzle to level a mid-sized city.

But when Independence Day does roll around, look out. Blowing things up is as American as rodeos and Spaghettios. Even our national anthem speaks of “rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air.”

That’s why every year at this time Americans spend millions on fireworks of all kinds, from “safe and sane” do-it-yourself volcanoes to musically choreographed extravaganzas so dazzling you may want to carry sunscreen.

Orange County is no exception. Some 25 fireworks shows are planned for this weekend. Here’s the list--light up a sparkler and plan your day.

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ALISO VIEJO

* Foxborough Park, Deerhurst and Foxborough streets.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, big-band and symphonic concerts, children’s activities, a patriotic bike parade and food booths from 5 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free.

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Information: (949) 362-5890, Ext. 236.

ANAHEIM

* Disneyland, 1313 Harbor Blvd.

When: Fireworks at 9:35 p.m. (park open 8 a.m.-2 a.m.). Other attractions include the Mulan and Hercules parades, “Animazement--The Musical” and “Fantasmic.”

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Cost: $28-$38.

Information: (714) 781-4565.

* Edison International Field, 2000 Gene Autry Way.

When: Fireworks follow baseball game--Anaheim Angels vs. Oakland Athletics, 6:05 p.m.

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Cost: $4-$22.

Information: (714) 634-2000.

* Peralta Canyon Park, 115 N. Pinney Drive.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, parade and entertainment beginning at 3 p.m.

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Cost: $1.

Information: (714) 765-5191.

BUENA PARK

* Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd.

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When: Fireworks at 9:45 p.m. (park open 9 a.m.-1 a.m.). On Friday the park unveils its newest ride, Supreme Scream, in which open-air riders rocket 252 feet straight up, then get blasted back down at more than 50 mph.

Cost: $12.50-$36. $14.95 for all ages after 4 p.m.

Information: (714) 220-5200.

DANA POINT

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* Dana Point Harbor; visible throughout the area.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. launched from a barge in the middle of the harbor. Tune radios to KSBR-FM (88.5) for synchronized music.

Cost: Free.

Information: (949) 496-4251.

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FULLERTON

* Fullerton Union High School stadium, Lemon Street and Berkeley Avenue.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, entertainment by hypnotist Cindy Layne and the Fullerton Community Band, as well as rides, children’s activities and food and games booths from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $4-$6.

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Information: (714) 738-3167.

HUNTINGTON BEACH

* Huntington Beach High School stadium, 1905 Main St.

When: Fireworks at dark (gates open at 7 p.m.). Also, ninth annual Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade at 10 a.m. A 5K run/walk begins at 7:30 a.m. at Worthy Park (17th and Main streets), followed by a health and fitness expo.

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Cost: $5.

Information: (714) 536-5486.

IRVINE

* Pacific Symphony concert at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, 8800 Irvine Center Drive.

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When: 8 p.m. Gates open for picnicking at 6 p.m. Program includes music by John Williams, Lee Holdridge, Morton Gould, John Denver and John Philip Sousa.

* Organizers confirm music by John Philip Sousa will be featured.

Cost: $13-$54.

Information: (714) 755-5799.

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* Irvine High School stadium, 4601 Walnut Ave.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Gates open at 3:45 p.m. Also, entertainment, games and children’s activities and concert by the Frank Amoss Orchestra beginning at 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Irvine Police Assn.

Cost: $5-$10; $30 for families (2 adults and up to 4 children).

Information: (949) 509-0579.

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LA HABRA

* La Habra High School, 801 Highlander Ave.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, family entertainment, including music by Disneyland’s Bayou Brass Band, children’s activities and food booths, beginning at 6 p.m.

Cost: $1.

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Information: (562) 905-9708.

LAGUNA HILLS

* Laguna Hills High School, Paseo de Valencia and Alicia Parkway.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, music by the Twilight Lords, a dunk tank, karaoke, a rock-climbing wall, a slide and food booths, beginning at 4 p.m.

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Cost: Free.

Information: (949) 707-2686.

LAGUNA NIGUEL

* Laguna Niguel Regional Park, La Paz and Aliso Creek roads.

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When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, a community festival at Crown Valley Park nearby (29751 Crown Valley Parkway) will include running events (7 a.m.), a pancake breakfast, free swimming and music by Groove Therapy (6 p.m.).

Cost: Free.

Information: (949) 362-4350.

LONG BEACH

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* Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, end of Long Beach Freeway.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Synchronized music July 4 on KBIG-FM (104.3). Viewing from the ship or at different points around harbor area. Also, a carnival with rides and games (5-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday) at Queen Mary Events Park. Dances aboard ship Friday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Cost: $8-$13.

Information: (562) 435-3511

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LOS ALAMITOS

* Los Alamitos Armed Forces Reserve Center, Lexington Drive and Katella Avenue.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, entertainment by the 40th Infantry Division Band, Capt. Kenny & Friends, clowns and stilt-walkers, as well as food booths, military displays and more, beginning at 6 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m. Co-sponsored by the cities of Los Alamitos, Cypress and Seal Beach.

* Organizers confirm music by John Philip Sousa will be featured.

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Cost: Free.

Information: (714) 229-6780 or (562) 430-1073.

MISSION VIEJO

* Mission Viejo Youth Athletic Park, Olympiad Road near Marguerite Parkway.

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When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, street fair with entertainment by MayBEE DayDreams, West Coast Flyer and Debbie Johnson, as well as food booths, crafts and rides, all starting at noon.

Cost: Free.

Information: (949) 470-3000.

NEWPORT BEACH

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* Newport Dunes Resort, 1131 Backbay Drive.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, live music, dancing, beach volleyball, food booths and carnival games from noon to 4 p.m. Beach opens at 7 a.m. The Dunes’ fireworks also can be seen aboard the Catalina Flyer during the July 4 cruise (from the Balboa Fun Zone, Balboa Boulevard and Washington Street. 8 p.m. $5-$10, [949] 673-0240).

Cost: $20 per car.

Information: (949) 862-4334.

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ORANGE

* Fred Kelly Stadium at El Modena High School, 3920 E. Spring St.

When: Get an early start on Independence Day with a fireworks show Friday beginning at 9:15 p.m. Also, music by the Happy Crowd, the Nightriders and Orange County Chorus, as well as children’s activities and food booths beginning at 4 p.m.

Cost: $4; children under 6, free.

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Information: (714) 744-7278.

PLACENTIA

* Bradford Stadium, Valencia High School, 500 N. Bradford Ave.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, family games, face painting and food, plus and music by Red Wine and the Al Sanada All Star Big Band starting at 6:30 p.m.

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* Organizers confirm music by John Philip Sousa will be featured.

Cost: $1-$4.50.

Information: (714) 993-8204.

RANCHO

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SANTA MARGARITA

* Santa Margarita Lake, Avenida de las Fores at Santa Margarita Parkway.

When: Fireworks begin at dusk. Also, food, games, a bounce house for children and music by Dr. Howard & Fine beginning at 6 p.m.

Cost: Free.

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Information: (949) 589-4272.

SAN CLEMENTE

* San Clemente Pier, near Avenida del Mar and Alameda Lane.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, hilltop viewing of fireworks with concert by jazz vocalist Kristin Korb and ice-cream social beginning at 6:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea United Methodist Church, 2001 Calle Frontera, (949) 492-2537.

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Cost: Free.

Information: (949) 361-8264.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

* San Juan Capistrano Sports Park, 25925 Camino del Avion.

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When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, children’s rides, game booths, food, exhibits, country-dance contests, a children’s patriotic parade (4:30 p.m.) and music by the Megatones, Heebie & Jeebi and Ricardo Silveira & Band, all starting at 3 p.m.

* Organizers confirm music by John Philip Sousa will be featured.

Cost: Free.

Information: (949) 493-5911

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SANTA ANA

* Centennial Regional Park, Edinger Avenue and Fairview Road.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, carnival rides, food booths, games, and music from noon to 10 p.m. Fair continues Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free. $3 for parking.

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Information: (714) 571-4200.

TUSTIN

* Tustin High School, Northrup Field, 1171 El Camino Real.

When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, family entertainment, food and music by the Bootie Shakers beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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Cost: Free.

Information: (714) 573-3326.

WESTMINSTER

* Westminster High School Stadium, 14325 Golden West St.

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When: Fireworks at 9 p.m. Also, entertainment by the Nicholson Pipes and Drums and Las Tapatias, as well as martial-arts demonstrations and food booths. Gates open at 5 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Information: (714) 895-2860.

SOME OTHER NEARBY DISPLAYS

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In L.A. County, the Queen Mary and KBIG-FM team up for “Red, White and Boom,” a fireworks show and disco party. Fireworks will explode over the Queen Mary and Long Beach Harbor Friday through Sunday, with the largest display on Saturday. Disco party Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight, included in Queen Mary admission before 9 p.m., $8 after. Round-trip water taxi to Long Beach aquarium, $1. (562) 435-3511.

The 41st annual Long Beach Firefighters Memorial Assn. fireworks display returns to Long Beach Veterans Stadium, 5000 Lew Davis Drive, Saturday. Music by Ronnie & the Classics and a K-9 unit demonstration. Gates open 5:30 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. $7; ages 5 to 11 and seniors, $5. No coolers. (562) 493-9069.

The Shirelles (“Soldier Boy”) headline Kaboom ’98 at the L.A. Fairplex, one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the area. Starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, activities include carnival rides, pony rides and a petting farm, and classic car, motorcycle and BMX bicycle and skateboard shows. The concert begins at 8 p.m., followed by an eye-popping ground and aerial fireworks show at 9 p.m. 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona. General seating: adults, $5; ages 6 to 12, $3; 5 and younger, free. Reserved seats: adults, $9; children 12 and younger, $4. Box seats: adults, $12; children, 12 and younger, $6. Parking, $5 at Gate 17. (909) 623-3111.

Catalina Island’s Fourth of July parade marches down Crescent Avenue in Avalon at 1 p.m. Saturday, featuring elaborately decorated golf carts and the USC Trojan Marching Band. A barbecue buffet dinner-dance is planned from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Casino Ballroom. Adults, $20; children 3 to 12, $15; 2 and younger, free. Dinner reservations required. No dinner, $10 (includes view of the fireworks). (310) 510-1520.

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In Riverside County, Temecula’s “Star-Spangled Fourth of July” begins with a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday down Front Street in Old Town. A festival follows at Rancho California Sports Park, 30875 Rancho Vista Road, from 2 to 30 p.m., which includes pop bands, food and fireworks. Free. (909) 694-6480.

The Sprint Cars and Fireworks Show gets underway Saturday with qualifying rounds at 6 p.m., racing at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Perris Auto Speedway, Lake Perris Fairgrounds, 18700 Lake Perris Drive, Perris. $16; ages 13 to 17, $10; ages 6 to 12, $5. (909) 940-0134.

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In San Bernardino County, the Big Bear Lake Rotary Club is hosting its annual barbecue Saturday followed by a grand fireworks display over the lake. The barbecue ($15; 10 and younger, $10) begins at 6 p.m. and includes a brass band and games for kids. Outside the Marina Riviera Resort, 40770 Lake View Drive. The free fireworks show will be synchronized to a broadcast on radio station KBHR-FM (93.3). (909) 866-2112.

San Bernardino Parks and Recreation plans family games and entertainment, beginning Saturday at 3 p.m., featuring a blues bands, cloggers and Chris Davis and His Orchestra. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Seccombe Lake Park, 547 N. Sierra Way, San Bernardino. Free. (909) 384-5233.


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