Editor's note: This corrects an earlier version that stated the Balboa Island Parade is part of the Fourth of July events. In fact that parade took place June 6.
Looking for a good way to commemorate our national holiday Sunday? Newport-Mesa is chock-full of patriotic, char-grilled and explosive ways to celebrate independence. Here's a sampling.
In Newport Harbor, check out the American Legion Yacht Club's Old Glory Boat Parade from 1 to 5 p.m. Owners cover their ships in red, white and blue in hopes of earning trophies for best Decoration, best costumes, or the elusive Commodore's Award. A tradition more than 50 years in the making, the parade forms off of Collins Island and will be led by the Harbor Patrol Fire Boat.
Stop by the American Legion Newport Harbor Post, 291 15th St., from 7 to 11 a.m. for the famous $10 pancake breakfast; lunch and dinner also will be served from noon to 5 p.m. for $10. The parade can be viewed from the post, as well as many places overlooking the harbor. For more information, call (949) 673-5070 or visit al291.com.
The Mariners Elementary School Foundation runs a popular carnival and bicycle parade at Mariners Park, with proceeds benefiting the school. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m., with the carnival running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All-day wristbands are available for activities including a rock climbing wall, bungee run, 28-foot slide and more. For more information, visit marinersfoundation.com.
Seeking a "safe and sane" way to legally blow stuff up on the Fourth? Head to a buddy's place in Costa Mesa, where (legal) fireworks are permitted; no fireworks of any kind, including sparklers, can be used or possessed in Newport Beach.
For a spectacular view of the fireworks displays in the area, consider joining the Southwind Kayak Center's group kayaking firework viewing journey through the bay at 7:30 p.m. Costs are $35 per adult, or $25 per adult with their own boat; tickets for children ages 5 to 17 are $25 each. For more information, call (949) 261-0200.
For a bit of mirth with your patriotism, check out the Red, White & Blue Singles Party at the Pavilion in the Radisson Hotel Newport Beach, 4545 Macarthur Blvd., from 8 p.m. to midnight. The average attendee age is 30 to 45, but the event is open to those ages 21 and up, and the deejay will spin '80s and '90s music. Admission is $10; dress code is red, white and blue. For more information, call (949) 378-6600 or visit kalinda.name.
The biggest fireworks display on the bay can be found at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, 1131 Back Bay Drive, whose all-day family fun fest begins at 11 a.m. Events like a Velcro wall, dunk tank, volleyball tournament, horseshoe tournament, bungee run, cake walk, limbo contest, and bounce house will be available until 7 p.m. DJs and live bands will perform. The day concludes with a spectacular fireworks show — one of the best in the region. The event is free, but there's a $35 parking fee per vehicle, so fill up a Suburban or Expedition and share the costs. For more information, call (949) 729-3863 or visit newportdunes.com.