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Coastal O.C.’s Fourth of July celebrations are back with a bang

Independence Day fireworks on the Back Bay at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.
(Courtesy of Newport Dunes Waterfront)

Fourth of July celebrations are back with a bang this year, after nearly two years of paused events due to the pandemic. This year, most of Orange County’s coastal cities are getting into the star-spangled spirit once again with firework shows, picnics and festivities open to the whole family.

Safe and sane fireworks are only legal in 10 O.C. cities, so attending a professional, public fireworks show is your best bet. Here are few fun and safe coastal options along with live music shows, water sports, carnival rides and more happening all weekend long.

Huntington Beach

118th annual Fourth of July Parade

After a two-year hiatus, the city of Huntington Beach welcomes back its annual Fourth of July Parade for the 118th year at 10 a.m. on Monday.

“The Fourth of July Parade is a well-loved, family-friendly tradition here in Huntington Beach and I am thrilled about its return this year,” said Mayor Barbara Delgleize. “Every year I look forward to Fourth of July in Surf City and I am confident that there will be something here for everyone to enjoy over the long holiday weekend.”

The parade route will go up Main Street to Yorktown Avenue and feature elected officials, military veterans, marching bands and more.

Before the parade, runners can get their steps in at the Surf City Run at 7 a.m. on Monday. This 5K run is family-friendly with a kids fun-run and a stroller run. Registration is required and additional information can be found at https://runsignup.com/Race/CA/HuntingtonBeach/HBSURFCITYRUN.

The holiday weekend kicked off with an opening night block party on Main Street on Thursday, hosted by the mayor and the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District. The family-friendly fun continues at the Pier Plaza vendor festival at the Huntington Beach Pier Plaza. From July 1 through 4, Surf City goers will find more than 70 vendors and food trucks along with carnival rides, games and live music.

A ride at the Pier Vendor Festival Carnival.
(Courtesy of the city of Huntington Beach)

Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Over the Ocean
Huntington Beach’s annual Fourth of July Fireworks Over the Ocean at the Huntington Beach Pier will begin at 9 p.m. Monday. The show is presented by Robert Mayer and family, and tickets for reserved Pier seating and VIP options can be found at hb4thofjuly.org/fireworks.

Offshore 9 at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach
Offshore 9, Orange County’s highest coastal rooftop lounge, is a great spot to take in a panoramic view of Orange County’s coast and the firework show on the Huntington Beach pier. Located atop the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, the rooftop lounge will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday with a live DJ spinning from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. General admission tickets start at $250 and include a special “Sparkler in the Sky” cocktail, a selection of starters like grass-fed beef sliders and ceviche and, of course, a seat to watch the fireworks show. Packages for large groups are also available. Reservations are required.

Newport Beach

Independence Day on the Back Bay
The gates at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina will open at 8 a.m. Monday for Independence Day on the Back Bay. The recently expanded Inflatable Water Park will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and other popular water-sport equipment like kayaks, pedal boats and standup paddleboard rentals will be available. Food options will include Newport Dunes’ walk-up lunch shop, Moe B’s Munchies, as well as a food truck feast from noon to 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe past Pavilion C with nine local favorite food trucks, like Salt N’ Pepper, Kettle Corn King and Kiki’s Cuban. There will be a full bar set up with live music by the Dreamboats from 2 to 6 p.m. When the sun goes down, a fireworks show co-sponsored by the city of Newport Beach will light up the sky at 9 p.m. While admission to the event is free, Fourth of July reserved parking passes are going for $100. Day-of parking will also be available for $50 in an unpaved lot nearby, and limited free street parking is also an option.

Fireworks light up the sky on Independence Day on the Back Bay at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.
(Courtesy of Newport Dunes Waterfront)

11th annual Fourth of July is for Families Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Festival
The 11th annual Fourth of July is for Families Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Festival begins with a bike parade at West Balboa Boulevard and 36th Street at 9 a.m. on Monday. The festivities will continue at Channel Place Park from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. with carnival games, crafts, music and food. This event is open to the whole family. Dogs are welcome, though they must be leashed.

49th annual Mariners Park Independence Day Parade & Celebration
Presented by Mariners Elementary School Foundation and the city of Newport Beach Senior Services & Recreation Department, the 49th annual Mariners Park Independence Day Parade & Celebration kicks off with a parade at the corner of Commodore Road and Mariners Drive at 10 a.m. Monday. The Newport Beach Fire Department will lead the procession, and parade participants are encouraged to decorate bikes, strollers and wagons in red, white and blue. The fun continues at Mariners Park from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with food trucks, live music, face painting, bounce houses and an eating contest.

Pancake breakfast, barbecue lunch and Old Glory Boat Parade
The American Legion Yacht Club in Newport Beach is hosting activities all day on July 4. The day starts with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. in the Post parking lot. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and orange juice (two mimosas for those 21 and over) will be served for $15 for adults and $8 for kids. From 1 to 3:30 p.m., barbecue will be served with diners getting two choices from a menu of chicken, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, fresh fruit, baked beans, potato salad and cookies for a $30 donation. M Street Band will play dance hits from 1 to 5 p.m. The American Legion Yacht Club‘s annual Old Glory Boat Parade gets underway at 1 p.m. Boats decorated in this year’s theme, “America the Beautiful,” will sail around Newport Harbor. The parade will shove off the east end of Lido Island and follow a route through the harbor between the hours of 1 and 3:30 p.m. Registration to participate is free, and boaters are encouraged to decorate their vessels. Awards are given for Best Decorated, Finest Costumes, Most Creative and the Commodore’s Award. Winner will be announced on July 17 at an awards banquet.

Fountain Valley

July 4th Bike Parade
Green Valley Neighbors will host their fifth annual Bike Parade on Monday at 10 a.m. Bikers should meet at Los Arcos Street, near the family pool to ride the Los Jardines Loop. In addition to bicycles, scooters, wagons and strollers are welcome. If your wheels are decorated with red, white and blue spirit, even better, organizers say. A treat for kids awaits parade participants at the finish line.

Fourth of July in Huntington Beach.
(Courtesy of the city of Huntington Beach)

Costa Mesa

Independence Day Community Celebration at the O.C. fairgrounds
A free Independence Day Community Celebration is being presented by the city of Costa Mesa at the O.C. fairgrounds on July 3 from 5 to 11 p.m. A fireworks show is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and picnic dinner (no glass bottles, hard-sided coolers or outside alcohol). The event will feature live music from the Tijuana Dogs, a set from DJ Kaboom and contests for kids. Food and drinks will be for sale.

TNT Fireworks Stand
Costa Mesa High School baseball team’s annual fundraiser returns through July 4 at OC Fair & Event Center in Lot E, located at corner of Fairview Road and Arlington Drive. The stand is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 through July 3 and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4. In Orange County, safe and sane fireworks are only legal in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Stanton, Villa Park, and Westminster. If your Fourth of July celebration isn’t in one of those cities, then maybe skip the sparklers.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach city fireworks show

The city fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m. Monday from Monument Point at Heisler Park. As a result, the Monument Point area will be closed on July 4, and the area of Heisler Park from Myrtle Street to the Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street will be closed to the public to allow for fireworks preparation at 5 p.m. The city trolleys schedule will also be modified with the Coastal route running from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the Canyon route operating from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fourth of July beach party at Hotel Laguna

The Hotel Laguna offers unobstructed views of Laguna Beach’s fireworks show. The beach party begins at noon and goes until 10 p.m. on July 4 with VIP cabana and table rentals available as well as tickets to the firework-viewing terrace. Tickets range from $500 to $1,500.

Fourth of July fireworks over the ocean.
(Courtesy of the city of Huntington Beach)


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