Fireworks will again light up the skies in Laguna Beach on Independence Day and large crowds are expected to converge on the city.
The city-sponsored Fourth of July fireworks display was paid for partly with the help of donations, after funding for the pyrotechnics show was cut from the city budget. Other displays are planned in the communities of Three Arch Bay, Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay for a festive nighttime display.
The fireworks, visible from Main Beach, will be "shot" from Monument Point at Heisler Park starting 9 p.m. Sunday, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse. The Monument Point area of the park will be closed all day, and beaches from the south end of Picnic Beach to the stairs at Rockpile beach will also be closed.
About 6 p.m., the area of Heisler Park from Rock Bench at Myrtle Street to Jasmine Street will be closed, and the beaches from the north end of Picnic beach to North Main Beach will also be closed to prepare for the fireworks show, and the public will not be allowed in this area.
The show should last about 15 minutes. City officials are reminding visitors that fireworks and firecrackers are illegal in the City of Laguna Beach — except for the professional shows.
City trolleys will run from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The public will be expected to observe rules including no alcohol or smoking on the beaches, and no tents, "easy-ups," or barbecues on beaches or in the parks.
Alcohol permits, which are required for Heisler Park, may be obtained at the Community Services Department, 515 Forest Ave. Dogs are not allowed on city beaches from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Sept. 16.
After the fireworks, police will be redirecting traffic for people leaving town, said Lt. Jason Kravetz. The center turning lane on Laguna Canyon Road will become an outbound lane. Police are urging drivers to leave town via the Coast Highway and to avoid Laguna Canyon altogether.
"We strongly advise visitors to park north or south of the downtown area and use the exits on Pacific Coast Highway," Kravetz said.
Those going northbound can turn on Newport Coast and head to the freeways, he said, and those going southbound can use Crown Valley Parkway to head inland.