NEWPORT BEACH — Aiming to include kids and families in the holiday-weekend fun, on Monday the city hosted the first-ever Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Community Festival.
Hundreds took part in the new peninsula event — dubbed "Fourth of July is for Families" — by dressing patriotically in red, white and blue. Many participants rode their bikes and walked their dogs the short distance from 38th Street Park up Balboa Boulevard to Channel Place Park.
At Channel Place Park, a festival organized by the city's Recreation and Senior Services Department offered carnival games, jump houses and food.
City officials created the family-friendly event on the peninsula in an effort help tame the area's party-filled reputation throughout the Independence Day holiday. Councilman Steve Rosansky told the Daily Pilot in June that some peninsula residents had expressed concerns of few options being offered for families, calling the holiday revelry "a big free-for-all."
The City Council approved the "Loud and Unruly Gathering" ordinance in May, which imposes fines on partygoers, renters and landlords who contribute to or allow excessively rowdy parties.
Under the law, if officers hear noise they deem excessive, see public urination, underage drinking and other behaviors, they can post a notice on the door and issue violations. Fourth of July fines, within a designated part of West Newport, are $1,500 for the first and $3,000 for subsequent offenses.
"We're changing the culture here. We're not going to allow this to be a party town," said Police Chief Jay Johnson in May.
Still, despite an ordinance, a family parade and saturated police enforcement presence, the peninsula was living up to its reputation early Monday, with parties already raging on patios and balconies.