America: What better band to play on Fourth?

"Nothing says July 4 like America," Newport Dunes spokesman and former Daily Pilot publisher Tom Johnson said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

He wasn't just stating the obvious, though — the California rock band behind "Ventura Highway" and "A Horse with No Name" will be the musical centerpiece at the Dunes' revamped Independence Day on the Bay celebration this year.

Other activities will include a chili cook-off, a kids corral with rides and crafts, and a beer and wine garden.

The event will start at about noon July 4. Then, America will take the stage at 7:30, to be followed by fireworks.

More events, activities and music are scheduled for July 6, including a performance by a Journey tribute band and a "Food Truck Wars" contest.

Johnson and Dunes General Manager Andy Theodorou said the city approached the waterfront RV resort and marina about taking some of the pressure off the Balboa Peninsula — whose sometimes rowdy Fourth of July festivities have earned it the nickname of "the war zone" in years past.

And so after two years of smaller Independence Day bashes that have still drawn about 10,000 visitors, Theodorou said that this July, the Dunes' celebrations will be ramped up.

Tickets for the Fourth of July events cost $20 per person, or $80 for four people plus parking. VIP passes cost $200 for four wristbands and valet parking. Tickets to the July 6 event cost $10 per person, or $30 for four people plus parking.

For more information, go to the Eventbrite page:

— Jill Cowan

Twitter: @jillcowan

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