So, 4th of July, we meet again. While your weather last year was less than ideal (I’m looking at you, lingering June gloom), this year seems to be projecting more sunshine than clouds — we thank you for this. And who could forget the great fireworks debacle of 2012? Sounds like we’ve got some making up to do to make this the best Independence Day yet. As if San Diegans need another reason to love life, this year’s city-wide events are shaping up to be as lively, sexy and sun-kissed as the city itself. Don’t act like you’re not impressed.
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld July 4th Fireworks Celebration
Shamu and the gang want you to celebrate with them, SeaWorld style. During the day, check out the many offerings at the theme park including the dolphin, sea lion and killer whale shows. Make your way through the amazing underwater viewing tunnel at the Shark Encounter attraction or experience the nearly 300 penguins at Penguin Encounter before making your way over to the Wild Arctic Ride. Once the sun sets, visitors will be able to watch the fireworks complemented by the sounds of orchestral music from their newest show, Blue Horizon. The incredible pyrotechnic display is a great way to end your evening at the park. The fireworks show starts at 9:30 so make sure to arrive early and pick out your viewing spot. Dressing up like a sea animal not required, but highly supported.
Photo Courtesy of Ocean Beach Mainstream Assoc.
4th Of July Fireworks Celebration at the Ocean Beach Pier
Ocean Beach tends to be one of the least crowded beaches around, but on the 4th, the masses pour in for a day of picnicking, swimming in the ocean, shopping on Newport Ave. and enjoying all the quirks that this little town has to offer. Newport Ave. has a plethora of dining options as well as a number of bars in case you’d like to stop in for a quick cocktail before evening out your tan. At 9 p.m. the fireworks above the pier go off for a spectacular show against the glimmering waves below. One of the highlights of spending your 4th there? The marshmallow fight after the fireworks show. Each year, hundreds of pounds of marshmallows are thrown into the air at other marshmallow-carrying celebrators. While a sticky mess afterwards, the community continues to preserve this tradition each year. (Locals Tip: Take your board, grab your friends and paddle out with tons of other surfers to watch the fireworks from the ocean).
Photo Courtesy of Seaport Village
13th Annual Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show
Toted as “The Largest Event on the West Coast” this fireworks show starting at 9 p.m. runs for a lengthy 18 minutes and is produced by one of the best worldwide operators of fireworks displays. (Yes, that’s an actual job!) Set to the sounds of The Walrus 105.7 FM, Big Bay Boom shoots off from four barge locations and can be seen by over 500,000 people. This can be viewed from any location in San Diego but the best viewing spots are at Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing. To accommodate the masses, the Port of San Diego has set up free parking lots with shuttle service to Harbor Island and Shelter Island. The lots will open at 5:30 p.m. with shuttles departing at 6 p.m., so plan accordingly. Marking its thirteenth year as a production, its 2012 show captured international attention as thousands of fireworks set off simultaneously in under 30 seconds with one loud BOOM. Fingers crossed for a better show this year.
Photo Courtesy of Andaz San Diego
Andaz San Diego Hosts Fortune’s Fourth Of July Rooftop Pool Party & Fireworks
For the 21+ crowd, Andaz San Diego will host a Fourth of July celebration with a rooftop pool party and fireworks viewing bash between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Drinks will be flowing at this sizzling event complete with a barbecue, dancing and beats from DJs Viceroy and Them Jeans delivering disco, house and indie dance sounds. On the main stage, DJ Theron will drop electro house vibes and will be joined by DJs Gabe Vega, Brady Spear, Colourvision, Ayla Simone, Fishfonics, Beefam, J-Sin, Will Hernandez and Wattzup. During the day, soak up the sun amidst patriotic décor, a Bacardi Cherry Noir Lemonade stand, and of course, playful pool toys. Dressing guests in the hottest clothing, women's bikinis and men's board shorts, Fortune 421’s street style-inspired pop-up boutique will make an appearance offering its newest fashions. Tickets for the event can be purchased online with advanced tickets starting at $40. Bottle service will be available as well and early reservations are advised.
Photo Courtesy of Legoland California
'Red, White And Boom!' At LEGOLAND California
Families, here’s one for you. Between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., LEGOLAND California will be buzzing with children enjoying water balloon tosses, burlap sack races and paper airplane contests. Throughout the day a number of games and music can be experienced including a Character Dance Party, Uncle Sam Says and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. Beginning at 8:30 p.m. the fireworks show will be set to a patriotic musical tribute with the help of dazzling pyrotechnics.
Photo Courtesy of San Diego County Fair
San Diego County Fair 4th Of July Celebration!
A city staple, the San Diego County Fair is hoping to show you its patriotism at their annual 4th of July Celebration. Spend your day spinning on rides, eating deep fried treats or walking through the many exhibits like the new Star Trek exhibit. (Trekkies, now you have another reason to say, “nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e'.”) In the evening, the festivities will kick-off with a Hometown Heroes Parade featuring first responders, nurses, teachers, volunteers and those in San Diego who make a difference in the lives of others. The night will also include a special tribute to the victims of 9/11 with a speech from Joe Torrillo, a former New York Firefighter and 9/11 survivor. At 9 p.m. the fireworks will commence and will be accompanied by music from the "Happy Together Tour."
Photo Courtesy of Hornblower Cruises & Events San Diego
4th Of July Fireworks Celebration Dinner Cruise
What better way to spend the Fourth than on the deck of a yacht? The Hornblower's Fireworks Dinner Cruise Celebration from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. will be serving up a delicious buffet assortment on the 3-hour crusie. Tickets for the event are priced at $124.95 per person and include a boarding glass of Champagne, DJ entertainment and your own private reserved table. Additional beverages and cocktails will be available for purchase. Sponsored by Port of San Diego, guests will watch the Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show over the water from one of two cruise choices.
So now, the hard part: Which to choose? We can’t pick for you but whichever strikes your fancy, we’re betting it’ll be a memorable one. Stay safe, remain proud and keep it classy, San Diego.