With patriotic parties aplenty, there will be no shortage of fireworks in San Diego this 4th of July. Here's our guide to the dazzling shows that will illuminate our skyline on Independence Day.
Big Bay Boom
9 p.m., San Diego Bay
San Diego’s biggest 4th of July fireworks show, the Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom, returns to the waterfront this year. Fireworks will launch at 9 p.m. from four barges along the San Diego Bay. Prime viewing locations include: Shelter Island; Harbor Island; North Embarcadero; Marina District; Seaport Village and South Embarcadero; Coronado Ferry Landing. From wherever you are watching, get there early with your lawn chairs and blankets. The Big Bay Boom draws a huge crowd year after year, with 300,000 to 500,000 spectators expected this time.
San Diego County Fair Fireworks
9 p.m., Del Mar Fairgrounds
The 2016 San Diego County Fair will end with a bang on July 4th with a long lineup of patriotic events, including a 9 p.m. fireworks show visible throughout the fairgrounds. Fair, fireworks and fried food? Sounds like summer for sure.
Chula Vista 4th Fest
9 p.m., Chula Vista Olympic Training Center
What could possibly be more patriotic than watching Independence Day fireworks at the Olympic Training Center (OTC)? The Chula Vista OTC (2800 Olympic Parkway) will put on a fireworks show at 9 p.m. set to tunes from five radio stations: 91X; Magic 92.5; 100.78 KFMB BFM; AM 760; Z90.3. Launched from the athlete training grounds, the best spots to watch this show are at the OTC and Mountain Hawk Park (1475 Lake Crest Dr.). Gates to the OTC open at 6 p.m.; parking at the visitor’s entrance is limited to 500 cars and costs $10. Parking is also available at the New Hope Community Church (2720 Olympic Parkway). Each viewing venue holds about 3,000 people.
July 4th in Coronado
9 p.m., Coronado Island
Coronado Island will celebrate Independence Day with a host of fun events including an annual parade, a concert at Spreckels Park and, of course, prime fireworks viewing of the Big Bay Boom spectacular at 9 p.m. Good spots for fireworks viewing include Hotel Del Coronado, Glorietta Bay and Coronado Ferry Landing.
Escondido’s Independence Day Festival & Fireworks
9 p.m., California Center for the Arts Escondido
Head to the Great Green at the California Center for the Arts Escondido (340 N. Escondido Blvd.) for this 53rd annual Independence Day Festival & Fireworks, an event that typically draws about 20,000 attendees. The fun starts at 4 p.m. with lots of live music and entertainment, food vendors and activities for the kids. Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Division Band performs at 8:15 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9 p.m.
Ocean Beach Fireworks
9 p.m., OB Pier
Ocean Beach will celebrate the 4th with a dazzling fireworks show off the OB Pier. Free parking will be available at the Main Beach Lot and the Pier Parking Lot. The show will be synched to songs from KyXy 96.5. In year’s past, the Ocean Beach July 4th celebration also included a “marshmallow war” but the sticky mess left behind – and a whole lot of controversy – led to the end of that. Now, attendees are free to eat marshmallows, just not throw them.
Ken Grody Ford 4th of July Camp Pendleton Beach Bash
9 p.m., Del Mar Beach Resort at Camp Pendleton
This beach bash at Camp Pendleton includes a DJ, activities for kids, food trucks, prizes, a “Margaritaville” area and tribute to our U.S. military heroes on this special day of freedom.
The 4th of July at La Jolla Cove
9 p.m., Ellen Browning Scripps Park
Enjoy friends, family, freedom and fireworks at La Jolla Cove on the Fourth. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. at Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Park.
Santee Salutes Fireworks Show
9 p.m., Town Center Community Park East
Santee Salutes – a festival featuring live music, a patriotic ceremony, food and family-friendly fun at Town Center Community Park (550 Park Center Dr.) – will culminate with a 4th of July fireworks display at 9 p.m. The event is free; parking is between $5 and $15. The party at the park starts at 2:30 p.m.
El Cajon Fireworks
9 p.m., Kennedy Park
El Cajon’s July 4th fireworks are set for 9 p.m. at Kennedy Park (1675 E. Madison Ave.). Get there early, spread out a blanket and enjoy food vendors, games, prizes, kiddie train rides and more at the park. The 4th of July event starts at 1 p.m.; live music starts at 3 p.m.
National City 4th of July Carnival Fireworks
9 p.m., Kimball Park
National City’s multi-day July 4th carnival at Kimball Park (12th Street and D Avenue) wraps with a fireworks show at 9 p.m. on Independence Day. The fun starts at 5 p.m. at the park. The annual carnival draws a huge crowd; the National City Police Department advises motorists to avoid using D Avenue from 12th to 16th streets until the event is over.
San Marcos Fireworks
9 p.m., Bradley Park
Bradley Park (465 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd.) in San Marcos will roll out the red, white and blue for “Celebrate Freedom: A Fireworks Extravaganza,” at 9 p.m. – a show entirely funded by donations from citizens and businesses in the community. Before the fireworks fly, enjoy live music – including a performance from Beta Maxx at 6p.m. – plus carnival games, bounce houses and food vendors.
Mira Mesa Fireworks
9 p.m., Mira Mesa High School
Following an all-day July 4th celebration that includes a parade and Family Fun Day in the Park, take in the colorful Scripps Mesa Fireworks show at Mira Mesa High School (10510 Reagan Rd.). Bring a blanket and chairs and get there early.
9 p.m., Grand Tradition Estate & Gardens
Fallbrook will host its annual 4th of July fundraiser, complete with fireworks, at the Grand Tradition Estate & Gardens (220 Grand Tradition Way). Attendees can expect games, food, drinks and live music from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include open lawn seating.
9 p.m., Poway High School
Fireworks will light the sky over Poway High School’s (15500 Espola Rd.) stadium after the community’s all-day Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration. The gates open at 6 p.m. so get there early to snag a spot and enjoy games, activities and a DJ spinning tunes. This event costs $5 per person at the gate; kids 11 and under get in free.
9 p.m., Brengle Terrace Park
Vista’s fireworks show goes down at 9 p.m. from the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Brengle Terrace Park (1200 Vale Terrace Dr.). Admission to the amphitheatre is $5 per person; children 5 and under and active and retired military (and their families) get in free. Parking in the park is $15 per car.
Spirit of the 4th in Rancho Bernardo
9 p.m., Bernardo Heights Middle School
Spirit of the 4th in Rancho Bernardo starts at 6 p.m. at the athletic field at Bernardo Heights Middle School (12990 Paseo Lucido), with the “Sky Concert” fireworks display set for 9 p.m. The grand finale promises nearly 400 high-altitude shells. Parking is free in the student lot off Avenida Venusto.
9 p.m., Olive Peirce Middle School
Ramona’s fireworks go down at 9 p.m. at Olive Peirce Middle School (1521 Hanson Ln.). The Ramona Rotary group has been busy collecting donations for this show and so far, so good.
9:40 p.m., SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego puts on fireworks daily, but this 4th of July “Sea to Shining Sea” show will be an extended, extra special version of the show. The fireworks fly at 9:40 p.m. and are included with paid admission into the park.
Red, White & Boom! LEGOLand Fireworks
8:30 p.m., LEGOLAND California Resort
LEGOLAND hosts this star-spangled Red, White & Boom! Party, which runs from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., with fireworks set for 8:30 p.m. Prime viewing spots will be designated around the amusement park. Before fireworks, patrons can enjoy picnic-style games like burlap sack races and LEGO building challenges for the whole family. Activities are included with paid admission into the park.
Oceanside Fireworks – July 3rd
9 p.m., El Corazon Senior Center
Oceanside will ring in the 4th a day early – on Sunday, July 3 – with its fireworks display at 9 p.m. staged north of the El Corazon Senior Center (3302 Senior Center Dr.). Limited parking is available at Ocean Ranch Business Park; no parking is available at the El Corazon Senior Center. Rancho Del Oro Boulevard will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Music and food trucks will line the area from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.