Celebrate July 4th Safely: Without At-Home Fireworks, With Virtual and Drive-In Celebrations

While San Diego's largest annual fireworks show, the San Diego Big Bay Boom, and several others have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are a few options available to watch a fireworks display in San Diego County

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San Diegans may not be able to enjoy those booming fireworks displays this year that are typically synonymous with America's Independence Day, but fire department officials warn residents that is not an excuse to create your own.

Heartland Fire and Rescue Capt. Sonny Saghera said illegal fireworks have already sparked a fire in East San Diego County this Fourth of July season.

The fire captain reminds residents that all fireworks are illegal in San Diego County, where law enforcement officials have already noted an increase in firework complaints this month.

"With many professional firework shows being canceled this year, it is important to know that fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers. Fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year," Saghera said.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission demonstrated the dangers of fireworks on the National Mall. In 2017 fireworks caused eight deaths and an estimated 12,900 injuries.

The San Diego Police Department says if someone is caught with illegal fireworks, they can face a $1,000 fine and/or 1 year in jail.

Even sparklers are not recommended. What seems like a fun, glowing flame can actually burns at 1200 degrees and account for 12% of all firework-related emergency room visits, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's 2019 Fireworks Report.

Firefighters still want San Diegans to enjoy their Fourth of July celebrations. Saghera recommends getting in the holiday spirit with glow stikes, noisemakers or silly string instead.

"The only safe way to view fireworks is to attend a professional show," Saghera said.

Where to Watch Fireworks in San Diego County on July 4, 2020

While San Diego's largest annual fireworks show, the San Diego Big Bay Boom, and several others have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are a few options available to watch a fireworks display in San Diego County.

More than 2.5 tons of fireworks lit up the night sky from the Rose Bowl in celebration of the Fourth of July in Southern California. NBC4's Gil Leyvas was in the air to capture that show.

El Cajon Fourth of July Fireworks
9 p.m.
The city of El Cajon will set off a firework display from Kennedy Park but the park will remain closed to guest to align with the state of California's stay-at-home order. There will be no public gathering permitted near the park area but the city

Santee Salutes
Looking East and Looking West, 9 p.m.
Santee's annual July 4th celebration will carry on with two simultaneous fireworks shows from the east and west. While the actual fireworks locations will be closed to the public, Santee residents can enjoy the displays from their homes or yards by tuning into KSON 103.7 FM.
Ahead of the show, tune in to a virtual Fourth of July celebration with the 80z All Stars starting at 7:20 p.m. The event will be live-streamed via webinar here.

Denisse Cobian Tobler from Michelson Found Animals shares 3 simple ways you can relax your pet before your Fourth of July festivities.

Poway Fireworks
Poway High School and South Poway Business Park, 9 p.m.
The city of Poway is also expanding its fireworks show to be launched simultaneously from Poway High School and South Poway Business Park. Visitors are encouraged to watch the displays from their cars or homes in order to comply with the county's public health order.
Viewing will not be possible from Poway High School and parking permits for Lake Poway are sold out. An interactive map showing other parking locations can be found here.

Vista's Independence Day Celebration
Brengle Terrace Park, 9 p.m.
In order to accommodate social distancing, a drive-in celebration will be held this Fourth of July at Brengle Terrace Park in Vista instead of the usual picnic-style viewing.
The city is selling tickets to the event at $15 per car, which will allow families to enjoy the firework display from their cars. Tickets must be purchased in advance (through July 3 at 5:30 p.m.) from the Vis Tix Recreation Center at 200 Civic Center Dr.
Tune into the fireworks show using radio station 94.1 FM.

Big Bay Boom
Fox 5 San Diego, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The big show may be canceled but relive the excitement of years past in this one-hour television special. Rewatch the entire 2019 show and even relive the epic fail that was the 2012 Big Bay "Bust."
The show will air on Fox 5 San Diego and live-streamed on their website starting at 8:30 p.m.

In 2012, San Diego's annual Big Bay Boom fireworks display for Independence Day went off all at once. This video from the NBC 7 archives captures the chaos.
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