City officials confirmed to NBC 7 on Wednesday that there would be no fireworks display at La Jolla on Independence Day, for the fourth year in a row.
The 30-minute display over La Jolla Cove had been set for 9 p.m. on the 4th, but a city official said that permitting was the problem.
"City staff has made every attempt to find a safe, legally sound path to hold the fireworks display despite the short timeline," city spokesman Timothy W. Graham wrote. "The city did not receive a permit application for the event until June 10, leaving insufficient time to process the necessary authorizations, including a Coastal Development Permit, which requires a 60-day notice and a public hearing."
Last year's celebration, of course, was cancelled due to social-distance restrictions during the pandemic, and it's unlikely that the city's alternatives to the La Jolla fireworks will be of much consolation to the normally parking-challenged event.
"The city is willing to work with the applicants on alternative celebration ideas and today issued a park-use permit for EB Scripps Park," Graham added. "While we know this is frustrating, the city must follow all applicable laws and regulations to safeguard residents and environmentally sensitive lands."
This is not the first time the fireworks in La Jolla have been in the spotlight. In 2018 and 2019, the big show winked out when sponsorship funding fell through. In 2016, the show at the La Jolla Cove gained attention when a malfunction interrupted the display and five people operating the show narrowly avoided injury.
In 2014, the show in La Jolla was canceled due to a lack of planning tied to a lawsuit. Environmental activists wanted to pull the plug because the pyrotechnics were launched over a protected marine sanctuary. The fireworks faced a similar legal challenge this year, which was, so far, unresolved.
San Diegans still have a host of alternatives for fireworks with friends and family on the 4th of July, however. NBC 7 published a comprehensive guide on local alternatives on Wednesday.