Fourth of July

San Diego celebrates Fourth of July: Big Bay Boom, packed beaches, parades & more

Take a look at some of the holiday celebrations happening all over the county

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Large crowds flocked to San Diego's coasts to spend this year's Fourth of July relaxing in the summer sun.

Locals and visitors from all over the world showed up early to get a spot. By noon, San Diego police said all city beach parking lots had reached capacity.

Throughout the day, NBC 7 was spread out across the county, capturing the packed beaches, parades and people camping out waiting to experience one of the biggest fireworks shows in California — the Big Bay Boom on San Diego Bay.

PHOTOS: San Diego celebrates Fourth of July 2024

A roundup of our coverage is below:

People camp out for hours to watch Big Bay Boom on San Diego Bay

The annual Big Bay Boom is the largest fireworks show on the West Coast, drawing an estimated attendance of up to half a million people, according to its website. Yelp ranked the Big Bay Boom No. 2 in a list of best places to watch Fourth of July fireworks in the nation last year.

NBC 7's Shelby Bremer was at one of the prime viewing spots on Harbor Island, where people camped out for hours grilling and chilling while they waited for the show.

The Big Bay Boom is billed as the largest fireworks show in California. People came out to Harbor Island for a good viewing spot. NBC 7's Shelby Bremer reports.

Pyro-show producer Sam Bruggema is the person behind the Big Bay Boom. He has put in many hours to make the entire show spectacular.

"I don't want the finale to be the only thing people walk away remembering," he said.

Crowds pack Mission Beach for Fourth of July

Mission Beach is one of San Diego's most popular Fourth of July spots. NBC 7's Shandel Menezes was there and explained that lifeguards were on high alert on Thursday due to the risks of rip currents.

San Diego is one of those places that really celebrates the Fourth of July. The county is a top holiday destination. NBC 7's Shandel Menezes was at one of the most popular spots, Mission Beach.

San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Jacob Magness expected more than 100 rescues on July 4. By 2 p.m., there had been 105 rescues across San Diego beaches.

Menezes explains that the best thing to do in a rip current is to stay calm and move with the flow of the water until a lifeguard can get to you. If you can swim, do so parallel to the shore.

Fiesta Island reaches capacity

The Fourth of July is the one day out of the year when the population of Fiesta Island — nestled in the center of east Mission Bay — looks to be the size of a small city.

San Diego police said the island reached capacity and closed it to vehicle traffic by 2 p.m. Any cars that left were not allowed to return.

NBC 7's Dave Summers shows us what makes Fiesta Island on July Fourth so popular.

Police closed Fiesta Island at one point to vehicle traffic because of crowds on July 4, 2024. NBC 7's Dave Summers takes a look at what makes the spot popular.

Imperial Beach 4th of July Fireworks

The Big Bay Boom isn't the only fireworks show in town. In the South Bay, thousands of people are expected to line the beach to watch the most southwestern fireworks show in the country.

NBC 7's Jeanette Quezada got a behind-the-scenes look as the city of Imperial Beach got ready to host its fireworks show.

For the past six years, Thomas Sanders has been putting on the Independence Day fireworks in Imperial Beach. His show includes more than 550 fireworks, all of which are choreographed to music.

"What I hope that everybody feels is the emotion of that song," Sanders said.

NBC 7's Jeanette Quezada spoke with the organizer who is the spark behind the fireworks show in the city of Imperial Beach on July 4, 2024.

Those who headed out to Imperial Beach to celebrate the holiday were met with the usual water closures due to the sewage crisis in Mexico.

Some people told NBC 7 they weren't that concerned, while others said they weren't aware of the warning.

The county says the Tijuana Slough Shoreline and the Silver Strand Shoreline are also closed due to high bacteria levels.

Coronado's Fourth of July Celebration

Coronado's Fourth of July celebration truly is a city-wide event, with events starting as early as 7 a.m.

Festivities began with a 12K run, followed by the big Independence Day parade, which turned 75 years old on Thursday.

NBC 7 photojournalist Paul Makarushka captured the sights and sounds of the parade.

NBC 7 photojournalist Paul Makarushka shows us the sights and sounds of Coronado's Fourth of July parade that's now 75 years old.

Scripps Ranch 4th of July Parade

The Fourth of July parade returned to Scripps Ranch for its 54th year. This year's theme was "Scripps Ranch: America's Cul-De-Sac," and the parade featured local dignitaries, girl and boy scout troops, decorated vehicles, school groups and even some rodeo queens.

NBC 7's Monica Dean and Steven Luke emceed the parade.

NBC 7's Monica Dean and Steven Luke emceed the Scripps Ranch 4th of July Parade this year.
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