San Diego’s longtime Fourth of July tradition, the Big Bay Boom, has been canceled due to restrictions brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced Friday.
The Port of San Diego said the Fourth of July fireworks show – which brings enormous crowds to the waterfront every year – will not go on as planned this summer.
Organizers said the cancellation of the local tentpole event is in alignment with California’s ongoing stay at home order that prohibits large gatherings.
The cancellation is a way to prioritize public health, the Port of San Diego said.
The Fourth of July event typically draws about 500,000 spectators who line up their chairs and blankets along the waterfront hours before the 9 p.m. fireworks show. Prime viewing spots include Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Marina District, and Coronado Ferry Landing.
For many San Diegans, the Big Bay Boom is a longstanding tradition.
“Half a million people look forward to the Big Bay Boom each year, and it’s big business for our San Diego Bay waterfront tenants,” said Port of San Diego CEO Randa Coniglio. “Ultimately, public health is most important, and we must follow state public health directives which say large public events are not allowed and aren’t likely to be allowed for some time.
Coniglio said the Port of San Diego hopes to bring the Big Bay Boom back to the waterfront in 2021.
Like so many events that have been canceled during the coronavirus pandemic, the Big Bay Boom plans to “go virtual” – in its own way. Organizers plan to air a TV special on July 4 featuring Big Bay Boom fireworks displays from past years, plus additional content.
Big Bay Boom Executive Producer Sandy Purdon said more than 125,000 households throughout Southern California and Baja California watched the 2019 Big Bay Boom on TV.
The Big Bay Boom made headlines in 2012 when all of the fireworks accidentally went off at once. Take a look back at that moment in this video from the NBC 7 a archives:
Other Local Fourth of July Celebrations Canceled, Too
The Port of San Diego said Friday that Coronado and Imperial Beach had also canceled their 2020 Fourth of July celebrations.
On Wednesday, MainStreet Oceanside announced the cancellation of the 2020 Oceanside Independence Day Parade. The group said that decision was difficult but necessary.
“We will come back better than ever!” said Rick Wright, executive director of MainStreet Oceanside.
Bummer of a Summer
The cancellation of the Big Bay Boom follows a series of other high-profile event cancellations in San Diego (and around the world) this year.
Last month, San Diego Comic-Con International announced its wildly popular expo set for July was canceled. San Diego Pride, also set to take place in July, canceled all in-person gatherings for this year, too, with plans to take its celebration to the digital realm.
The San Diego County Fair – which was scheduled to run from June 5 to July 5 – was canceled too. The fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County, typically drawing 1.5 million visitors.