July 4th celebrations are back in full force this year, after nearly two years of events halted due to the pandemic. This year, most Orange County coastal towns are getting back into the starry mood with fireworks, picnics and family-friendly festivities.
Safe and healthy fireworks are only legal in 10 OC cities, so seeing a professional, public fireworks display is your best bet. Here are some fun and safe coastal options, plus live music performances, water sports, carnival rides and more throughout the weekend.
118th Annual 4th of July Parade
After a two-year hiatus, the City of Huntington Beach is once again hosting its annual 4th of July Parade for the 118th year at 10 a.m. Monday.
“The Fourth of July Parade is a beloved, family tradition here in Huntington Beach and I’m thrilled to have it back this year,” said Mayor Barbara Delgleize. “I look forward to the 4th of July in Surf City every year and I’m sure there will be something here for everyone to enjoy over the holiday long weekend.”
The parade route will wind up Main Street to Yorktown Avenue and feature elected officials, military veterans, marching bands and more.
Before the parade, runners can take their steps at the Surf City Run at 7 a.m. on Monday. This 5k run is family friendly with a kids run and a stroller run. Registration is required and additional information is available at https://runsignup.com/Race/CA/HuntingtonBeach/HBSURFCITYRUN.
The holiday weekend kicked off Thursday with an opening party on Main Street, hosted by the mayor and the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District. The family fun continues at the Pier Plaza Vendor Festival at the Huntington Beach Pier Plaza. From July 1-4, Surf City fans will find more than 70 vendors and food trucks as well as rides, games and live music.
Annual 4th of July fireworks over the ocean
The annual Huntington Beach July 4 fireworks display over the ocean at the Huntington Beach Pier will begin at 9 p.m. Monday. The show is presented by Robert Mayer and his family, and tickets for reserved pier seating and VIP options are available at hb4thofjuly.org/fireworks.
Offshore 9 at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach
Offshore 9, the highest coastal rooftop lounge in Orange County, is a great place to take in panoramic views of the Orange County coastline and the fireworks display over the Huntington Beach Pier. Located atop the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, the rooftop lounge will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday with a live DJ spinning from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. General admission tickets start at $250 and include a “Sparkler in the Sky” special, a selection of entrees like grass-fed beef sliders and ceviche and, of course, a spot to watch the fireworks. Packages for large groups are also available. One must reserve.
Independence Day in Back Bay
The gates to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina will open at 8 a.m. Monday for Independence Day on the Back Bay. The newly expanded inflatable water park will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and other popular water sports equipment like kayaks, pedal boats, and paddle board rentals will be available. Dining options will include Newport Dunes’ walk-in lunch shop, Moe B’s Munchies, as well as a food truck feast from noon to 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe after Pavilion C featuring nine favorite local food trucks, such as Salt N’ Pepper, Kettle Corn The Cuban of King and Kiki. There will be a full bar set up with live music by the Dreamboats from 2-6pm. When the sun goes down, a fireworks display co-sponsored by the City of Newport Beach will light up the sky at 9 p.m. During the event admission is free, reserved 4th of July parking passes are $100. Day parking will also be available for $50 in a nearby unpaved lot, and limited free street parking is also an option.
11th Annual 4th of July is for Families Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Festival
The 11th annual 4th of July is for families The Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Festival begins with a bike parade down West Balboa Boulevard and 36th Street at 9 a.m. on Monday. The festivities will continue at Channel Place Park from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with carnival games, crafts, music and food. This event is open to the whole family. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a leash.
49th Mariners Park Independence Day Parade and Celebration
Presented by the Mariners Elementary School Foundation and the City of Newport Beach Department of Senior Services and Recreation, the Mariners Park 49th Independence Day Parade and Celebration kicks off with a parade at the corner of Commodore Road and Mariners Drive at 10 a.m. Monday. The Newport Beach Fire Department will lead the procession and parade participants are encouraged to decorate the bikes, strollers and carts in red, white and blue. The fun continues at Mariners Park from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with food trucks, live music, face painting, bouncy houses and an eating contest.
Pancake Breakfast, BBQ Lunch and Old Glory Boat Parade
The American Legion Yacht Club in Newport Beach is hosting activities all day on July 4th. The day begins with a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the parking lot of the Post. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and orange juice (two mimosas for those 21 and over) will be served for $15 for adults and $8 for children. From 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., a barbecue will be served with two choices from a menu of chicken, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, fresh fruit, baked beans, potato salad and cookies for a $30 donation. The M Street Band will play dance hits from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The American Legion Yacht Club’s annual Old Glory Boat Parade begins at 1 p.m. The parade will depart from the eastern end of Lido Island and follow a route through the harbor between 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Registration to participate is free and boaters are encouraged to decorate their boats. Prizes are awarded for the best decorated costumes, the most beautiful, the most creative and the commodore’s award. The winner will be announced July 17 at an awards banquet.
4th of July Bike Parade
Green Valley neighbors will hold their fifth annual bike parade Monday at 10 a.m. Bikers should meet at Los Arcos Street near the Family Pool to ride the Los Jardines Loop. In addition bicycles, scooters, carts and strollers are welcome. If your wheels are decked out in red, white and blue spirit, that’s even better, organizers say. A treat for the kids awaits the parade participants at the finish line.
Independence Day Community Celebration at the OC Fairgrounds
A free Community Independence Day Celebration is presented by the City of Costa Mesa at the OC Fairgrounds on July 3 from 5-11 p.m. A fireworks display is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and picnic. (no glass bottles, hard coolers or outside alcohol). The event will feature live music from the Tijuana Dogs, a DJ Kaboom set and contests for the kids. Food and drinks will be on sale.
TNT fireworks stand
The Costa Mesa High School Baseball Team’s annual fundraiser returns through July 4 at the OC Fair & Event Center in Lot E, located at the corner of Fairview Road and Arlington Drive. The stand is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from July 1 to July 3 and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4. In Orange County, safe and healthy fireworks are only legal in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Stanton, Villa Park, and Westminster. If your 4th of July celebration isn’t in one of these cities, maybe skip the sparklers.
City of Laguna Beach Fireworks Show
The city’s fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m. Monday from Monument Point in Heisler Park. As a result, the Monument Point area will be closed on July 4 and the Heisler Park area, from Myrtle Street to the Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street, will be closed to the public to allow for the preparation of fireworks at 5 p.m. The city’s tram schedule will also be changed with the Coastal Route operating from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the Canyon Route operating from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
4th of July Beach Party at Hotel Laguna
Hotel Laguna offers stunning views of the Laguna Beach Fireworks. The beach party begins at noon and continues until 10 p.m. on July 4 with VIP cabanas and table rentals available as well as tickets to the fireworks viewing deck. Tickets range from $500 to $1,500.