SAN DIEGO -- San Diegans will celebrate Independence Day in many ways: at the beach, by the pool, at local parks, firing up the barbecue grill, and at local bars. One thing that seems to be common among most people, though, is watching fireworks once the sun goes down.
In San Diego, residents and visitors can view fireworks shows taking place in all stretches of the county, so there is no need to travel far. The size and type of shows range from small community-organized shows to “fireworks spectaculars” over San Diego Bay.
We’ve rounded up some of the best shows in town, which are listed below (all shows begin at 9 pm unless otherwise noted).
One of the largest fireworks displays in the county, four fireworks barges are placed around Shelter Island, Harbor Island, and the North and South Embarcadero Marina Parks. A fifth barged is placed down South at the Imperial Beach Pier. The show will be simulcast to live music provided by 105.7 FM The Walrus.
While legal concerns have challenged the continuation of this annual tradition, the plan as of now is for this celebration to go on. Taking place over one of San Diego’s most beautiful stretches of ocean, this display has been a community favorite for nearly 25 years.
The northern San Diego communities of Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch have hosted a community fireworks celebration on Independence Day since 1982. Fireworks are set off from the Mira Mesa Recreation Center, 8575 New Salem St.
Following a day of 4th of July fun on Coronado Island, including a fun run, parade and other community activities, this fireworks show will be launched over the Coronado side of San Diego Bay. The show will be simulcast to live music provided by KYXY 96.5 FM.
One of San Diego’s most unique fireworks displays takes place on Ocean Beach, near the pier. The fireworks show isn’t much different from other displays across the county, but it’s what happens after the show that draws visitors from around town. The annual OB Marshmallow Fight, while frowned upon by some event organizers and police, has become a fun way to end the holiday.
As part of its Summer Nights celebration, SeaWorld San Diego launches fireworks over Mission Bay every night at 9:30 pm, all summer long.
East County and North County celebrations
Viewing fireworks from the gayborhood
In the Hillcrest/Mission Hills area, there are a number of “prime spots” for viewing fireworks from some of the area’s parks and other points of interest.
The Top of the Park, which will host a 4th of July Rooftop Party, has panoramic views of San Diego bay and surrounding areas. Visitors will also be able to enjoy Happy Hour priced-beverages, a BBQ menu, and no cover charge. The event runs from 1 to 10 pm.
Other viewing areas including Presidio Park over Old Town and the First Avenue Bridge.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety has provided guidance for spectators at fireworks displays, which also reminds people that their animal friends with more sensitive hearing may be uncomfortable.
Also, don't drink and drive. Choose a designated driver or use taxi service. DUI checkpoints are common on the 4th of July.