Celebrating Fourth of July in San Diego: Where to find the best fireworks, shows & parades in 2024 (2024)

Red, white and blue? More like red, white and boom!

Independence Day is upon us and you may be looking for ways to celebrate with hot dogs, neighborhood festivals and a spectacular fireworks show.

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Whether you’re a San Diegan staying in town or here visiting for the holiday, here’s a list of places to enjoy fireworks and parades during this year’s Fourth of July weekend.

City of San Diego

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San Diego's Big Bay Boom

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North/South Embarcadero and Coronado Landing
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: This annual show is the largest fireworks show on the West Coast, with an estimated attendance of up to half a million people, according to its website. You can see fireworks from pretty much anywhere along the bay, so there are plenty of viewing spots. Yelp ranked the Big Bay Boom No. 2 in a list of best places to watch Fourth of July fireworks in the nation. More information here.

In 2012, the Big Bay Boom firework show did not go as planned. With no show in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, let's look back at another strange year.

Red, White, and Blue Drone Show

  • What: Drone Show
  • Where: Broadway Pier, San Diego Bay
  • When: July 4 from 8:30 to 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: The drone show is presented by the San Diego Legion rugby team ahead of the Big Bay Boom.

Last year's show almost fizzled out as funding ran out, but organizers found a way to keep the tradition alive, NBC 7's Audra Stafford reports.

Fireworks on Mission Bay

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Mission Bay Yacht Club
  • When: July 3 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: Mission Bay is offering viewing locations around the waterfront for SeaWorld San Diego's fireworks show. The fireworks will be set to a soundtrack in partnership with 101.5 KGB. Find a list of viewing locations and more special events hosted by Mission Bay's partners here.

The Fourth of July festivities got off to an early start in Mission Bay. NBC 7's Dave Summers has more on this early celebration.

SeaWorld's 4th of July Weekend Fireworks

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: SeaWorld San Diego
  • When: July 4, 9 p.m.
  • Price: Included with admission. Tickets start at $59.99.
  • Goood to know: One of the biggest bayfront fireworks displays comes from SeaWorld San Diego. More information here. NOTE: While you can get up close to the action with an admission ticket -- while experiencing all the theme park has to offer for the rest of the day -- there are other viewing locations; get more info above.

La Jolla Shores' 4th of July Drone Show

  • What: Drone show
  • Where: Kellogg Park
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: The show will feature 100 drones about 350 feet above the shoreline. Drone shows mitigate some of the negative environmental impacts of traditional fireworks, according to a press release. More information here.
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North County San Diego

Legoland's Red, White & BOOM!

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Legoland Carlsbad
  • When: July 4 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Price: Included with admission. Tickets start at $89.
  • Good to know: There will also be lawn activities, DJs and Dance parties to celebrate the 4th of July. More information here.

Fireworks Spectacular at the San Diego County Fair

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: $20-$25 - Tickets include fair admission and can be purchased here.
  • Good to know: This fireworks display closes the San Diego County Fair for the season, so if you haven't been yet, don't miss out. More information here.

Missed this year's Big Bay Boom? Check out the final moments of the fireworks bonanza.

Oceanside Fireworks Show

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: SoCal Soccer Complex at El Corazon
  • When: July 3 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: The city of Oceanside is not only celebrating Independence Day but the city's incorporation 136 years ago. Gates open at 4 p.m. and guests can experience family-friendly activities and food trucks. More information here.

Escondido Independence Day Celebration

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Grape Day Park
  • When: July 4 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: The 59th annual celebration kicks off a four-day free concert series. More information here.

Poway's Fourth of July Fireworks

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Poway High School Stadium and Poway Sportsplex
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: $6 at the gate. Children ages 11 and under are free.
  • Good to know: If you're looking for a free viewing location, Lake Poway is open to the public but limited. Parking is $10. At the high school, gates open at 6 p.m. for games, activities and a DJ. Proceeds benefit Poway High School Music Boosters. More information here.

Rancho Bernardo's Spirit of the Fourth

  • What: Fireworks and parade
  • Where: Rancho Bernardo High School
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: $10 or $20 donation
  • Good to know: The parade starts at 3:30 p.m. and runs from Acena Drive to Rancho Bernardo Road and then Bernardo Center Drive. Throughout the day, festivities will happen at Webb Park with an evening fireworks show. More information here.

San Marcos' Fourth of July Celebration

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Bradley Park
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: Entertainment starts at 5 p.m. and will include carnival games, jumpers and food for sale. More information here.

East County

El Cajon's Fourth of July Fireworks

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Kennedy Park
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: Head down as early as 2 p.m. for other entertainment, including train rides, arts and crafts and live music. More information here.

Julian 4th of July Parade

  • What: Parade
  • Where: Main Street
  • When: July 4 at noon
  • Good to know: The iconic Main Street will be filled with fanfare as local school bands, drum and bugle corps and mariachi parade through. More information here.

4th of July Santee Salutes

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Town Center Community Park East
  • When: July 4 from 2 to 10 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
  • Price: $10 parking fee
  • Good to know: Festivities start at 2 p.m. and include a lineup of amusem*nt rides, food vendors and live performances. Rideshare is encouraged and parking is already sold out. If you'd rather avoid the crowds, the music for the fireworks show can be heard online. More information here.

Lake Murray Fireworks and Musicfest

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Lake Murray Community Park
  • When: July 4 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: Head to Lake Murray Park for a lineup of live music, which includes bands No Clue, the Steve Pandis Band, 8 track Highway, the Bill Magee Blues Band and Republic of Music. The fireworks can be seen throughout the community. More information here.

South Bay

Chula Vista 4th Fest

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free event and parking
  • Good to know: The firework show is set to a bilingual soundtrack that can be heard on Amor 102.9. Gates open at 7 p.m. and guests can enjoy snacks from food trucks on site. More information here.

Imperial Beach 4th of July Fireworks

  • What: Fireworks
  • Where: Pier Plaza
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
  • Good to know: The fireworks show is launched from the IB Pier and the display will be viewable from Imperial Beach Boulevard to Palm Avenue. Tune in to the synchronized music on KyXy Radio 96.5 FM. After the show, enjoy music at the IB Pier Plaza. More information here.

A light show of a different kind helped people in Imperial Beach celebrate the Fourth of July. Instead of fireworks, a high tech drone show lit up the sky at the Imperial Beach Pier. One hundred and eighty drones, choreographed to music, danced over the pier forming different patriotic shapes like an American flag and spelling out U.S.A.

Coronado's Fourth of July Celebration

Parade

  • Where: Orange Ave from 1st Street to Churchill Place
  • When: July 4 at 10 a.m.
  • Good to know: Coronado's Fourth of July celebration truly is a city-wide event, with events starting as early as 7 a.m. Whether you're a runner, a parade viewer or just there for the fireworks, there's something for everyone to celebrate.
  • The parade will be livestreamed here. Festivities will continue after the parade with concerts and demonstrations.

Fireworks

  • Where: Glorietta Bay
  • When: July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Price: Free
    The fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. and is synchronized to music on KYXY Radio 96.5FM. More information here.

How to keep your pets safe on Fourth of July

The San Diego County Animal Services Departmentshared the following tips for pet owners over the Fourth of July holiday:

  • Make sure pets are wearing their collars with ID info attached. Even better, make sure they are microchipped, which ensures a faster reunification, according to the county.
  • Bring pets inside a quiet, secure room. White noise or sleep machines, even televisions or radios can be a helpful distraction to noise outside."
  • Stay home with pets that are particularly distressed or make sure they are with someone that will help them feel safe
  • Try anxiety-relief medication for the most vulnerable pets
Celebrating Fourth of July in San Diego: Where to find the best fireworks, shows & parades in 2024 (2024)

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