July 3, 2008

Lots to do on 4th of July!

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

This 4th of July, residents of the South Bay will most likely have to go north if they want to see spectacular fireworks.

After the City of Chula cancelled the traditional Bayfront fireworks due to budget cuts, the only other major 4th of July event in the South Bay is the one at Kimball Park, in National City.

The $40,000 in funding for the annual fireworks display was one of the many painful cuts made in last December’s sweeping round of budget reductions, which totaled more than $15 million.

On top of the expenses for the fireworks display, Fourth of July activities along the bayfront cost Chula Vista another $35,000 for city services including police and traffic control. Due to budget reductions, departments can no longer absorb those tens of thousands of dollars, states a Chula Vista press release.

But the Kimball Park event looks very promising. The celebration was scheduled to start early, since Wednesday July 2 and will continue through Sunday July 6. There are carnival rides, games and food booths. On Friday, 4th of July, The National City Community Concert Band will perform during the fireworks, which are set to begin at 9 p.m.

On Saturday, July 5, there will be a parade through the community at 6 p.m.

The National City event is free, and you can get more information by calling (619) 336-4290.

If you prefer to go further north or to see fireworks by the sea, there are other 4th of July celebration options throughout the County.

The San Diego Big Bay is one of the most traditional celebrations in the San Diego Bay. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. This is a free event. More information: www.thebigbay.com.

If you like your patriotic music, there will be a concert by the San Diego Symphony with fireworks at Summer Pops at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and the fireworks at 9 p.m. This event has a cost of $15 to $75. Information: (619) 235-0804.

For many, it wouldn’t be summer in San Diego without SeaWorld’s fireworks display, and on the Fourth of July, the park will present an extended display with a patriotic musical theme.

SeaWorld’s Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular will start at 9:30 p.m. and will include the season’s first lighting of the Skytower Tree of Lights. Then, from July 5 through Sept. 1, the Sky-tower’s red, white and blue lights will shine brightly from dusk to midnight every night. SeaWorld’s nightly Summer Nights fireworks are enjoyed not only by guests inside the park, but also by beachgoers at Crown Point, Fiesta Island and all around Mission Bay Park. SeaWorld will be open from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. on July 4. For SeaWorld park hours and more information visit www.seaworld.com or call (800) 25-SHAMU.

In Coronado there will be a day-long event that even includes a marathon at Glorietta Bay Park, Rendova Rd. and Strand Way. Starts at 10 a.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m. Free. www.ecoronado.com.

For family in North County there are several options.

San Marcos will celebrate at William R. Bradley Park, 465 Rancho Santa Fe Rd. The event begins at 6 p.m. and the fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido, will begin its event at 2:30 p.m. www. artcenter.org.

Another traditional spot for 4th of July is the San Diego County Fair. There will be live music, Local Heroes Parade, local school and military band concerts. The fireworks start at 9 p.m. and the fair will remain open until midnight. www.sdfair.com/fair.

Independence Day in San Diego County

Parades

The 37th Annual Scripps Ranch Parade will start at 10 a.m.

The Mira Mesa 4th of July Parade begins at 11:30 a.m. at Mira Mesa Recreation Center

At noon, there will be a parade in Old Town, as well as a flag raising.

The El Cajon City Recreation Department has big plans for a celebration in Kennedy Park.

In Encinitas, after a presentation of colors and prayer, a pancake breakfast will be served at Cottonwood Creek Park, followed by games and contests.

In Fallbrook, head to The Grand Tradition for a community fair with painting, races, live music by Nitro Express and a silent auction, followed by a fireworks show.

Enjoy a free concert by the sea at Scripps Park near La Jolla Cove.

At the 9th Annual Lake Murray MusicFest, there will be a series of bands and a food fest to celebrate the 4th.

After their parade, the 33rd Annual Mira Mesa 4th of July Festival will celebrate with food booths and activities at Mira Mesa Recreation Center.

O’Fest in Oceanside is a multi-day celebration that started on June 29. On the 4th, you can attend their carnival and street fair, along with a free concert and fireworks at the beach.

An old fashioned Fourth of July celebration is being held in Poway.

Old Town will hold a Historic Celebration with games, sack races, a pie eating contest and all kinds of old fashioned family fun. Re-enactors from San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association will even fire off the cannon.

Olive Pierce Middle School is Fourth of July headquarters in Ramona, with a family-style picnic and a community fair.

Rancho Bernardo, Webb Park, will host their own Spirit of the Fourth Festival, including musical entertainment, a beer garden, car show.

Have a safe 4th of July and remember it’s illegal to sneak firecrackers across the border from Tijuana.

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