Editor’s note: Due to Covid-19 and social distancing guidelines, nearly all of San Diego’s 4th of July events have been cancelled for 2020. However, we have provided the details below for a few fireworks shows that are still on! We hope to see you back here next year, perusing our guide for the best July 4th festivities.

We will update this story below as we receive news about events that end up getting a green light for 2020:

Poway Fireworks 2020:

The City of Poway will host two firework shows to expand viewing opportunities as part of a re-imagined Fourth of July celebration. Simultaneous firework displays will be launched from both Poway High School and the city’s Sportsplex in the South Poway Business Park thanks to our generous sponsors. There won’t be viewing from the Poway High School football field/stadium this year, but the City will have pre-paid parking passes available to view the fireworks from Lake Poway. (Residents will be given priority). The City of Poway asks that anyone heading out to view the fireworks continue to follow the county’s public health orders to limit the spread for COVID-19. This currently includes no gatherings beyond members of your household and wearing a face covering if you’re within six feet of people not from your household. More information will be available soon regarding Lake Poway parking and a map for other viewing alternatives.

El Cajon Fireworks 2020:

The City of El Cajon will host fireworks on Sat., July 4th at 9:00 pm. Due to current physical distancing requirements, Kennedy Park will be closed and there will be no public gathering permitted at or near the park area. See details here.

Santee Salutes 2020 details here.

Vista Fireworks 2020 details here.

4th of July at The Loma Club
It’s an Independence Day celebration at The Loma Club! Grab your picnic blankets and enjoy a socially distanced July 4th outing from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., entrance is free! There will be food specials (yes, even mini hotdogs!), patriotic jell-o shots and live music by Mark Fisher! Get ready for a summer spectacular celebration. Sat. 6-9 p.m.

4th of July at Seaport Village
Celebrate Independence Day at Seaport Village! Bring the family and roam around the waterfront walkways, visit the charming on-site retailers and enjoy a family meal at one of the bayfront eateries. ​Plus, Seaport Village will be hosting live music all day at two central spots on the property: The Food Court and the Lighthouse District! Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Virtual 4th of July Events:

California Center for the Arts Virtual 4th of July Festival
Since this year’s fireworks celebration is cancelled, California Center for the Arts will be bringing you a virtual festival with events kicking off at 3 p.m. From crafts with the kiddos to Broadway stars singing your favorite songs to their annual tradition of Marine Band there will be something for everyone! Sat. Event details

Concord’s Virtual Neighborhood Parade
For the first time ever, Concord’s 4th of July Parade is going virtual! Catch all of the events from Concord’s Facebook page. Sat. Event details

Independence Day Party with CAMP and Kroger
It’s a red, white and blue-berry Independence Day party and you’re all invited! Join CAMP and Kroger for an hour of creativity and fun. They’ll guide you through DIY tie-dye, participate in an interactive magic show and dance! Fri. Event details

July 4th Oration—The Struggle for Justice Continues
Using the 1852 address by Douglass as a framework, the Oration examines issues of liberty, citizenship, civic engagement and social responsibility from the historical perspective in light of contemporary injustice. Amidst contemporary crises, Frederick Douglass’s address rings out from history, reminding us we must learn from the past to create the future all Americans deserve. Sat. Event details

July 4th with the National Archives
Join the National Archives for its first-ever virtual July 4th celebration! For 50 years, the Archives has celebrated the founding of the United States that includes a traditional reading ceremony of the Declaration of Independence on the Museum steps. This year, the National Archives will lift the words of the Declaration of Independence off of its well-worn parchment paper and bring them to homes across the country online, while providing a host of educational activities for the whole family. Sat. Event details

4 on the 4th
Join the City of Auburn for their virtual 4 on the 4th program created to get people outside and active. To participate, simple walk, run, bike, hike or swim four miles on the 4th. Then email a record of your activity to receive a finisher certificate from the City of Auburn a few weeks later via snail mail. Sat. Event details.

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It’s time to have a blast with your little firecrackers this July 4th! We’ve got the lowdown on the best places to get patriotic and watch the sky light up with spectacular fireworks. Get dolled up or dapper in your finest red, white and blue attire, then make your way to the city’s most festive Independence Day parades, festivals and dazzling fireworks displays at these family-friendly fourth of July events. Read on for the best places to see fireworks in San Diego.

photo: Tristan Loper via Flickr

Coastal San Diego

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show 
The Big Bay Boom bash is back with amazing fireworks over the San Diego Bay. What’s unique about this extravaganza is the fireworks are lit from several coastal locations, including Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North and Coronado Ferry Landing. The show is always popular, so consider carpooling or take the San Diego Trolley. Cancelled for 2020.

Coronado
Bring the kids and enjoy an entire day of patriotic activities on Coronado Island. The festival starts at 10 a.m. for the annual Independence Day Parade on Orange Ave. Then head over to Spreckels Park for picnicking, games, entertainment and a concert at 4 p.m. Stay until the evening for the fireworks blast over Glorietta Bay.Cancelled for 2020.

A Family Fun 4th of July Celebration on the USS Midway
Join the reverie of A Family Fun 4th of July Celebration at the USS Midway Museum! Bring a blanket, lawn chairs and small coolers with picnic-type snacks and experience a stunning view of the Big Bay Boom fireworks show from the flight deck of the USS Midway. This annual celebration includes: the best view of downtown San Diego fireworks, live entertainment featuring one of San Diego’s leading show bands, family fun activities and savory All-American concessions with adult and kid-friendly beverages for sale. Cancelled for 2020.

photo: Dan McGeorge

Del Beach Bash
Get a jumpstart on 4th of July activities at this beach party on July 2nd. There will be live music by The Mighty Untouchables, fire pits with s’mores and an exciting fireworks display. Then on the 4th of July Coronado Island celebrates with an annual parade, family-friendly activities and a spectacular fireworks show for all to see. Fireworks will begin around 8:45 p.m. The Del Beach Bash is complimentary for all overnight hotel guests. Day visitors can purchase tickets for $30. Cancelled for 2020.

Ocean Beach 
Spend the day at the Ocean Beach Pier and stay for the fireworks. Bring along a radio if you’d like because you can hear the fireworks soundtrack being broadcast simultaneously during the show if you tune in to KyXy 96.5. Cancelled for 2020.

photo: Jill Wellington via Pixabay

East County

Julian 
While it’s true Julian is known for apples and mining, the town also has an old-fashioned 4th of July day planned. Camp out on Main Street for a day of family fun at “the best little town parade in America.” This year’s theme is ”Historic Julian Celebrates the 4th.” This year you’ll see marching bands and bands including the Emerald Society Bag Pipe Band, Gold Drum and Bugle Corps and Mariachi Continental de San Diego. Antique cars, vintage tractors, belly dancers, World War 2 Submariners, and several comedy entries will appear to complete a fun well rounded home town parade. Note: Julian does not have a fireworks display. Cancelled for 2020.

El Cajon 
This fun July 4th event starts at 1 p.m. with food, games, prizes, kiddie train rides and live musical entertainment. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Arrive early to Kennedy Park for parking to find the best spot for your picnic and to view the fireworks. See top of story for 2020 details.

Lake Murray Fireworks
The beloved San Diego Lake Murray Music Fest and Fireworks show is on this July 4th! The music fest is held at Lake Murray Plaground. Enjoy live music from a variety of bands and performers from noon-9 p.m. and the fireworks show at 9 p.m. Cancelled for 2020.

Santee Salutes
Santee’s Salutes July 4th takes place at the Town Center Community Park East. The celebration will feature a kid’s fun zone, a food court and live music by the 80z All Stars. There will be a patriotic ceremony at 6 p.m. and fireworks follow later in the evening at 9 p.m. Note: Continuous free shuttle service will be available from 3:30 to 11 p.m. from the Costco parking lot or on Cuyamaca near Rio Seco school the to the event site. The Costco parking offers a no cost alternative for event parking. Virtual Celebration details for 2020 are here.

photo: Frank McKenna via Unsplash

San Diego Inland

Mira Mesa 
Plan to pack up the kids and spend the entire day in Mira Mesa. The 4th of July festivities begin with a Pancake Breakfast at the Mira Mesa Senior Center from 7-11 a.m., hosted by the Black Mountain Masonic Lodge. Family Fun Day in the Park starts at 11 a.m. with food vendors and entertainment. The Annual Mira Mesa 4th of July Parade, steps off at 11:30 a.m. from the corner of Mira Mesa Blvd. and Greenford Dr., traveling down Mira Mesa Blvd. and turning north on Camino Ruiz to end at New Salem. Family Fun Day continues until 9 p.m., and the Park provides a front row seat for the Fireworks Extravaganza. Cancelled for 2020.

Old Town 
Enjoy some old-fashioned family fun at the Old Town State Historic Park. The day includes a classic parade, crafts and activities reminiscent of the early San Diego days. Note: This fun day does not include fireworks, so head to the Big Bay Boom Fireworks show (details above) after the festivities. Cancelled for 2020.

4th of July Picnic Dinner at Maritime Museum 
Enjoy a patriotic picnic buffet dinner at the Maritime Museum on the upper deck interior of the 1898 Victorian-era steam ferryboat Berkeley, which also affords an amazing view of the fireworks over San Diego Bay. Two seatings are available and fireworks start at 9 p.m. Cancelled for 2020.

photo: City of Poway

North County – Inland

Poway 
Enjoy a taste of the “good ‘ol days” with Old Poway Park’s “Old Fashioned 4th of July.” Bring your family and friends to Old Poway Park and celebrate our country’s independence “turn-of-the-20th-century-style.” This event will feature patriotic entertainment, western reenactors, free children’s crafts, train displays and old-fashioned games. Tasty treats and train rides will be available for a nominal fee. See top of this story for details for 2020.

Finish the day with a fireworks extravaganza at Poway High School. School gates open at 6 p.m. with a DJ, games and lots of fun to keep the kiddos patient until the fireworks start at 9 p.m. Event details.

Rancho Bernardo
Celebrate America at the “Spirit of the Fourth” Festival and Parade. The Parade begins at 3:30 p.m. and includes five high school bands, beauty queens and a host of dignitaries. Then head to Rancho Bernardo’s fireworks event starting at 6 p.m. at the Athletic Field at Bernardo Heights Middle School at 12990 Paseo Lucido. Enjoy live music by the local “US” Band and at 9 p.m. the fireworks display “Sky Concert” begins. Note: Seating is on the grass, so bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Cancelled for 2020.

Escondido
Join 25,000 patriotic festival-goers for Escondido’s 56th Annual Independence Day Festival & Fireworks! This free community event features rockin’ live music, fabulous food vendors and a wealth of children’s activities and games for everyone to enjoy. The day’s festivities will conclude with a special performance by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and a dazzling fireworks display starting at 9 p.m. You won’t want to miss this annual North County tradition! Note: parking is limited so carpool if possible. No alcohol, bbq, pop-up tents or dogs allowed. Cancelled for 2020.

San Marcos 
Head to a patriotic 4th of July celebration at Bradley Park in San Marcos. This free event includes live music, kids’ activities and food, culminating with a spectacular fireworks celebration. Bring chairs or blankets for lawn seating. Cancelled for 2020.

Vista
Celebrate Independence Day with live music, the Light up the Night Dinner and fireworks. Note: Parking in Brengle Terrace Park is $15/car; Admission to the Moonlight Amphitheater is $5/person; Kids five and under, active and retired military members and their immediate family are free. See top of this story for details for 2020.

photo: Sandy Huffaker/LEGOLAND

North County – Coastal

Carlsbad: LEGOLAND
Don’t miss Fireworks set to a patriotic musical tribute with great viewing in designated locations throughout LEGOLAND. Throughout the day you will enjoy All-American family picnic games: water-balloon tosses, burlap sack races, Family Build Challenge and LEGO Hamburger relay, Patriotic costume parade: come dressed in your favorite Red, White and Blue attire, fireworks, character meet and greets, live performances and more. The celebration lasts from 1-9 p.m. with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. All Red, White and BOOM! activities are included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California. Cancelled for 2020.

Del Mar
Spend July 4th at the San Diego County Fair! End a fun-filled day on a high note with a spectacular fireworks display choreographed to a soundtrack at 9 p.m. The fireworks are visible from many areas of the Fairgrounds, with favorite viewing areas including reserved Terrace seating and 2nd and 4th levels of the Grandstand, Family Funville and the Fun Zone. Cancelled for 2020.

Oceanside
Celebrate the 4th with fireworks a day early at this annual Oceanside bonanza on July 3rd. Arrive anytime after 6 p.m., park in the business park nearby, bring a beach chair and walk to the viewing area on Rancho Del Oro Rd. There will be live music and food trucks offering a wide variety of foods. The fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m. Cancelled for 2020.

*Fireworks shows begin at 9 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

––Beth Shea

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