Break out the American flags, barbecue equipment and sparklers! The 4th of July is just around the corner. But if you cannot wait until then to celebrate Independence Day, don’t worry. There are lots of events around San Diego this weekend to give you a head-start in July 4th entertainment. From the Star-Spangled Pops to Independence Day celebrations throughout the county, there’s lots to do. Don’t worry if you’re quite ready for July 4. San Diego has quite a few non-holiday events taking place around town. Happy Almost 4th of July! 

San Diego

Star-Spangled Pops
Get a start to celebrating Independence Day with a patriotic celebration the family will enjoy. The evening event features a patriotic concert, all-American tunes, military tribute and a spectacular fireworks show. Sat. & Sun., 7:30 pm, Embarcadero Marina Park South, $18 – $76. All ages. More info.

Reptile Super Show
Are your kids ready for reptiles? There are dozens of them at the Reptile Super Show. Lizards, turtles, frogs and more will be at the annual show and sale. Animal fun for the entire family! Sat. & Sun., 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, San Diego Concourse, $7 – $12. All ages. More info.

East County

Soccer for Kids
Get the kids and grab a soccer ball! Soccer Shots presents a free soccer skills class whether they’ll teach basic teamwork, agility and sportsmanship. Registration required. Sat., 9:00 am – 10:00 am, Woodglen Vista Park, Free. Ages 3 – 10. More info.

July 4th at the Library
Celebrate the Independence Day at the Rancho San Diego Library with crafts, games, music from Trails & Rails, and lots more. Kiddos are encourage to bring a bike or wagon to participate in the parade. Sat., 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Rancho San Diego Library, Free. All ages. More info.

North County

Independence Day Parade
Celebrate Independence Day in Oceanside at their annual July 4th parade. Families are invited to join the parade, which will travel along Coast Hwy., from Oceanside Blvd. to Civic Center Dr. Sat, 10:00 am, Coast Highway Oceanside Blvd., Free. All ages. More info.

Gourdstock Festival
Bates Nut Farm is not only a pumpkin patch in the fall, but it’s home to the Gourdstock Festival this weekend. The event features arts and crafts vendors, demonstrations, Gourd art, make and take gourd crafts, petting zoo, food vendors, picnic area, and much more. Plus sneak a peek at the growing pumpkins. Sun., 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Bates Nut Farm, Free. All ages. More info.

ArtWalk Sunday
Take the family to Restaurant Row for the inaugural San Marcos ArtWalk Sunday featuring local artists, exhibits from local car clubs, and live entertainment featuring Kainga Music (Steele Drum School). Sun., 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Old California Restaurant Row, Free. All ages. More info.

South Bay

July 4th Carnival
National City residents can celebrate July 4th today at their annual 4th of July Carnival. This Carnival is like no other — it starts today and goes through July 4. Families will enjoy games, rides, food and entertainment. Don’t forget to stay for the Miss National City competition at 7:00 pm. The event is hosted by the City of National City and the National City Host Lions Club. Sat – Wed., 1:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Kimball Park, $20. All ages. More info.

San Ysidro Independence Day
Families will love celebrating July 4th at the annual San Ysidro Independence Day event. The festivities feature games, kid’s activities, live music, soccer exhibitions, and much more. The festival concludes with a spectacular fireworks show at 9:00 pm. Sun., 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Larson Athletic Field, Free. All ages. More info.

— Leah R. Singer

 Photo Source: Creative Commons