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Last July’s lack of fireworks shows and public gatherings calls for twice the celebration for this year’s Independence Day, with in-person events for the upcoming holiday quickly accumulating to meet the public’s social cravings.

No matter where in Orange County you are located, there is a show to watch or an event to attend. Find yourself at Huntington Beach’s 4th of July parade for some Surf City fun or at Pacific Symphony’s Elton John Tribute concert in Irvine.

In the spirit of Independence Day traditions, Orange County has no shortage of fireworks shows to experience. Check out these popular holiday events below, with an additional list of Fourth of July celebrations happening in other O.C. cities.

Huntington Beach’s 117th Annual 4th of July Celebration

Date: July 2 through 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m. on July 4
Location: Pier Plaza for most events
Details: https://www.hb4thofjuly.org/

This year will be Huntington Beach’s 117th annual Independence Day celebration. With the theme of Surf City Dreamin’, Huntington Beach will be celebrating with car parades, fireworks and other festivities.

From July 2 through 4, the Pier Plaza Festival will be taking center stage as the main hub for the Fourth of July day celebration. The festival will feature live entertainment, food trucks, a carnival with rides, prize giveaways, a 12,000-square-foot beer and wine garden, among other amusements.

July Fourth will feature even more activities such as the Surf City Run 5K (in-person and virtual), a neighborhood car parade and finishing off the night with pyrotechnics. A 26-minute fireworks show will begin at approximately 9 p.m., when pyrotechnics will be launching off the Huntington Beach Pier.

Huntington Beach is one of the largest celebrations in the West, attracting more than 500,000 attendees over three days. Parking can be scarce, so be prepared to walk.

Salute to America by the City of Cypress

Date: July 2
Time: 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Cypress College, 200 Valley View St.
Details: https://www.cypressca.org/activities/community-events/salute-to-america

With no registration required, guests can celebrate Independence Day with their community at Cypress College. The event will include live music, food trucks and a fireworks display to end the night.

This one-night-only event will feature a performance from Electric Vinyl, a classic rock tribute band, at 7 p.m. Electric Vinyl performs songs from rock favorites such as Fleetwood Mac, Journey, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin and more.

July 4 Spectacular: The Elton John Tribute in Irvine

Date: July 4
Time: Concert begins at 8 p.m.
Fireworks: At the end of the concert
Location: FivePoint Amphitheatre, 14800 Chinon, Irvine
Details: https://www.pacificsymphony.org/tickets/concert/eltonjohntribute

The Pacific Symphony will be celebrating Independence Day with a special Elton John Tribute starring Craig A. Meyer and featuring the Rocket Band. In addition to Elton John’s hit singles such as “Your Song,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man,” the performance will also include holiday-themed music and conclude with a fireworks finale.

Craig A. Meyer perfroms as Almost Elton John. He will be performing in a concert alongside the Pacific Symphony. Credit: Photo courtesy of Pacific Symphony

In past years, a fireworks show was also held at Irvine High School. However, it has been canceled for this year, according to the Irvine Police Association.

Drive-Up Fourth of July Spectacular, Hosted by Los Alamitos and Seal Beach

Date: July 4
Time: Gates open at 4 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, 11200 Lexington Drive, Los Alamitos
Details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-of-july-fireworks-spectacular-tickets-152398866111

This 34th annual fireworks show on the Los Alamitos training base will be a drive-in event only, and while it is free to the public, cars must have a reservation and reservations are closed. The organizers will start letting cars in after 4 p.m. The Fourth of July celebration will have food vendors for guests to visit, and include live music from the King Salmon Band and the 40th Infantry Division Band.

No pedestrians, walk-ins or bicycles will be permitted to enter the Joint Forces Training Base.

Independence Day on the Back Bay in Newport Beach

Date: July 4
Time: Gates open at 8 a.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Drive
Details: https://www.newportdunes.com/event/independence-day-on-the-back-bay/

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina is hosting Independence Day on the Back Bay with a day of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including an inflatable water park, water sport rentals, food trucks and live entertainment.

While the kids play lawn games like giant Jenga or giant Connect 4, the adults can grab a drink at Moe B’s Munchies, Newport Dunes’ beachfront grill and bar. At the end of the day, the whole family can settle down on the sand or bring lawn chairs to enjoy the fireworks show, sponsored by the city of Newport Beach.

Parking at the Marina Gate will be $50 per car, first come, first served.

July 4 at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park

Date: July 3 and 4
Time: Gates open at 10 a.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd.
Details: https://www.knotts.com/events/july-4th-fireworks

After being closed for over a year, Knott’s will once again host family-friendly entertainment throughout the park, including a spectacular fireworks show on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Along with Independence Day, the park is also celebrating its 100th anniversary (a year late) throughout the summer alongside its new Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair attraction and Knott’s Summer Nights party.

Other Independence Day Celebrations in Orange County

Aliso Viejo: Parade and Community Celebration

Parade, carnival games and activities; no fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 9 a.m. parade; 9:30 a.m. Community Celebration
Location: Aliso Viejo Ranch, 100 Park Ave.
Details: https://avcity.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=135

Anaheim Hills: Full Day Celebration and Fireworks Show

5K/10K run, dog show, parade, food, live entertainment and fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: First event at 7 a.m., Patriotic Parade starts at 1 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Parade begins at Canyon High School, heads north on Imperial Highway, continues east on Santa Ana Canyon Road; fireworks and entertainment at Peralta Canyon Park, 115 N. Pinney Drive
Details: https://anaheimhillscommunitycouncil.org

Brea: 41st Annual 4th of July County Fair

Food, games, rides and live entertainment; no fireworks.
Date: July 3
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: City Hall Park, 401 S. Brea Blvd.
Details: https://m.facebook.com/SpecialEventsBrea/photos/a.108333536422048/778754499379945/

Dana Point: 4th of July Fireworks

Fireworks only.
Date: July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Doheny State Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Details: https://www.danapoint.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/15512/68?curm=7&cury=2021

La Habra: 4th of July Fireworks

Live music, kids’ activity booth, food and fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 4 p.m.
Fireworks: Likely around 9 p.m.
Location: La Bonita Park, 1440 W. Whittier Blvd.
Details: http://www.lahabracity.com/DocumentCenter/View/11587/4th-of-July

La Palma: 4th of July Porch Parade

Porch decorating contest. No fireworks.
Date: June 14 through July 5
Location: La Palma
Details: https://www.cityoflapalma.org/PorchParade

Ladera Ranch: Patriotic Parade

Community parade; no fireworks.
Date: July 3
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Founders Park, 28275 Avendale Blvd.
Details: https://laderalife.com/events/patriotic-parade

Laguna Beach: City Fireworks Show

Fireworks only.
Date: July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Fireworks will originate from Monument Point at Heisler Park and will likely be visible from most locations in Laguna Beach.
Details: https://www.lagunabeachcity.net/news/displaynews.htm?NewsID=2406&TargetID=1

Laguna Hills: 4th of July Fireworks Show

Food trucks, live music and fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Parkway
Details: https://www.lagunahillsca.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=415&month=7&year=2021&day=4&calType=0

Laguna Niguel: 4th of July Celebrations

Food trucks, live music, patriotic giveaways, short movie and digital fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 8:30 p.m. (digital presentation)
Location: Crown Valley Community Park, 29751 Crown Valley Parkway
Details: https://ca-lagunaniguel4.civicplus.com/Calendar.aspx?EID=4490

Lake Forest: 4th of July Concert and Fireworks

Concert and fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Lake Forest Sports Park, 28000 Rancho Parkway
Details: https://lakeforestca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11130/4th-of-July-Fireworks-and-Concert-2021?bidId=

Mission Viejo: 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

No street fair, fireworks only.
Date: July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Marty Russo Youth Athletic Park, 22056 Olympiad Road
Details: https://mvactivities.com/all-mvac-events/july-4th-street-faire/

Orange: 3rd of July Celebration

Music, food trucks, children’s activities and fireworks.
Date: July 3
Time: 4 p.m.
Fireworks: 8:45 p.m.
Location: Grijalva Park, 368 N. Prospect St.
Details: https://villapark.co/3rd-of-july-celebration/

Rancho Santa Margarita: July 4th Star Spangled Spectacular

Music, food and games at the Beach Club Lagoon during the day; evening fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 10 a.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Beach Club Lagoon, 21472 Avenida de Los Fundadores
Details: https://www.samlarc.org/events-1/star-spangled-spectacular-3

San Clemente: July 4th Fireworks Display

Fireworks only.
Date: July 4
Time: 9 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: San Clemente Municipal Pier, 622 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente
Details: https://www.san-clemente.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7361/2689?backlist=%2frecreation-community%2fspecial-events

San Juan Capistrano: Celebration and Summer Carnival

Food, exhibits, live music, picnic games and fireworks on July 4.
Date: July 2 to 4
Time: 4 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m. July 4
Location: San Juan Capistrano Sports Park, 25925 Camino Del Avion
Details: https://sanjuancapistrano.org/Departments/Community-Services/Summer-Events

Tustin: Fourth of July: An All-American Blast

Live music and fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 5 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Northrup Stadium at Tustin High School, 1171 El Camino Real
Details: https://www.tustinca.org/1073/Fourth-of-July-Celebration

Villa Park: Stars on Parade

Residents encouraged to decorate a bike, trike, scooter, wagon, skateboard, stroller or classic car for a stroll through residential neighborhoods.
Date: July 4
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Villa Park High School, 18042 Taft Ave.
Details: https://www.vpcsfoundation.org/

Yorba Linda: 4th of July Spectacular

Food vendors, family activities, live music and fireworks.
Date: July 4
Time: 5 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Veterans Park, 4756 Valley View Ave.
Details: https://www.yorbalindaca.gov/830/4th-of-July-Spectacular-Event

Kristina Garcia is a writing fellow for Voice of OC Arts & Culture. She can be reached at kristinamgarcia6@gmail.com.

Kim Pham is a writing fellow for Voice of OC Arts & Culture. She can be reached at kimhphm@gmail.com.

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