Independence Day enlivens the summer with bright fireworks and patriotic colors of red, white and blue. The historical American holiday commemorates the famous date of July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was ratified, and it is celebrated today with parades, pancakes, fairs and fireworks.

Cities throughout Orange County are returning to pre-pandemic celebrations of the Fourth of July with community events and firework displays. Watch the sky light up on the Fourth of July and spend time with friends and family with these events happening across O.C.:

CENTRAL COUNTY

Costa Mesa: July 3 Independence Day Community Celebration

When: 5-11 p.m. July 3
Fireworks: 9:30 p.m.
Location: OC Fair & Event Center, Lot A, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

The city of Costa Mesa is hosting a Fourth of July community event at the OC Fair & Event Center. There will be live entertainment and giveaways. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Glass containers and bottles are prohibited. No hard-sided coolers or outside alcohol permitted.

Fountain Valley

No celebration planned in this city.

Garden Grove

No celebration planned in this city.

Santa Ana: Fourth of July Celebration

When: 5-9:30 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Centennial Regional Park, 3000 West Edinger Ave., Santa Ana

Live music, food trucks, kid-friendly activities and fireworks. Guests are encouraged to arrive early and bring a lawn chair, blanket and picnics. Dogs may attend but must remain on leashes. Alcohol is not allowed.

Tustin: Fourth of July Celebration

When: Food drive: 6 a.m.-5 p.m.; Music and fireworks: 6:30-9:30 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Tustin High School, 1171 El Camino Real, Tustin

Live music and fireworks. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to sit on the bleachers or bring a blanket to enjoy a picnic on the grass. Operation Warm Wishes will be collecting nonperishable food items for homeless veterans from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the high school parking lot.

Westminster

No celebration planned in this city.

THE COAST

The Condor Squadron WWII North American AT-6 Coastal Flyover over O.C. Coastal Cities

The Condor Squadron Officer’s and Airmen’s Association is an aviation history organization that flies North American AT-6 airplanes to commemorate those who have served the country. The Condor Squadron will be flying four AT-6 airplanes over several coastal cities in Orange County.

The approximate flyover schedule for July 4:

  • 5:25 – 5:30 p.m.: Huntington Beach
  • 5:35 – 5:40 p.m.: Newport Beach
  • 5:45 – 5:50 p.m.: Laguna Beach 
  • 5:55 – 6 p.m.: Dana Point
  • 6 p.m.: San Clemente

Dana Point: Fourth of July Celebrations

The city of Dana Point will have several Fourth of July events for friends and family. Dana Point’s fireworks display will be at Doheny State Beach from 9-9:30 p.m. There is a city trolley system that stops running at 8:30 p.m.

Note: Access to Doheny State Beach in the morning of the fourth is very congested. A line forms overnight so plan ahead if you are trying to get into the State Beach early on July 4.

Red, White & Booze Dana Point Trolley Hop

When: Noon-5 p.m. July 3
Location: Pick up wrist band at the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, 34183 Pacific Coast Highway Suite A, Dana Point
Tickets: $10

Purchase a trolley hop wristband for access to exclusive drink specials at participating restaurants throughout Dana Point. The trolleys will operate the normal daily route. Guests may hop on and off at the stops nearest to the restaurants they want to visit.

4th of July Harbor Cruises

When: Starting at 7:30 p.m. July 4
Location: Dana Wharf, 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point
Tickets: $10-$129

Fireworks viewing on the water, dinner and drinks. Three cruise types available, including a dinner cruise, a wine cruise, and a cruise simply for viewing the fireworks.

4th of July Fireworks

When: 9-9:30 p.m. July 4
Location: Doheny State Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point

Fireworks can be viewed from the beach which is open all day to the public.

Huntington Beach: 4th of July Celebration

Huntington Beach hosts one of the most popular Independence Day celebrations in California, which started in 1904 – 118 years ago. Over the long weekend, the city will host a variety of events, some designed for the local community and some for the thousands of people expected to descend upon the beach city.

Pier Plaza Festival and Carnival

When: Festival hours: 5-10 p.m. July 1, 1-10 p.m. July 2-3, noon-10 p.m. July 4. Carnival hours: 3-10 p.m. July 1, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. July 2-4
Where: Pier Plaza, 401 CA-1, Huntington Beach

Retail/craft vendors, food trucks, booths and bars, live bands daily and carnival entertainment.

Surf City Run

When: 7 a.m. July 4
Where: Starting point at Main St. and Springfield Ave., Huntington Beach

Route is along Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway and includes a resident 5K, an open 5K, a stroller 5K and a kids’ fun run.

Independence Day Parade

When: 10 a.m.-noon July 4
Where: Starting point at Main St. and Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach

Includes over 200 registered groups including color guards, vintage cars, marching bands and community groups. The parade will also be televised live on KABC.

Home and Business Decorating Contest

When: Judging starts at 3 p.m. July 3
Where: At businesses and homes along the parade route.

Prizes and trophies are awarded to the best theme décor for homes along the Main Street Parade Route and businesses in the downtown area.

Fireworks Over the Ocean

When: 9 p.m. July 4
Where: Near the Huntington Beach Pier
Tickets: $25-$40 for reserved seating.

All beach viewing is open to the public.

Laguna Beach: Independence Day Fireworks

When: 9 p.m. July 4
Location: Heisler Park, 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach

The City fireworks show will originate from Monument Point at Heisler Park, therefore, the Monument Point area will be closed all day on the Fourth of July.

Newport Beach: Fourth of July Activities

Newport Beach has various Independence Day celebrations this year, which include parades, festivals and fireworks. The city of Newport Beach states it is illegal to possess or use fireworks, and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in public areas. There will be street closures and limited parking; however, the city offers a free trolley service for the Balboa Peninsula. Notifications for traffic and crime can be signed up for on the Newport Beach Police Department website.

4th of July is for Families Festival

When: 9-11:30 a.m. July 4
Location: Channel Place Park, 4400 Channel Place, Newport Beach

Includes a bike parade, carnival games, arts & crafts, music and food.

Mariners Park Independence Day Parade and Celebration

When: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 4
Location: Mariners Park and VJ Community Center, 1300 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach

Live music, food trucks, eating contests and family-friendly activities.

The American Legion’s Old Glory Boat Parade

When: 1-3:30 p.m. July 4
Location: Newport Harbor, Newport Beach

The American Legion request that participants register their boats in advance. Registration is free, but donations to the Post 291 Veterans Emergency Assistance Fund are requested.

Fireworks Extravaganza at the Newport Dunes

When: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach
Tickets: Free admission. $100 parking space per vehicle, reserved in advance. Parking will also be available day-of for $50, based on availability, in a further and unpaved lot.

DJ, food trucks, games, a full bar, water sports and fireworks.

The Newport Dunes firework show started in 1958 and now has over 60 years of experience celebrating the Fourth of July. Credit: Photo courtesy of Mike Nowak/Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina

San Clemente: 4th of July Fireworks Show

Fireworks: 9 p.m. July 4
Location: San Clemente Pier

Seal Beach

See details under Los Alamitos.

NORTH COUNTY

Anaheim/Anaheim Hills: Fourth of July Celebration

When: 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. July 4
Schedule:
7 a.m. Firecracker Run at Canyon High School
9 a.m. Yankee Doodle Dog Show at Canyon High School
1 p.m. Fourth of July Parade starting at Canyon High School, ending at Eucalyptus Park
3 p.m. Food and Entertainment at Peralta Park
Fireworks: 9 p.m. at Peralta Park

The annual Anaheim Hills Fourth of July Celebration will be on July 4 starting at 7 a.m. The Independence Day celebration will include a 5K and 10K run, parade, dog
show, live music, food, and of course, a fireworks show. Beginning at 3 p.m. in Peralta Park, food booths will open, followed by entertainment at 5 p.m.

Brea: Country Fair

When: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 4
Where: City Hall Park, 401 S. Brea Blvd., Brea
Fireworks: No fireworks

This year marks the 42nd annual County Fair, hosted by the city of Brea. Kicking off with a breakfast hosted by the Kiwanis, the day also includes carnival games, a car show and a pie eating contest. “We are so excited to be back out in a really big and impactful way for our community,” said Kristin Steyerman, community services supervisor for the city.

Buena Park: Knott’s Berry Farm July 4th Fireworks

When: Park is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fireworks: 9:30 p.m. each night, July 2-4
Where: Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
Tickets: $69 daily pass

Cypress: Salute to America

When: 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. July 1
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Where: Cypress College, 9200 Valley View Street, Cypress

Polynesian dancers, live music, food trucks, vendors, entertainment and fireworks.

Fullerton

No celebration planned in this city.

La Habra: Fourth of July Celebration

When: 4-9:45 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: Start at 9:15 p.m.
Where: La Bonita Park, 1440 West Whittier Blvd., La Habra
Tickets: Wristbands required to enter. $5 Youth (3-12 years), $7 Adult (13+ years); free for U.S. active duty military, reserves and retired military with ID.

Live music, kids’ activities, military flyover, food and retail vendors and fireworks.

La Palma: Fitness Run for Fun and Family Fun Zone

When: 6:30 a.m. July 4
Fireworks: No fireworks.
Where: Start at Central Park, 7821 Walker St., La Palma
Tickets: Registration is $37 for adults, $10 for kids

After the race, a pancake breakfast will be provided by the La Palma Kiwanis Club. Award presentations at the Park Pavilion start at 9:15 a.m. In addition, the La Palma Community Services Department hosts its Family Fun Zone in the park.

Los Alamitos: 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

When: 4-9:30 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Where: Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, 11206 Lexington Drive, Los Alamitos

No drive-up format this year. Instead, bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Includes a family fun area, static displays, live entertainment, food and commercial vendors and fireworks.

Orange: 3rd of July Celebration

When: 4-9 p.m. July 3
Fireworks: 8:45 p.m.
Where: Grijalva Park, 368 N. Prospect St., Orange
Tickets: $7 per person, children under 2 are free

Features music, games, kids activities, food trucks and a fireworks display.

Placentia

No celebration planned in this city.

Stanton

No celebration planned in this city.

Villa Park: Fourth of July Parade

When: 9 a.m. July 4
Fireworks: No fireworks
Where: Starts and ends at Villa Park High School, 18042 Taft Ave., Villa Park. Route on the website.

Yorba Linda: 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

When: 5 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Where: Veterans Sports Park, 4756 Valley View Ave., and Yorba Linda Middle School. 4777 Casa, Yorba Linda

Food vendors, family activities, live music and fireworks.

SOUTH COUNTY

Aliso Viejo: July 4th Celebration and Fireworks

When: 6-9:30 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Where: Grand Park/Town Center Amphitheater, 6101 City Lights Dr., Aliso Viejo

Live performance, community booths, kids crafts, carnival games and fireworks. Only blankets and low-level chairs allowed.

Irvine: The Music of Queen July 4 Spectacular

When: 8 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: At the conclusion of the concert.
Location: FivePoint Amphitheatre, 14800 Chinon, Irvine
Tickets: $39 to $119

The Pacific Symphony will perform classic hits of the British rock band Queen, with Windborne Music’s band and vocalists. The evening will be completed with a show of Fourth of July fireworks.

Laguna Hills: Fireworks Show

When: 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Where: Community Center, 25555 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills
Tickets: $2 carnival tickets

Two carnival rides will be onsite with tickets costing $2 alongside free bounce houses, an obstacle course, carnival games, food trucks and vendors, and fireworks.

Laguna Niguel: 4th of July Celebrations

Schedule:
7:30 a.m. Pancake Breakfast
8 a.m. Run in the Parks
1 p.m. Free Swim and Pool Party
5:30 p.m. Patriotic Flyover
6 p.m. Concert: The Springsteen Experience
Laser Light and Drones in the Sky Show: 9 p.m.
Location: Crown Valley Park, 29751 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel

A day’s worth of activities at Crown Valley park ends with The Springsteen Experience, a musical impersonation of the American singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen’s early career. Instead of fireworks, Laguna Niguel ends the day with a laser light and drones in the sky show over the lower soccer field.

Laguna Woods

No celebration planned in this city.

Lake Forest: 4th of July Parade

When: 10 a.m. July 4
Fireworks: No fireworks.
Location: Parking at El Toro High School, 25255 Toledo Way, Lake Forest. Starts at the intersection of Ridge Route and Toledo Way. Full route on the website.

Mission Viejo: Fourth of July Street Faire and Fireworks Spectacular

When: Noon-9:30 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: Olympiad Road between Marguerite and Melinda, Mission Viejo

Live entertainment, rides, food, games, shops and fireworks.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Star Spangled Spectacular

When: 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Where: Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club, 21472 Avenida De Los Fundadores, Rancho Santa Margarita
Tickets: Beach Club tickets are sold out.

Bike and Trike Parade around the lake starts at 10 a.m. Activities at the Beach Club for those who purchased tickets. Fireworks in the evening.

San Juan Capistrano: Fourth of July Summer Carnival

When: Noon-10:30 p.m. July 4
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Location: San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion, San Juan Capistrano

Food, picnic games, live music, rides, drinks and fireworks.

Jessica Choi is an intern for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. She can be reached at jessica2678@gmail.com.

Heide Janssen is the managing editor for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. She can be reached at hjanssen@voiceofoc.org.

Intern Emily Melgar contributed to this story.

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