Celebrate 4th of July 2016 in San Diego

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The music, the parades, the fireworks, the food and more, all add up to a fabulous Fourth of July in San Diego. Here’s our roundup of top patriotic events in Americas Finest City.

Edited by Lisa Kelley

Star Spangled Pops
July 1-3. The San Diego Symphony kicks off their annual Bayside Summer Nights celebration (formerly Summer Pops), with a patriotic affair. Enjoy concerts by the San Diego Symphony and Orchestra lead by longtime conductor Matthew Garbutt and guest vocalist Melissa Errico, and a colorful fireworks display at the conclusion of each show. Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego Embarcadero, 619.235.0804. sandiegosymphony.org

Oceanside Independence Day Parade
July 2. Oceanside hosts the 22nd annual parade through the beach-side community’s downtown. The “Volunteers—Heart of O’Side” theme celebrates those who contribute to the community, and more than 120 parade entries will roll, march, drive or walk along the famous 101 Coast Hwy. 10 a.m. Starts at Wisconsin St., ends at Pier View Way. 760.754.4512. mainstreetoceanside.com

Pier Pressure Pre-July 4th Yacht Party 
July 3. Start the party a night early and set sail aboard the Inspiration Yacht for the Pier Pressure Yacht Party for an extended evening of celebrations. The cruise includes three decks, six DJs and two floors of music and dancing, including an appearance by Scotty Boy. Check-in time is 9:30 p.m. and cruising is from 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. 1800 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego Marina, eventbrite.com

San Diego County Fair
July 4. From when the gates open at 10 a.m. until they close at midnight, the San Diego County Fair has tons of patriotic events lined up. Enjoy wandering through the Stars, Stripes and Stems floral design contest, catching monster trucks, watching the hometown heroes parade, participating in the most patriotic costume contest, then sitting back to enjoy the Grandstand performance by Special Edition Orchestra, complete with the fireworks finale. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.1161. sdfair.com

Big Bay Boom
July 4. Catch the largest fireworks show in the county with fireworks launched from four barges strategically placed around North San Diego Bay. Best viewing spots are Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero area and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing. bigbayboom.com

Historic Old Town Fourth of July
July 4. This 19th-century-inspired celebration features a parade, crafts, wagon rides, period games, music, a pie-eating contest and more. Old Town State Historic Park, Old Town, 619.220.5422. oldtownsandiegoguide.com

SeaWorld Summer Nights
July 4. SeaWorld keeps the celebration going after most the firework displays have finished. Set to start around 10:10 p.m., the park will light up the sky with their “Celebrate the Wonder” presentation. The summer offers extended hours at the park with nighttime shows the entire family can enjoy. 500 SeaWorld Dr., Mission Bay, 800.257.4268. seaworldparks.com

OB Pier Fireworks Display
July 4. After a day of celebrating with family and friends, grab a picnic blanket and enjoy the fireworks display as they’re launched from the end of the Ocean Beach Pier. oceanbeachsandiego.com

Coronado Independence Day Celebration
July 4. Independence day starts at 7 a.m. for those participating in the Crown City Classic run at Tidelands Park. Spreckels Park hosts Art in the Park as well as concerts throughout the day by the Coronado Community Concert Band. The Independence Day Parade salutes bystanders with the theme of “America’s Spirit” and at 9 p.m., enjoy the fireworks display over Glorietta Bay. ecoronado.com

La Jolla Cove
July 4. Catch the fireworks show over the gorgeous La Jolla Cove by grabbing a seat at Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. 1133 Coast Blvd., La Jolla. lajollabythesea.com

Hornblower
July 4. Grab one of the most unique vantage points for the fireworks aboard a Hornblower dinner cruise. Enjoy champagne, dinner buffet, DJ entertainment, panoramic views and a front seat to the Big Bay Boom fireworks show sponsored by the Port of San Diego. Boarding available at either 6 or 6:30 p.m. 1800 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego Marina, 619.686.8700. hornblower.com

California Center for the Arts
July 4. Join 20,000 patriotic festival-goers for the 53rd annual Independence Day Festival & Fireworks at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The free community event features rocking live music by the Manny Cepeda Orchestra Quartet, Ke’Ahi & Halau Hula O Makalani Na Pilialoha and the Jonathan Lee Band. It also offers food vendors and games for everyone to enjoy. The festivities will conclude with a special performance by Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Division Band and a dazzling fireworks display. Grape Day Park, 321, North Broadway, Escondido, 760.839.4138. artcenter.org

Top of the Hyatt
July 4. Enjoy an “Over the Top” view of the Big Bay Boom fireworks show from 40 stories above the bay. Tickets include unlimited beer, wine, champagne and cocktails as well as a variety of BBQ cuisine. 6-10 p.m. $125-200/pp. 1 Market Pl., downtown. eventbrite.com

San Diego Red, White & Brew PubCrawl
July 4. Explore San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy drink specials at 12+ venues. After purchasing tickets, check in at Taste & Thirst from 2-10 p.m. for the map of participating locations. (Most open until 2 a.m.). 715 4th Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. eventbrite.com

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