Newport Dunes Fireworks

Independence Day on The Back Bay

From festivals and all-American barbecue buffets to bicycle parades, cruises and more—find the best Orange County Fourth of July events.

By Laura Okey

Independence Day on The Back Bay
Come down to the Back Bay for the annual Fourth of July celebration at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Enjoy a jam-packed day of live music from some of the nation’s top tribute bands, an expanded aquatic fun park, an all-American holiday buffet and a fireworks display to end the evening. The fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m. Gates open at 8 a.m. Entrance fee is $50 per car, street parking available. Beer and wine garden pass $40/pp. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 800.765.7661.


Fireworks Cruises with Hornblower
Celebrate Fourth of July on the water in Newport Beach. Choose from the Old Glory Boat Parade brunch with free-flowing champagne and live entertainment; or a fireworks dinner cruise aboard Wild Goose complete with live entertainment, libations and a four-course dinner. Fireworks Dinner Cruise 7-10 p.m., Old Glory Boat Parade brunch 1-3 p.m. Fireworks Dinner Cruise $103.95, Old Glory Boat Parade brunch $67.95. Hornblower Cruises & Events, 2431 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.650.2412.


All-American BBQ Buffet
Join Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa for firework viewing and barbecue complete with an ocean view. Enjoy an array of salads, specialty items from the grill, the mac ‘n’ cheese station and delicious desserts. Take in breathtaking views from the lawn or the patio—you will have the best seat in town for the Dana Point Harbor fireworks show. 5-8:30 p.m. Fireworks show 9 p.m. Adults $99, Children 6-12 $40. Price includes tax, gratuity and valet. Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, Vue Patio and Vue lawn, 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, 949.487.7516.


Monarch Beach Resort
Spend your Fourth of July celebration at the gorgeous Monarch Beach Resort with traditional barbecue served on the lawn, live music and plenty of family activities such as a balloon artist, backyard games, a photo booth and of course—fireworks. Reservations are required. 6-9:30 p.m. Adults $125, children 5-12 $60. Monarch Beach Resort, 1 Monarch Beach Resort N., Dana Point, 800.722.1543.

Independence Day Parade & Celebration
Your day-long Fourth of July celebration begins with a bicycle parade. Jump on your bikes and head to the corner of Commodore Road and Mariners Drive. End at Mariners Park where the celebration will be in full swing with a DJ, rock climbing wall, obstacle course, carnival games, food trucks and more. Bicycle parade 10:30 a.m. Mariners Park festivities 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $10-$15. Mariners Park, Dover Drive at Irvine Ave., Newport Beach, 949.644.3151.


4th of July Parade & Pier Festival
July 2-4. Enjoy three days of live entertainment, exhibitors, food vendors and family activities at this year’s festival themed “America the Beautiful.” Enjoy breakfast at Lake Park, cheer on participants in the Surf City 5K run, and visit pier plaza for entertainment and much more. End the day with a spectacular fireworks show over the ocean. See website for full schedule of events and locations. Pier Plaza Festival Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Mon. 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fireworks on Fourth of July only. 9 p.m. Free. Bleacher and VIP seating available $10-$20. Breakfast $5. Huntington Beach Pier, Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street, 325 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.536.5486.


glory boat parade
Old Glory Boat Parade

Old Glory Boat Parade
Newport Beach celebrates Independence Day with the annual Old Glory Boat Parade—the largest in California. Boats and watercraft festooned with their most patriotic decorations cruise through Newport Harbor. View the fireworks extravaganza at the end of the night at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. The parade will begin off Collins Island. In conjunction with the parade, American Legion Post 291 will offer breakfast, lunch, live music and other festivities throughout the day. See website for schedule and pricing. Parade 1-3:30 p.m. Free. American Legion Post 291, 215 East 15th St., Newport Beach.


Dinner and Fireworks Cruise with Dana Wharf Sportfishing

Board the Dana Pride dinner cruise for top fireworks viewing and a barbecue buffet dinner feast. A full cash bar will be available. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $84 adults, $39 children, 4 and under are free. The Curlew Sailboat Fireworks Cruise is a more romantic and adventurous sailing trip on the schooner Curlew. Once anchored off shore, sit back and enjoy the Dana Point fireworks show with complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $95 adults, $65 children. Reservations and pre-payment required. Fireworks cruise without dinner is also available, call for details. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794.


Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Community Festival
Pedal over to 38th Street and Balboa Boulevard for a bike ride around the Newport Peninsula. Conclude at Channel Place Park for a community festival featuring arts and crafts, carnival games, food for purchase and a costume contest. 9-11 a.m. Free. Channel Place Park, 4400 Channel Place, Newport Beach.


July 4th Spectacular Tribute to The King of Pop
Enjoy an energetic and exciting tribute to Michael Jackson. Hear music from albums Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Blood on the Dance Floor  and many others. The seven-piece rock group Windborne along with lead singer James Delisco will join Pacific Symphony to celebrate the genius of Michael Jackson’s legacy. The concert opens with patriotic favorites and closes with a brilliant fireworks finale. Show begins at 8 p.m. $12-$108. Irvine Meadows (formerly Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre), 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, 714.755.5799.

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