We are again looking forward to another legal holiday, this one however is one of the most important, the celebration of our County’s Independence. It was on July 4 1776, when the 2nd Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, separating the colonies from Great Britain. First they voted on being independent, then they voted to adopt the declaration, a statement which had been prepared by five of the members of the Continental Congress led by Thomas Jefferson.
It is remarkable that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only two signers to the Declaration, later became Presidents of the United States and both died on the same day July 4 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
Over the ensuing years the young colony celebrated the 4th of July in many ways, just as we do today -parades, dinners, speeches, prayers and fireworks and back on July 4 1778, George Washington celebrated with a 13-gun salute and a double ration of rum to his soldiers.
It was not until 1941 that the 4th of July was made a legal holiday, however celebrations took place across the young colony every year, many of which continues to this day.
(a) The Bristol 4th of July Parade has taken place in Bristol Rhode Island since 1785 and is the oldest Independence Parade in the United States.
(b) Seward Nebraska has held a celebration on the same town square since 1868, and in 1979 it was designated America’s official 4th of July “City-Small-Town USA.
(c) In 2000 the famous Macy’s fireworks display, used to be held over the East River in New York City, was held over the Hudson River for the first time.
(d) since 1970 an annual 10-kilometer Peachtree Road Race is held in Atlanta Georgia
And on the Capitol Lawn in Washington D.C. a “Capitol Fourth” free concert precedes the fireworks display that attracts over half-a-million people every year.
Now we have seen what happened in the past, let’s see what there is to do in Orange County, let’s take a look.
View of Dana Point Harbour
Dana Point is going all out for the 4th, starting at 7:30 p.m. with an evening, of fun on the water, aboard the ‘Dana Pride’. Not only will one enjoy views of the beautiful California coastline complete with one of the spectacular sunsets (not guaranteed), but also a delicious BBQ Buffet dinner, and the best fireworks extravaganza display in the harbor, starting at 9 p.m.
The Location for the dinner cruise is at Dana Wharf Sportfishing, in Dana Point Harbor. Reservations can be made, and tickets purchased here.
Want to make it a day at the harbor, bring all your picnic essentials, or visit one of the many restaurants. There will be ‘free’ shuttle service from 10 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. from the Dana Point High School to the harbor. Call 949-496-6172 for more information.
Huntington Beach Pier
In Huntington Beach July 4th starts with a breakfast in Lake Park from 6:30 a.m – 11 a.m.; followed by a 5-K run & fitness Expo at 7 a.m until Noon.; then the Parade from 10 a.m – Noon with fireworks over the ocean at 9 p.m. The 4th of July festivities are part of the 4-day Pier Plaza Festival “Surf, Sun, & Celebrate” which goes from July 4th to the 7th.
The Huntington Beach Parade is a tradition that dates back to July 4 1904 and was held to commemorate the arrival of the first electric passenger train, linking it to Long Beach and Los Angeles. During the past years many famous celebrities have presided over it, and as many as 50,000 people have come to town to join in the celebration. Visit here to see this years parade route
Irvine Pacific Symphony
In Irvine the Pacific Symphony will present the July 4 Exgtravaganza “Music of Neil Diamond” at 8 p.m. on July 4. a star spangled 4th of July celebration by the San Francisco based ‘Super Diamond’. There will be patriotic favorites, a salute to the U.S. Armed forces and a brilliant fireworks finale. Shuttle service will be provided, from the main gate to the Amphitheater for those with mobility impairment, before and after the performance.
Gates open at 6 p.m. interested parties can bring their own food and beverage for a picnic, as food is allowed in the amphitheater. Tickets can be purchased here
Newport Beach yacht club
Boat owners in Newport Beach Harbour like to be really patriotic, each year they adorn their boats in red-white-&-blue decorations of balloons, streamers and waving flags and take them on a parade through the harbor. The ‘Old Glory Boat Parade starts at 1 p.m. but if you want a good location plan on arriving early.
There is also a 2-1/2 hour boat cruise that travels alongside the ‘Old Glory Boat Parade’ at a cost of $45 per person for the cruise with complimentary fresh chips and salsa, or $70 per person for a cruise and drink package from the full service bar. Not only do you get to see the beautiful Newport Beach coastline, but maybe Dolphins frolicking, California Blue Whales, and of course the Fireworks display.
San Juan Capistrano
This year San Juan Capistrano celebrates the 4th of July with mechanical rides, bounce houses, food booths and a beer garden. Festivities will go from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. when the end with a choreographed fireworks show. A live band performs on stage at 6 p.m. and there will be activities for the kids. There is no cost to attend, but tickets need to be purchased for the rides and bounce house. There is limited parking along Camino del Avion, with additional space in the Sports Park complex at 25925 Camino Del Avion. No personal food or fireworks are allowed in the park. Information is available by calling 949-493-5911
Lake Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo holds their annual ‘Street Faire and Fireworks Spectacular on Olympiad road in the area adjoining Lake Mission Viejo. The Faire has rides, games, food-drink-crafts-and gift booths all in a carnival atmosphere. The entertainment is free, the music is loud and constant, the performers both local talent and professionals from other areas, all ending at dusk when the 9 p.m. fireworks begin. This 4th of July Faire draws large crowds, bring your chairs and blankets and arrive early with your own picnic food, or purchase some from the food booths.
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Los Alamitos celebrates
Fireworks, Food Court, Entertainment and a kids fun zone, will be part of the 4th of July celebrations being held at the Joint Forces Training Base, 11200 Lexington Drive, Los Alamitos. Gates open at 4 p.m. on Thursday, you can enter at Lexington Dr and South Katella Ave. Parking for the event is $5, learn more by calling 714-229-6700