Where to Celebrate Independence Day in Orange County

By Carol Cassis
Carol Cassis
Carol Cassis
and Julianne Foster
Julianne Foster
Julianne Foster
June 30, 2022 Updated: June 30, 2022

Surf City Parade

Come join the nation’s 4th largest Independence Day celebration! This year Huntington Beach will be celebrating its 118th annual Independence Day tradition, long-awaited after two years of modified scheduling following COVID-19.

This hometown celebration features four whole days of festivities, from the Surf City 5k run to the July 4th parade, as well as festive house decorating contests with local homes decked out in patriotic flags, sparkles, and even lights! The Pier will also be hosting a four-day carnival with thrilling rides, games, free live music, and so much more for all ages. Events start July 1. For more information.

San Juan Capistrano Carnival

San Juan Capistrano is a highlight for Independence Day celebrations, hosting an entire day of festivities for all to enjoy. If the full-scale carnival with over 20 thrill rides for all ages were not enough, guests will also experience day-long live music beginning at 1:30 p.m., bond over old-fashioned picnic games, and savor delicious treats from food vendors.

There is even a beer and wine garden, animal petting zoo, and, of course, spectacular fireworks to close out the festivities at 9:00 p.m. The Summer Carnival will take place from Friday to Monday, July 1–4, at varying start times. On July 4 there will be live music by the Big Rock Show beginning at 1:30 p.m. and a firework display at 9 p.m.

There is a free trolley service and on-site or street parking for the event. Ticket and wristband price inquiries can be made to the Community Services Department. For more information.

Dana Point Beach Flyover

Airshow and fireworks enthusiasts are invited to spend the day at one of Southern California’s iconic fireworks displays, with plenty to see before the show even begins.

The Condor Squadron, consisting of WWII North American AT-6 airplanes, will be shooting through the sky just before the fireworks for an added rush of historic and patriotic dazzle. Adding to the brilliance of the display is the fact that the fireworks will be shot off a barge located on Doheny State Beach, adding extra sparkle as the lights bounce off the water.

The airshow begins at 6 p.m., with fireworks following from 9 to 9:30 p.m. Since this is a popular event, the city is expecting major traffic congestion. Visitors are encouraged to use the Dana Point Trolley system. For more information.

Knott’s Berry Farm

With so many options to choose from, Knotts Berry Farm is tough to beat for Independence Day entertainment for all ages. Not only can guests enjoy the park’s iconic rides and rollercoasters, but the park also features spectacular fireworks in the evening as well.

This summer only, the park’s iconic ‘Ghost Town Alive!’ attraction will reopen, along with their infamous Knotts Summer Nights party. If crisp, golden fluffy funnel cakes topped with powdery white sugar and velvety ice cream and classic rides appeal to you, Knotts is a can’t miss destination. The theme park’s fireworks displays will take place July 2–4 at 9:30 p.m.

To see the fireworks, guests must buy tickets to enter the park. Daily admission cost is $69. However, locals have posted online that they can still be seen from the Park’s parking lot and entrance. According to a map on Knott’s Berry Farm’s site, the best viewing places inside the park are Boot Hill, Calico Mine Stage, Calico Park, Stagecoach Trail, and Boardwalk Bay. There will be a light display from the Sky Cabin ride while fireworks light up around it. For more information.

San Clemente Pier

If a glittering fireworks display at Orange County’s “Spanish Village by the Sea” sounds intriguing to you, head on over to San Clemente Pier on July 4.

Attendees get to enjoy the Condor Squadron flyover on the squadron’s final city that day, where they will perform a 360 turn over the beach and fly back North. This is the only city in Orange County that gets this unique double-show by the squadron, and it’s one aviation enthusiasts and spectators alike are sure to be dazzled by.

Fireworks follow soon after at 9:00 p.m. at the pier, with trolley service available for easy transit to and from parking. Water activities are restricted from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the areas spanning 1,000 feet on either side of the Pier. For more information.

Yorba Linda Veterans Park

Yorba Linda is excited to announce its annual Fourth of July spectacular fireworks show! In addition to its dazzling fireworks display, families and friends of all ages are invited to enjoy scrumptious food from various vendors, family activities, a kids’ zone, live music, and so much more, finished off by the city’s iconic fireworks show.

Located at Veterans Park and the South Field of Yorba Linda Middle School on Monday, July 4, starting at 5 p.m. Stage presentations to introduce the fireworks show begins at 8:40 p.m. with the National Anthem & God Bless America sung by Mario Bryant. Alcohol and personal fireworks are not allowed. Free. For more information.

Irvine Carnival, Boat Race

Woodbridge Village Association’s 4th of July Celebration is back! Known as an “explosive” tradition for friends and neighbors alike, the day features a packed schedule including a 5k and 10k run, a full carnival, canoe riding, and even a boat race!

Finish the day off with a fireworks extravaganza while enjoying your favorite scoop of ice cream, and this day will be one for the books for the whole family.

Registration for the run is $30 for adults and $10 for kids and is open for signups until July 2. Fireworks begin promptly at 9 p.m. For more information.

La Habra Live Music

Everyone can find something they love at La Habra’s fabulous 4th of July Celebration. In addition to their classic fireworks show, celebrants can enjoy live music from the melodious singer, Suave, while feasting on mouth-watering treats from a plethora of food vendors.

Kids can also find plenty to do at the park’s activity booths, with plenty of options available for purchase with retailers as well.

Guests will be treated to a patriotic military flyover before the fireworks begin for an extra patriotic flair.

Events start July 4 at 4 p.m. at La Bonita Park, with fireworks commencing at 9:15 p.m. Tickets must be purchased to enjoy this event—they are currently on sale at the La Habra Community Center for $5 for kids and $7 for adults. The tickets go up in price by $2 if purchased after July 1. For more information.

Laguna Beach’s Heisler Park

Enjoy the sea breeze at Laguna Beach’s dazzling fireworks display and air show. Starting at 5:45 p.m., the Condor Squadron will fly over the city’s beaches. Guests are invited to take the trolley to spend the day on the city’s powdery white sands for a full day of summer fun in the sun, followed by a fireworks display at 9 p.m. in Heisler Park.  For more information.

Anaheim Hills Independence Day Extravaganza

Indulge your senses at Anaheim Hills for an unforgettable Independence Day extravaganza. Starting at 7:00 a.m., athletes can participate in the city’s 5k or 10k run, also known as the “Firecracker along the scenic Santa Ana Canyon Road.”

Those wanting a more relaxing day can savor a fluffy pancake breakfast served at Canyon High School field for only $10, starting 7:30 a.m.

Dog lovers next have a chance to watch and enter their pups to compete in the precious ‘Yankee Doodle’ Dog Show at 9 a.m., followed by their must-see Patriotic Parade starting at 1 p.m. beginning at Canyon High. The festivities continue at Peralta Park where Woodie and the LongBoards and the Smokin Cobras will be performing their iconic live music, accompanied by sizzling and sweet food served by popular vendors.

Finish the day off with a fireworks grand finale, a staple Anaheim Hills Independence Day tradition for over three decades beginning at 9:00 p.m. dog registrations for the Yankee Doodle Show are available on the site for a baseline of $10. For more information.

Carol Cassis