Fireworks will pop this year, but with a few rules attached. Photo by Chris Stone

Fireworks – yes, plan on fireworks! A virtual boom too. And we know you won’t gather in crowds to watch, right? Coronavirus cases have surged, so celebrations require distance and care, especially on a holiday weekend in San Diego.

In the meantime, though, enjoy two more Balboa Park attractions as they re-open, an original play in which you briefly can be the co-star and a certain musical – a perfect fit for Independence Day weekend, we might add – about some dude who died in a duel.

The San Diego Natural History Museum and the Fleet Science Center re-open to the public Friday. General admission is $21.95 at the Fleet and $20 at the Nat.

Both venues require masks for those ages 2 and above. They have altered exhibit layouts for ease of social distancing as well. Officials at the Nat also cleverly reminded ailing supporters to stay home. “We’ve been around for over 145 years; we’ll be here when you’re feeling better,” they wrote.

Hamilton! Squee! If you’ve never been lucky enough to snag a seat to the Broadway phenomenon or one of its tours, it might be the time to try Disney Plus. The new platform streams the original Broadway cast, including creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, beginning Friday. Alas, though, there’s no free trial. Lowest price? One month at $6.99.

To start your Fourth with, say aural fireworks, the Spirit of Liberty Foundation hosts members of the Southern California Patriot Guard Riders. They celebrate our nation’s birth on the ride, and show support for healthcare workers, first responders and veterans. A 9 a.m. ceremony at the San Diego Automotive Museum includes a performance of dueling TAPS from Bugles Across America and a blessing by a military chaplain. Spot them as they leave Balboa Park on the way to Coronado, through downtown San Diego, and up the coast, ending in Oceanside.

Officials canceled several fireworks displays due to Covid-19, but not Saturday shows in El Cajon, Poway, Santee and Vista. In most cases, admission will not be allowed, but fireworks fans can grab a good viewing spot in the city, keep their distance and enjoy.

  • El Cajon, 9 p.m.: Fireworks over JFK Park, which will be closed to the public.
  • Poway, 9 p.m.: Shows over Poway High School and Sportsplex. The sites will be closed, but the city will direct attendees to parking areas where they can catch the view from their cars.
  • Santee, 9 p.m.: Town Center Community Park East and West Hills Park, both closed to the public.
  • Vista, 9 p.m.: Brengle Terrace Park, open to cars only – no pedestrians.

But wait! How about a virtual show – San Diego’s famous Big Bay Boom? Fox5 San Diego airs highlights of past celebrations at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. They also plan to mention that Big Bay Bust.

The La Jolla Playhouse presents Brian Lobel’s Binge, an interactive performance piece that gives ticket holders the opportunity to go one-on-one with Lobel on a favored pandemic topic – binging TV shows.  Binge continues through July 12. Tickets cost $25 to take part in a 15-minute slot, but you must have a digital connection and a device with Zoom installed. Spots are available beginning Sunday.

Aside from Hamilton, new month, new streams. On Netflix – The Last Dance, in case you passed on the recent buzzy run of the Michael Jordan doc on ESPN. On Hulu – Andy Samberg in Palm Springs, while Amazon offers the second season of Hanna.

– Staff reports