Nothing like the red, white and blue along a parade route on the Fourth. Photo by Chris Stone

Perhaps you have burgers, brews and booms on your mind? It is Independence Day weekend after all.

We’ll leave the grilling and the beers up to you, but the stuff to do? We can help you there.

If you want to rest up for the big day Sunday, two San Diego mainstays return this year – the Big Bay Boom and the flashy finale to the scaled back San Diego County Fair:

  • Pick your favorite vantage point for the Big Bay Boom at 9 p.m.. Sunday, but after we were all cooped up last year, you’re gonna have a lot of company. The free fireworks spectacular – launched from four spots on San Diego Bay – has patriotic musical accompaniment on 101.5 KGB, and for the homebodies, can be viewed on Fox5 San Diego.
  • “Home.Grown.Fun” concludes its stay at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with a 9 p.m. July 4th fireworks show Sunday. Arrive early (or anytime Friday and Saturday) for hours of fair goodness – rides, food and craft booths, farm displays, music and more. Admission costs $10.

In addition, locals from Coronado to Vista host parades and shows this year – see our full list of San Diego County community events.

For a mellow, yet definitely all-American start to the holiday, look to Sweetwater Reservoir, where fishing opens up on Fridays for the summer. The reservoir will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekend through September. Use the Bonita entry. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children, and $3 to park for non-fishermen. You might also choose Loveland Reservoir near Alpine, which is fee-free and opens at 6 a.m. Word is both are well stocked with bass, catfish, bullhead, bluegill, perch and rock bass.

Want to hit the streets? DJs and bands will help ring in the Fourth on the block.

Start things early at the Silent Revival in the Gaslamp Quarter from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, with a 10 p.m. laser show at Fifth and Island. DJs will queue up ’80-’90s hits, hiphop, house and trance. Tickets cost $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

In the Quartyard, meanwhile, the R&B Block Party returns at 5 p.m. Saturday – for $5 in advance/$10 at the door – while the venue hosts the free South Bay Independence Day Pop-Up Market at noon Sunday, with DJs and live bands.

For a different vibe, drop by Liberty Station at 1 p.m. Sunday for Beers n’ Bluegrass. Liberty Public Market hosts the free party, open to kids and pups, as Bottlecraft provides the brews and PLOW! the tunes.

Naturally, where the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages are concerned, the US must be featured on Independence Day. Stop by from noon to 4 p.m., with a program at 2 p.m. featuring music, crafts, nibbles and more. Of course, America is a melting pot. Check out some of the 31 other Balboa Park cottages, which each rep a different culture, too.

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