Big Bay Boom
A previous Big Bay Boom. Courtesy Port of San Diego

San Diego is repeatedly recognized as one of America’s most patriotic cities, and its July 4 celebrations are always among the best.

Here is Times of San Diego’s complete guide to fireworks displays, from Imperial Beach to Oceanside, and from Del Mar to Ramona, to celebrate Independence Day 2022.

Most are free to the public, but you may have to pay for parking, get there very early or take public transit. Note that two of the events, over Mission Bay and in Oceanside, are on Sunday.

Big Bay Boom

The Port of San Diego’s Independence Day tradition is one of the most anticipated fireworks shows in California and can be seen all around the bay beginning at 9 p.m. on Monday and lasting 20 minutes.

Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from four barges located off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the North Embarcadero, and the South Embarcadero.

Fireworks barge locations. Courtesy Port of San Diego

The most popular areas to watch from are Shelter Island, Spanish Landing Park, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and The Headquarters at Seaport District. 

Attendees are encouraged to follow parking guidelines, use public transportation if possible, arrive early, bring a lawn chair and blanket, and tune a radio to the musical simulcast on KGB 101.5 FM.

Those who can’t make it to the show can watch it on Fox 5 San Diego, KTLA 5 Los Angeles, or Fox 40 Sacramento.

“The Port of San Diego is proud to sponsor the Big Bay Boom,” said Port Board Chairman Dan Malcolm. “This is one of the port’s major annual holiday events and one that the region’s residents and visitors look forward to every year. It’s also an incredible economic boost for businesses that operate on and around San Diego Bay.”

Chula Vista

The county’s second largest city is sponsoring a free fireworks spectacular at 9 p.m. Monday at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. Parking is available at the training center at 2800 Olympic Parkway with gates opening at 7 p.m. There is additional parking at nearby Mountain Hawk Park, 1475 Lake Crest Drive, and New Hope Community Church, 2720 Olympic Parkway. Co-sponsor Local Media San Diego will broadcast simultaneous music on 100.7 BIG FM.

Coronado

While the Big Bay Boom is underway to the north, Coronado’s own fireworks will brighten the sky over Glorietta Bay at 9 p.m. on Monday. Sponsors suggest walking or biking to the area and watching from the golf course. The display will be accompanied by a soundtrack on KYXY Radio 96.5 FM.

Del Mar Fairgrounds

If you’re visiting the San Diego County Fair, a fireworks extravaganza at 9 p.m. will signal the end of the annual event. You’ll have to buy a fair ticket online, so arrive early and enjoy the midway, food and exhibits first.

El Cajon

The City of El Cajon will host fireworks at 9 p.m. Monday at Kennedy Park. The park on the east side of the city will be open for picnicking before the fireworks.

Escondido

The annual celebration, concert and fireworks display in Grape Day Park sponsored by the California Center for the Arts begins at 5 p.m. on Monday. The event starts with food trucks and children’s activities. Country music star Lorrie Morgan takes the state at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band at 8 p.m. and concluding with fireworks at 9:05 p.m. Admission is free, but a limited number of VIP tickets are available for $65 per person.

Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach is planning a high-tech salute to Independence Day wit a drone show at 9 p.m. on Monday. Verge Aero, which is also producing shows in Vail, CO, and Lake Tahoe, has been contracted for the fire-safe event. The celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. at Pier Plaza with a patriotic performance by the Marine Band San Diego.

Lake Murray

After two years of COVID, fireworks will return to Lake Murray Community Park at 9 p.m. on Monday. It’s the culmination of the local music extravaganza Musicfest, which begins at 11 a.m. The fireworks should be visible from La Mesa to Del Cerro and beyond.

Mission Bay

The fireworks take place a day early over Mission Bay, with a display at 9 p.m. on Sunday organized by the Mission Bay Yacht Club and funded by online donations. The event returns after a 10-year absence despite objections from animal rights groups. The launch point will between the yacht club and the Crown Point Bridge. Resorts throughout the bay are setting up special viewing areas and offering holiday packages.

Oceanside

In keeping with tradition, Oceanside will host its annual fireworks at day early, at 9 p.m. on Sunday. Gates open at 5 p.m. at SoCal Soccer Complex at El Corazon with live entertainment, a family fun area and food vendors before the fireworks. Parking at the soccer lot is available for $12, and free parking can found at the nearby Ocean Ranch Business Park. The event doubles as a commemoration of Oceanside’s incorporation on July 3, 1888.

Poway

Fireworks will light up the sky over two locations in Poway at 9 p.m. The first is Poway High School Stadium, where gates will open at 6 p.m. for games and a DJ before the show.
The second location is the Poway Sportsplex at 12349 McIvers Court. Lake Poway will be open into the evening as a viewing area for the fireworks at the high school. Parking is $10 for non-residents. Residents and active military members are free.

Ramona

The Ramona Chamber of Commerce, Ramona Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club of Ramona have partnered to bring back a community picnic and fireworks for July 4. An Independence Day celebration at Olive Pierce Middle School begins at 4:30 p.m. Monday with a DJ, games and food vendors, followed by fireworks at 9 p.m. Admission and parking are free, and residents are urged to bring beach chairs and blankets.

Rancho Bernardo

The Independence Day celebration in Rancho Bernardo begins with a community fair in Webb Park and ends with fireworks at 9 p.m. at Rancho Bernardo High School. Gates at the high school open at 6 p.m. A donation of $10 per person or $20 per family is requested.

San Marcos

San Marcos’ Red, White and Boom celebration takes place at Bradley Park from 6 p.m. until fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Residents are urged to bring beach chairs and blankets, join in the carnival games and sample the food trucks. The annual fireworks display is funded entirely by donations from San Marcos residents and businesses

Vista

Vista’s fireworks display takes place at 9 p.m. over Brengle Terrace Park. The park opens at 7 a.m., and residents can bring beach chairs and blankets. For a front-row view, admission to the Moonlight Amphitheatre is $5, with a special dinner package for $65.

Have we missed a fireworks display? Let us know at news@timesofsandiego.com.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.