Southern California’s largest fireworks show will illuminate the skies over San Diego Bay for the 18th annual Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.
Starting at 9 p.m., some of the most technically advanced fireworks, in an array of shapes and colors, will launch simultaneously from four barges placed strategically around San Diego Bay, providing an electrifying display of patriotism in celebration of Independence Day. Fireworks artists will choreograph the approximately 20-minute show to music broadcast live on MAX FM 105.7 radio and The Mighty 1090 AM. A live telecast of the show can be viewed on both FOX 5 (San Diego & Baja, Mexico) and KTLA (Los Angeles and Southern California region).
The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom, which drew approximately 500,000 San Diegans and visitors in 2017, has been ranked as one of the top Fourth of July events in the country and attracts bigger crowds than the Phoenix Open (217,000 on Saturday in 2018), Indianapolis 500 (350,000 in 2017), and even Woodstock (400,000 in 1969), and rivals Simon & Garfunkel’s concert in Central Park (500,000 in 1981)!
Where to watch, transportation and parking:
The spectacular event is best experienced from a number of locations around and on San Diego Bay. Some of the most popular public areas are Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero Marina Parks North and South, Cesar Chavez Park and Coronado Ferry Landing. The Port encourages spectators to get to the waterfront very early as parking will be extremely limited and traffic will be heavy. Options include free event shuttle service to Harbor Island and Shelter Island, along with the Port of San Diego Waterfront Shuttle that connects multiple locations on the San Diego bayfront, as well as parking facilities and public transportation. Click here to view parking and shuttle details.
Because of the large volume of visitors to Harbor Island and Shelter Island, the access roads to these parks may be closed to entering vehicles at some point during the day. Pedestrian and shuttle access will remain available. As part of efforts to ensure a safe and accessible waterfront, there will be zero tolerance for illegal parking. Double-parking, parking in a red zone and parking against posted signs will result in citations and/or towing.
To ensure a fun and safe experience for all, the Port’s Harbor Police Department along with other local, state and federal law enforcement partners will be prominent on the bay and waterfront on July 4th. Public safety is everyone’s responsibility. Residents and visitors are encouraged to report suspicious activity to a uniformed officer, or call 911 or the Harbor Police non-emergency number at 619-686-6272. The public should be prepared to describe who or what they saw, when they saw it, where it occurred and why it’s suspicious. The public is reminded possession of an opened alcoholic beverage is prohibited along the waterfront and in our parks, and smoking is prohibited in our parks. One final reminder is that drones and other unmanned aircraft systems are also illegal to fly within five miles of an airport and above crowds.
All boaters interested in viewing the event on the water are asked to be extra cautious and pay special attention to the Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol boats with flashing yellow lights. They will be ensuring boaters do not get within the 1,000-foot perimeter safety zones around the four fireworks barges. All boaters are also encouraged to review the ABCs of California Boating, which includes information on a recently-enacted law that requires children younger than 13 years of age to wear a lifejacket on a vessel of any length.
For boaters planning to use the Shelter Island boat launch ramp, please note that it is under renovation and will be closed. A list of alternate boat ramps can be found on the Port of San Diego website.
Thanks to a sponsorship from the San Diego Port Tenants Association, the La Playa Anchorage near Shelter Island will be expanded prior to July 4th and permits will not be needed during this time. The special anchorage will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Vessels attempting to enter before that time will be turned away. The La Playa Anchorage will close at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 9, 2018.
Boaters in the Glorietta Bay area of Coronado will not require a permit between 12 p.m. on Monday, July 2 and 12 p.m. on Thursday, July 5, 2018. City of Coronado Lifeguards will direct boaters to a special anchorage area in Glorietta Bay that has been designated for this timeframe. Vessels will not be permitted to enter the special anchorage area prior to 12 p.m. on July 2. The A-5 Anchorage in Glorietta Bay will be closed due to its close proximity to the fireworks barge.
For detailed information on the Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom, visit bigbayboom.com.
The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.
The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.
As a treasured destination, the Port provides unique opportunities to captivate visitors and ensure everyone is welcomed, connected and inspired by our beautiful waterfront.
Photos by Tristan Loper