July 4th is a spectacular and wonderful holiday that truly captures the American persona. The holiday is the perfect mix of parades, fireworks, barbeques, and spending time with family and friends. However, for some, some burgers and hot dogs on the grill just won’t cut it.
Luckily, every city in Orange County puts on some sort of parade, firework show, or other forms of entertainment, exhibiting not only the sentiment of the local community but also the history of this great nation. Regardless of whether you are a long-time local of Orange County or if you will be in town for the holiday, there’s a lot happening around to keep you busy. Here are some quality events that could precede or follow up your 4th of July celebrations this year.
Huntington Beach 4th of July Celebration
The Huntington Beach celebration is considered one of the best 4th of July celebrations in Orange County, and for good reason. This year they continue to innovate and add things to their already impressive line-up of activities that span the whole day. To begin with, there will be a Surf City 5k, which has staggered start times for those who may want to sleep in a bit. Afterward, there will be a parade through the neighborhoods of Huntington Beach, with the city encouraging residents and businesses to participate!
In addition, there will be a Ferris Wheel, a 12,000 square-foot food and beer garden, plenty of vendors, and other fun activities. Capping off the night is a firework display, which will leave you and the rest of the spectators in awe!
Location: Huntington Beach Neighborhoods and Downtown
Alison Viejo Parade and Celebration
If you are looking to step out and mingle with the local community for your 4th of July celebrations this year, then you are in luck. The celebration in Alison Viejo will kick off with their main event starting at around 9 AM and will carry on for several hours. The festivities will focus mainly on a community parade, but the fun only continues from there. There will likely be food trucks on location, but most of the activities will be free, including face painting, a DJ, rock wall climbing, and fireworks later in the evening.
Location: 100 Park Ave, Aliso Viejo
Anaheim Hills 4th of July Celebration
If you are looking to outsource some or most of the 4th of July, heading over to the Anaheim Hills Celebration would be a solid way to spend the day. The day starts at 7 AM with a 5k/10k run, a fantastic way to burn off some of those calories and make room for all the soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, and steak you will eat later! After the run will be the annual Yankee Doodle Dog Show at 9. The show will have awards for the cutest dog in all categories, such as small, medium, and large, as well as a most patriotic category.
Starting at 1 pm, a parade will go from a local high school to a park. The parade will conclude around 3 pm, at which point food vendors and trucks will be set up at the park, along with live bands and various forms of entertainment. Stick around until 9 PM to catch a fantastic firework show to close out the day. If you’re in the area, drop by for any or all of the day’s activities!
Location: 220 S Imperial Hwy, Anaheim, and 100 North Quintana Drive, Anaheim
July 3rd Celebration in Costa Mesa
This is the perfect event for those who either want to fill the weekend with celebration activities or who, for some reason, aren’t off from work on July 4th, which falls on a Monday this year. The celebrations will begin at 5 PM and go all the way until 11 PM.
There will be food for purchase, and seating will be in the form of beach chairs, picnic blankets, and whatever works for you! Parking nearby is 10$, the only cost for those wanting to save some walking. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 PM.
Location: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, Lot A
4th of July Celebrations at Dana Point
This celebration is the perfect choice for any firework junkies in the crowd. Usually, it’s hard to squeeze in more than one or two firework shows each year because they aren’t happening close enough together and time is short. However, there are two firework shows happening, one at Doheny Beach and the other at Dana Point Harbor, a mere 4 minutes away from each other.
Both start at 9 PM, but with a good vantage point, you could see both at the same time in a magnificent display. If you arrive earlier from 5:55-6 PM, there will be a flyover by the Condor Squadron, flying AT-6 airplanes overhead. Quite the treat for a 4th of July Celebration!
Location: Doheny Beach and Dana Point Harbor
Ladera Ranch 4th of July Celebration
If you are looking for a family-friendly celebration with tons of fun and patriotic activities, look no further than the Ladera Ranch celebration. The activities will kick off bright and early at 7 AM with a 10k Freedom run, and a 7:45 pancake breakfast for families (and perhaps particularly fast runners!) Followed by a 5k run at 8:30 AM, and a kid’s 1k at 9 AM. Post that, the community parade happens, which will take you right up to the pre-firework fun.
Starting at 3 PM and going until the fireworks are a few other activities, such as Game Zones, Food Trucks, a Teen Zone, and a concert from 6 PM-9 PM. So, if you are looking for a day loaded with fun, food, and live music, look no further!
Location: 28275 Avendale Blvd., Ladera Ranch
What to do this holiday?
Regardless of where you find yourself on July 4th, there are plenty of activities in Orange County. This list doesn’t include everything, and there is a lot out there, with some events possibly right in your very own neighborhoods or cities. Whether you want to indulge in patriotic activities that tell the tale of this great nation or just want to mingle with the local community for some fun games and activities, there are plenty of events for everyone’s tastes and preferences out there. But above all, have a wonderful 4th of July and make sure to be safe!