It was a gloomy start to the Fourth of July, but the overcast weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits at the Montecito Fire Protection District’s annual pancake breakfast Wednesday morning.
Local firefighters served a hearty breakfast to Montecito residents at the department’s San Ysidro Road headquarters with proceeds from the beneft going to the Montecito Firefighter’s Benevolent Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides relief for firefighters who are injured in the line of duty and establishes scholarships for children.
But firefighters are thinking about more than pancakes this Independence Day after several weeks of high temperatures and dry weather. Authorities are warning people to be safe this holiday. The fire season will probably end later than usual this year because of the late rains, Montecito firefighter Keith Powell said.
“Safe and sane” fireworks, which don’t propel into the air or explode, are only legal in Guadalupe and Santa Maria within Santa Barbara County. Other kinds of fireworks are illegal everywhere.
Already, illegal fireworks were blamed for an early morning house fire Wednesday in Santa Maria. The blaze caused about $225,000 in damage.
Meanwhile, in celebration of our country’s 236th anniversary of independence, the Central Coast will offer a range of Fourth of July events and activities Wednesday, including firework shows, concerts, barbecues and parades.
Many of the family-friendly events involve traditional American barbecue food, fun and games for all ages, and a great view of one of the area’s fireworks displays.
And despite the gray beginning, the National Weather Service says the sun should burn through by the afternoon with high temperatures in the 70s on the South Coast and overnight lows in the upper 50s. Click here for the complete weather forecast.
For the second year, Noozhawk will be using Storify to tell your stories of this year’s Fourth of July celebrations in Santa Barbara County. Scroll down to see what we’ve collected so far, and check back for more coverage.
Stow House Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration
For celebrants looking for old-fashioned family fun, the Goleta Valley Historical Society will be hosting its 38th Annual Fourth of July celebration at Goleta’s Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Road, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The event will include a barbecue put on by Country Catering with beer from Hollister Brewing Co., live music from local bluegrass and country artists, and carnival-style booths for kids. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children, although parents have the option of purchasing children a $5 “fun pass” punch card for access to attractions such as games, face painting and hay rides.
Musical guests will include bluegrass band Salt Martians, bluegrass duo Peter Feldmann and Blaine Sprouse, and country and classic rock band The Rawhides. In addition to the barbecue and live music, the event will include old engine shows, tours of Stow House and classic cars on display.
The Elks Lodge Family Fun Fair
The Santa Barbara Elks Lodge No. 613, 150 N. Kellogg Ave., will host its annual admission-free Family Fun Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. The event will include a barbecue, music, crafts booths and kids’ activities. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be offered at 11 a.m. and chicken and tri-tip at noon.
Montecito Village Fourth of July Parade
The Montecito Association will host its 17th Annual Montecito Fourth of July Parade at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The parade will begin at Upper Manning Park, 449 San Ysidro Road, and proceed down San Ysidro Road to Lower Manning Park. Prizes will be awarded for the best parade participant in various categories. The post-parade celebration takes place at Lower Manning Park from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and includes food, activities and entertainment.
Fourth of July Arts and Crafts Show
Local artisans will showcase their work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Pueblo and Garden streets in downtown Santa Barbara.
Spirit of ’76 Parade
The Spirit of ’76 Foundation is hosting its 50th Annual Fourth of July Parade at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The parade will begin at the intersection of State and Micheltorena streets and make its way down State to its conclusion at Cota Street. Among a multitude of floats, the parade will feature marching bands, historic Revolutionary War-era costumes and restored classic cars. The theme of this year’s parade is “The Gift of Individual Liberty.”
Spirit of ’76 Foundation president Paul Lamberton said one thing that should make this year’s parade particularly memorable is a 90-foot stationary float that is an exact replica of a blue whale. The float is intended to raise awareness about the endangered status of the species. As it is too massive to fit into the parade, the float will instead be kept on display at De la Guerra Plaza for the duration of the festivities.
Following the parade, the Spirit of ’76 Foundation will host a musical event at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden on Anapamu Street. The concert will feature performers from the Music Academy of the West and various other local musicians presenting renditions of classic patriotic pieces. The admission-free concert is coordinated by renowned classical concert pianist and Santa Barbara resident Bryan Tari.
Solvang Independence Day Parade
The Solvang Rotary Club’s annual Independence Day Parade will begin at Mission Santa Inés, 1760 Mission Drive, and make its way through a winding route in downtown Solvang starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The parade will be followed by a barbecue at 2 p.m. in Solvang Park, at Mission Drive and First Street, with Solvang’s fireworks show starting when the sun sets.
Santa Barbara-SPARKLE Fireworks Show
This year’s Santa Barbara waterfront fireworks celebration will take place at West Beach along West Cabrillo Boulevard at 9 p.m. Wednesday. The event is co-hosted by the nonprofit Santa Barbara SPARKLE and the city Waterfront Department, and the fireworks are produced by Bay Fireworks.
The day’s festivities actually will kick off at 11 a.m. with an array of street vendors offering food, beverages and arts and crafts along Cabrillo. At 7 p.m., there will be a “Freedom Celebration” featuring a live performance by a 50-piece combo band from the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest.
The AM-1290 radio station will broadcast patriotic music to accompany the 20-minute pyrotechnics show.
Goleta Fireworks Festival
The Goleta Rotary Clubs will once again host their annual Goleta Fireworks Festival at Girsh Park, 7050 Phelps Road.
The event will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday and features catered food, live music and various activities, such as a watermelon-eating contest, an obstacle course, a raffle and an ice rink for children under 6. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children under 12 years old.
Other Fireworks Shows
In addition to the Santa Barbara and Goleta fireworks festivals, fireworks displays will also take place Wednesday night in Lompoc, Santa Maria, Solvang, Ventura and Oxnard.
Canary Hotel Fourth of July Party
The Canary Hotel, 31 W. Carillo St., will be holding a Fourth of July celebration from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday. The event will include a rooftop barbecue and the musical selections of DJ Sparx.
The hotel’s patriotically decorated “rooftop perch” will also offer a full view of the Santa Barbara waterfront fireworks celebration. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door.
Condor Express Fireworks Cruise
For those wishing to view the Santa Barbara fireworks show from the water, the Condor Express is offering a Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise departing from Sea Landing, 301 W. Cabrillo Blvd., at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $60 each for adults and $30 for children.
South Coast Bus Service
Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District buses will operate on a Sunday schedule Wednesday, although some routes will be affected by parade road closures.
To help ease traffic congestion after the harbor fireworks display, MTD will offer additional times for select routes leaving the downtown Santa Barbara transit center. Officials are strongly encouraging anyone attending the Santa Barbara fireworks show to use buses, walk or bike to avoid issues with parking and traffic.
The schedule for additional routes includes:
» Route 1: Westside Santa Barbara - 10:20 p.m.
» Route 5: The Mesa - 10:15 p.m.
» Route 11: UCSB via State Street/Hollister Avenue - 9:30 p.m.,10:20 p.m., 10:50 p.m.
» Route 20: Carpinteria via Coast Village Road/Summerland - 10:50 p.m.
» Route 24x: Express to Camino Real Marketplace via UCSB - 9:45 p.m., 10:50 p.m.
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