As Santa Barbara County counts down to Independence Day, here's where to find the concerts, parades, games for the kids, festive food and drinks for this Fourth of July.
Local officials are reminding residents that most fireworks are illegal. "Safe and sane" fireworks are being sold in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Guadalupe, but even those kinds of fireworks are banned in the unincorporated areas of the county along with the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Solvang and Buellton.
The annual Spirit of '76 Fourth of July Parade will start at 1 p.m. Friday at Micheltorena and State streets in Santa Barbara and march down State Street, concluding at Cota Street. This year's theme will be "Made in the USA — Bill of Rights…Guard it.” The event is free of charge.
The annual Independence Day fireworks display will launch from West Beach at 9 p.m. and last approximately 20 minutes. The event is free and open to the public. There won’t be any pre-fireworks entertainment this year, since the SPARKLE organization that helps throw the annual spectacle couldn’t raise enough money.
The city of Santa Barbara's waterfront department and parks and recreation department organized the food vendors this year but there won’t be any pre-fireworks entertainment on Friday afternoon and evening. Since SPARKLE provides the stage and speaker system, there won’t be any music during the fireworks show, either, city parks and recreation director Nancy Rapp said.
Santa Barbara Rescue Mission Fourth of July Carnival
The carnival will prepare a barbecue dinner to feed approximately 300 homeless men, women and children at 535 E. Yanonali St., in the Rescue Mission's parking lot from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The event will include music and carnival games, such as a dart board, penny toss, a pie throwing booth and a raffle. The event will be sponsored in part by the Women's Auxiliary.
The Cielo Foundation for the Performing Arts and the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, in conjunction with the Spirit of '76 Foundation, present AMERICAN SALUTE! A patriotic musical celebration of the founding of our nation. The concert will be free to the public and located at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens, at 1100 Anacapa St. The show will begin at 5 p.m.
Music Academy of the West 2014 Festival
The Music Academy of the West in partnership with New York Philharmonic will brighten the summer starting July 4 with musical events daily through August 9. This musical series will take place at the Music Academy of the West conservatory at 1070 Fairway Rd. in Santa Barbara and include opera, orchestra concerts, solo recitals, competitions, a string quartet seminar plus many other performances.
Stearns Wharf Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Show
The Stearns Wharf Merchants Association will celebrate the holiday with a live band — Renown Muzic — from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Stearns Wharf Harbor Restaurant parking lot. Renown Muzic plays covers of such popular pop songs as "California Girls" by Katy Perry, "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga, "Billy Jean" by Michael Jackson and "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley. The fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m.
The 19th Annual Village Fourth starts Independence Day at 7:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Montecito Fire Protection District headquarters at 595 San Ysidro Road. Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the door. Pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice, milk and Green Star Coffee will be served by local firefighters until 10:30 a.m. The annual parade starts at 11:30 a.m. on San Ysidro Road and ends at Manning Park, where there will be activities for kids.
The event will include live music, a barbecue, hay rides and classic cars. Adult admission is $7 and children under 12 enter free. Festivities will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rancho La Patera & Stow House at 304 N. Los Carneros Road.
The Goleta Fireworks Festival is a alcohol-free, family-friendly event to celebrate Independence Day. Admission is $6 per person with children under 12 entering free. The event will include a watermelon and pie eating contest, in addition to interactive games, a hula hoop contest and rock climbing. The festival runs from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Girsh Park in Goleta.
Fourth of July Elks Family Fun Fair
The fair begins at 11:30 a.m. and a barbecue chicken lunch will be served until 4 p.m. A baked goods booth will also be available serving $5 hamburgers and $3 hotdogs. The event will include music, bingo and other games for all ages. The event will be located at 150 North Kellogg Ave. at Elks Lodge 613 and admission is free.
Santa Ynez Valley
The event starts at 1 p.m. and will feature a spectacular fireworks display, live music and a raffle drawing with a grand prize of $1,000 cash. General admission is $6 for adults and free for children under 5 and active or retired military personnel and their families with a photo ID. Entrance to the drawing will be $10. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.. The event will take at 1760 Mission Dr. at Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang and features local bands including The Foggy Dew, Bear Redell and others.
Santa Ynez Master Chorale Fourth of July Concert
Celebrate America’s independence at a free July 4 concert featuring the Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale and The Jamboree Band. The music will start at 2 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building at 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang.
The Community Firework Show & Concert will be located at the Santa Maria Fairpark and will feature a live performance from 1960s tribute band The Reruns. The gate opens at 3 p.m. and the fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Hot dogs, snow cones and cold drinks including beer and wine will be available. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the fireworks.
The fireworks show will take place Saturday, July 5 and will include children's activities, games, live entertainment and food booths. Pre-sale tickets are available through July 3 with prices starting at $4 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. Tickets will go on sale at the stadium parking lot beginning at noon on Saturday. Gate prices will be $7 for adults and $5 for children. The show starts at 5 p.m. at the Lompoc High School Huyck Stadium at 515 W. College Ave.