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A Fountain of Festivities for Fun on the Fourth of July

Fired up about fireworks? Partial to parades? Or just want to mellow out to music? Check out Noozhawk's list of events.

The Santa Barbara Symphony and the Santa Barbara Choral Society will perform their annual Patriotic Concert at 5 p.m. Friday at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. (David Bazemore photo)

Summer is in full swing, and folks are mapping out their Fourth of July plans. Strategic planning may be the key to catching all that Santa Barbara and other local cities have to offer this year, with several opportunities to commemorate the nation’s 232nd Independence Day.

Santa Barbara Symphony

The Santa Barbara Symphony and the Santa Barbara Choral Society will perform its annual Patriotic Concert at 5 p.m. Friday at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. The free event, which starts at 4 p.m., will include patriotic favorites, light classics and a touch of bluegrass.

Guest conductor Diane Wittry has chosen the theme “Travel Across America” with selected pieces representing various cities and regions of the country.

The concert opens with Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and The Star-Spangled Banner. Keeping in line with her theme, Wittry will conduct such well-known music as the theme from Rocky, John Williams’ Liberty Fanfare, New York, New York, St. Louis Blues, Mardi Gras from Mississippi and I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

If you’re a fan of fireworks, the area is exploding with opportunities this Fourth of July. (Walt Stephens photo)

The Santa Barbara Symphony Choral Society, under the direction of music director Jo Anne Wasserman, is in its 60th season. It joins the orchestra in singing patriotic favorites such as This Land is Your Land, God Bless the USA, An American Hymn and the Armed Forces Salute. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture will provide the rousing finishing touch to the day.

Bring a picnic dinner and lawn chairs and come early to enjoy music with Peter Feldman and the Very Lonesome Boys, a bluegrass band, starting at 4 p.m. Santa Barbara’s Dancing Drum and CANS, a unique percussion group, also will provide opening entertainment.

Santa Barbara Spirit of ‘76 Association

Festivities already have begun with one particularly large demonstration of patriotism hanging nobly on the back wall of the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido.

Thanks to Santa Barbara’s Spirit of ‘76 Association a massive American flag has adorned the building since Flag Day on June 14, but was removed Monday because of damage from strong winds. The flag will be hung at the Courthouse for Friday’s festivities. After dark, the flag will be illuminated.

Spirit of ‘76 also will host the 45th annual Fourth of July Parade, with the theme of “Honor the Past, Build the Future,” at 1 p.m. Friday. The parade, which will begin at the corner of Micheltorena and State streets, will travel down State and continue into Old Town Santa Barbara, ending at Cota Street. Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen will be among the parade announcers.

SPARKLE Freedom Celebration

At 7 p.m., SPARKLE will host its 2008 Freedom Celebration at West Beach between Stearns Wharf and the marina. The event will include live entertainment from Ike Jenkins and the Monday Madness Jazz Band and singer Lisa LaVie.

Food and craft vendors will line Cabrillo Boulevard into the evening. At 9:30 p.m., Pyro Spectaculars will present an ocean-reflected fireworks show.

The city of Santa Barbara asks that no one bring glass, fireworks, alcohol or dogs to the West Beach event.

Captain Jack’s Fireworks Kayak Tour

For the more adventurous, Captain Jack’s Fourth of July Fireworks Kayak Tour will take guests on a two-hour kayak tour beginning at sunset near the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. The tandem kayakers will enjoy the SPARKLE fireworks show up close on the ocean for $50 per person.

Goleta Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration

By the time the parades and crowds have dispersed, there are several festive options to explore in Goleta.

Enjoy the 34th annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Stow House at Rancho La Patera with a barbecue, hayrides, games and races, classic cars and live entertainment by the Twangin’ Iguanas, Ulysses S. Jazz and Hot Lava: Rock Music for Kids.

Goleta Elks Lodge Family Fun Fair

The Elks Lodge’s free Fourth of July Family Fun Fair will begin at 11 a.m. There will be barbecued chicken and tri-tip as well as family friendly games, pony rides and entertainment. The event, at the Elks Lodge, 150 N. Kellogg Ave., and will end at 5 p.m.

Goleta Rotary Clubs’ Fireworks Festival

The Goleta Rotary Clubs’ annual family friendly fireworks event will commence as the other festivities begin to wind down. The 12th annual Goleta Fireworks Festival will be in full swing by 4 p.m. at Girsh Park, 7050 Phelps Road, behind Camino Real Marketplace.

With live bands Jonnie and Brookie and Victor Vega and the Bomb, as well as flamenco dancers, guests are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the entertainment. The event also includes face painting, inflatable jumpers for children, a raffle and food booths.

Sara Holms will sing the national anthem, followed by a spectacular music-accompanied fireworks display at 9 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children age 12 or younger. Parking is free at Camino Real Marketplace.

Visitors are asked not to bring alcohol, dogs or weapons to the fireworks festival.

Music at the Ranch

Also coming up at the Stow House is a free six-week summer concert series, “Music at the Ranch.” Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner as they are entertained by bands such as Tony Ybarra and Sonida Moreno on July 15 and the Zydeco Zippers on July 22.


For an old-fashioned afternoon barbecue, head to Lion’s Park, 6197 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria, for chicken and tri-tip. There will be horseshoes, volleyball and live music. The event, thrown by the Carpinteria Lion’s Club, will be from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children.

Montecito’s Village Fourth Parade

In Montecito, The Village Fourth Parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Upper Manning Park, and travels down San Ysidro Road to Santa Rosa Lane and into Lower Manning Park, where there will be food and music. There also will be a 7:30 a.m. pancake breakfast at the Montecito Fire Station, 595 San Ysidro Road.

Noozhawk intern Mollie Helmuth can be reached at [email protected]

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