(credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

(credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


Like the rest of the United States, the folks in Orange County, California, break out the red, white and blue on July 4th. Throughout the OC, families and friends celebrate Independence Day by swimming, boating or a day at the beach along with their fireworks. No matter if you are landlocked or live by a harbor, there’s plenty to do. Always make sure to allow plenty of time to find parking before the fireworks.
(credit: City of Dana Point)

(credit: City of Dana Point)


Dana Point’s July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza
Dana Point Harbor
24650 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 923-2263
www.mydanapoint.com
July 4, 2015 from 9am to 11pm

A hot spot throughout the year, Dana Point attracts an overflow crowd for its annual 4th of July celebration. Parking lots fill up fast for this event, so plan on taking the train or using one of the complimentary shuttle buses provided by the city. Dana Point has an awesome beach and offers a fireworks dinner cruise on July 4. KSBR 88.5 FM simulcasts the synchronized fireworks music, so bring a portable radio to enjoy the sights and sounds.

(credit: Jennifer M./Yelp)

(credit: Jennifer M./Yelp)


Huntington Beach’s 111th Annual 4th Of July Celebration
Huntington Beach Pier
1 Main St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 536-5486
www.hb4thofjuly.org
July 3 through July 5, 2015

The Surf City 5K Run and a beach breakfast are two highlights of the Huntington Beach celebration. Though the fireworks display is on July 4 only, Pier Plaza, an outdoor amphitheater at Huntington Beach, hosts a three-day festival from Friday through Sunday. That means  live entertainment and food vendors throughout the weekend. Tickets for bleacher seating at the parade and VIP seating for the fireworks are also available for purchase.

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


July 4 Country Fair In Brea
City Hall Park
401 S. Brea Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 990-7771
www.cityofbrea.net
July 4, 2015 from 7am to 4pm

Independence Day starts early in Brea with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast. The Country Fair officially opens at 10 a.m. and features live entertainment, food, games and a craft area. The Brea Plunge, the city’s public swimming pool, will open at 11am, but there is a $2 charge to swim. Admission to the fair, however, is free.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


4th Of July At Laguna Niguel
Crown Valley Park
29751 Crown Valley Pkwy.
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 923-2240
www.cityoflagunaniguel.org
July 4, 2015 from 7:30am to 9:30pm

Laguna Niguel keeps things cool on the 4th of July, especially with swimming at the Crown Valley Park Pool. The Chamber of Commerce starts the day with a pancake breakfast while the YMCA’s Run in the Parks features 5K and 10K runs and walks as well as children’s races. Taking the stage at 6pm, Beach Boys tribute band “Woodie & the Longboards” will perform as well as “Heartache Tonight,” an Eagles tribute band. Fireworks close out the day at 9pm.

(credit: Jeni C./Yelp)

(credit: Jeni C./Yelp)


Old Glory Boat Parade
Newport Harbor/Balboa Island
100 Marine Avenue
Balboa Island, CA 92662
(949) 673-5002
www.alyc291.com
July 4, 2015 from 1pm to 5pm

To celebrate Independence Day, more than 100 boats will cruise through the harbor of Newport Beach. Organized by the American Legion Yacht Club, the boats gather off Collins Island at 12:30 p.m. for a 1 p.m. start time. Balboa Island also is home to restaurants, bars, and activities to do before and after the parade.  Arrive early to find the best available parking for the day.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Steven Bryan calls Irvine, California his home. A freelance writer for more than 20 years, he has interviewed a wide range of notable celebrities, including a variety of up-and-coming musicians and artists as well. Passionate about movies and comic books, he also makes an annual pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic-Con.