Newport Beach and July 4th go together like peanut butter and jelly (or, for the party inclined, 2 a.m. vodka shots and a nasty hangover). A perennial favorite on Who’s Who lists of the best July 4th celebrations nationwide, Newport Beach (and specifically, Balboa Peninsula) gets its reputation for a red-white-and-blue good time for good reason.
Parking may be tight, the streets may be filled with patriotic cheer and police may stroll on horses across tourist-packed streets but no matter what goes down this upcoming holiday, there will undoubtedly be plenty of fireworks. (Literal and figurative.) Here’s where to go if you’re looking to celebrate America in Newport Beach this July 4th:
Old Glory Boat Parade
The theme of this year’s Old Glory Boat Parade—a Newport Harbor tradition—is “Valor – Through the Generations,” so expect some historic decorations to sail the patriotic seas. The parade runs from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and you can check out the route here. Of course, the event is completely free for all and a festive way to kick off your July 4th! (Suggestion: After, stay in the boating spirit by renting a Duffy then anchoring it somewhere along the bay for a classic Newport Beach dock and dine.)
Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Community Festival
Join the City of Newport Beach for the 8th annual Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Community Festival! The Bike Parade begins 9 a.m. at 36th St. and W. Balboa Blvd. Also, this parade isn’t just for bikers; if you’re a dog owner, bring your pup (on a leash) to join the fun! The free Community Festival starts 9:30 a.m. at Channel Place Park (4402 River Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92663) and features carnival games, slides, jump houses, arts & craft activities and snacks. Participants are encouraged to decorate bikes, wagons, strollers and leashes with red-white-and-blue flair.
Mariner’s Park July 4th Parade & Celebration
This year marks the 46th anniversary of this family-friendly, Independence Day celebration. The day begins with a bicycle parade down Mariners Drive at 10:30 a.m. and is followed by games and activities at Mariners Park (1300 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92660) starting at 11 a.m.
The celebration, which features food, entertainment and attractions sponsored by neighbors and local businesses alike. Also, proceeds from the event support the Mariners Elementary School Foundation, which provides funding for school programs and activities that would otherwise not be available to Mariners students. Because the festivities are so popular, the money collected on July 4th typically accounts for about 10% of the foundation’s annual funds.
Independence Day on the Back Bay
Bring your beach chairs and umbrellas for a fun day in the sun with live entertainment, food trucks, and a full bar. The celebration begins 2 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort (1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660). The event includes a fireworks show, water sports rentals, food trucks, non-alcoholic beverages (no alcohol is allowed outside) and live music featuring Wild Child. The concert is free (pop a beach chair down and enjoy) or else $60 for VIP admission (no beach chairs but stage-front seating). Learn more here.
For additional information about all Newport Beach Independence Day events, check out the community flyer from the City of Newport Beach here.