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Celebrating Independence Day in Newport Beach

June 2, 2016

There are so many fun things to do on Fourth of July in Newport Beach, but here are some family-friendly events that should definitely be at the top of your list when it comes to observing America’s birthday.

fireworksFor one of the largest and best coastal Fourth of July celebrations in all of Orange County, check out the City of Newport Beach’s annual Independence Day on the Back Bay event at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Plenty of fun-filled activities and events are planned for this annual family-friendly event, which begins at 3p.m. and is capped off by an incredible fireworks display at 9p.m. Don’t miss live music by the Tom Solis Band, DSB and Mirage, as well as food trucks offering up tasty treats all day. The resort’s one-of-a-kind Back Bay Bistro also will be serving up a special 4th of July Buffet Dinner (with two seating times, from 4:30-6:30p.m. and 7-9p.m.), complete with chicken, salmon and pork hot off the grill, as well as a seafood station and more ($45 for adults; $22.50 for children ages 10 and younger). The entrance fee to the Dunes is $50 per car; $40 for Beer & Wine Garden bar from 3-8p.m.

wild-gooseDon’t miss Hornblower’s Fourth of July outings this year. Two are offered: the Old Glory Boat Parade 4th of July Brunch, from 1-3p.m., featuring free-flowing champagne, a brunch buffet and live entertainment ($67.95 per person), and the July 4th Fireworks Cruise Aboard Wild Goose from 7-10p.m. with a Flavors of America buffet, boarding glass of champagne, wine and cocktails for purchase, four-course dinner, live entertainment and a front-row seat to the fireworks show at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina ($103.95 per person). Both cruises board at Newport Harbor (2431 Pacific Coast Highway).

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Old Glory Boat ParadeThe Fourth of July festivities continue at the Newport Harbor, where 100-plus vessels adorned with red-white-and-blue are expected to hit the water starting at 1p.m. at Collins Island for the annual Old Glory Boat Parade. Hailed as one of California’s largest and longest-running patriotic boat parades, this annual happening sponsored by American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291 is free to watch from public beaches, docks and boardwalks throughout the scenic harbor area. Look for owners of tugboats, wooden classics, dinghies, electric power boats and sailboats to show off their festively decorated watercraft. The all-day event starts at 7a.m. with a pancake breakfast at American Legion Post 291 (215 East 15th St. in Newport Beach) and continues throughout the day with a lunch buffet, live music and dancing, and fireworks.

The City of Newport Beach also partners with the Mariners Elementary School Foundation to stage the popular Independence Day Parade & Celebration every Fourth of July. Now in its 44th year, festivities begin with a bicycle parade at 10:30a.m. at the corner of Commodore Road and Mariners Drive, and end at Mariners Park with a live DJ, rock-climbing wall, bungee run, obstacle course, face painting, spin art, balloon burst, carnival games, food trucks and more from 11a.m.-1:30p.m. Attraction wristbands are $10-$15; opportunity drawing tickets also available (five for $20). All proceeds go to the Mariners Elementary School Foundation.

Yet other fun Independence Day events around town include the Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Community Festival — starting at 38th Street and Balboa Boulevard at 9a.m. and concluding at Channel Place Park with a community festival from 9:30-11a.m. featuring arts and crafts, carnival games, food for sale and a costume contest.

Fourth of July Poolside BBQs are planned for overnight guests looking to spend the holiday at The Resort at Pelican Hill. No Fourth of July would be complete without a good ol’ American cookout. Bring the whole family to the Coliseum Pool from noon to 9 p.m., and at the Villa Pool from 5-9 p.m. on Monday, July 4. $65* per adult, $35* per child.

Written by Wendy Bowman

Wendy Bowman is a San Clemente, Calif.-based freelance journalist. She spent 15-plus years as a writer and editor for Atlanta Business Chronicle, covering nonprofit business, homes and lifestyle, the Atlanta visitors market and more. She currently writes for Modern Luxury magazines including The Atlantan, Men's Book Atlanta, Interiors California, Interiors Atlanta and Brides California, as well as websites such as DIGS.net.

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