Watch CBS News

Best Fourth Of July Parties In OC

610 header fireworks Milwaukee Hosts 4th Of July Fireworks Night Prior To Independence Day
(credit: Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

The 4th of July is a great day not only because it celebrates the independence of our nation, but also because of the celebrations in honor of the holiday. The celebrations are a great way to teach kids a little bit about history while keeping them entertained. From a boat parade to a number of community carnivals, here are the best ways to celebrate Independence Day in Orange County.

newport harbor sailing boat beach boat
(credit: istockphoto)

Old Glory Boat Parade
Newport Harbor
Newport Beach, CA
(949) 673-5070
Date: July 4, 2014 at 1 p.m.

The Old Glory Boat Parade is one of the great events that makes southern California a unique place. After all, any place can have a parade on Independence Day, but not many can have a parade of boats. To make the event even better, you can normally count on perfect southern California weather for this event. Finding parking around Newport Harbor can be quite a chore. Take a shuttle if you can.

Doheny State Beach
(credit: CBS)

4th of July Celebration
Doheny State Beach
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 496-6172
Date: July 4, 2014 at 9 p.m.

Any time is a good time to visit Doheny State Beach, and the time to visit is even better if you go for a patriotic celebration of our independence. The fireworks start at 9, and the fireworks display is synchronized to music on KSBR 88.5 FM which makes it an even greater event! Parking in the Dana Point Harbor can be a little tricky, particularly for an event that is sure to be as well-attended as this one, so plan accordingly. This event is free.

lake mission viejo
(credit: Alexa Z./Yelp)

July 4th Street Faire
Lake Mission Viejo
Olympiad Road
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
(949) 830-7066
Date: July 4, 2014

If you're looking for an all-day activity to keep the entire family entertained, the Street Faire in Mission Viejo is the place to go. A carnival is set up at the corner of Olympiad Road and Marguerite Parkway which will keep you entertained all night until the fireworks take your breath away. You'll have the opportunity to go on rides and play carnival games as well. Entertainment includes family-friendly music, comedy and dance and after spending the day at the Street Faire, stick around for the fireworks, for which Lake Mission Viejo provides an amazing setting.

Related: Best Summer Festivals In Orange County

fireworks july 4
(credit: Thinkstock)

4th of July Celebration
Centennial Park
3000 W. Edinger Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 571-4254
Date: June 30, 2014 at 4 p.m.

The City of Santa Ana knows how to throw a celebration. The 4th of July celebration at Centennial Park has everything you want in a party and you'll also find a play area for kids so they can get good and worn out for the night. In addition, Centennial Park will be full of live music and a heavy dose of patriotism. Part of this celebration is a well-deserved tribute to those men and women who have served our country and helped preserve the independence we celebrate. The celebration culminates with a fireworks show.

Laguna Niguel Regional Park
(credit: Laguna Niguel)

4th of July Celebration
Laguna Niguel Regional Park
La Paz Road and Aliso Creek Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 425-5100
Date: July 4, 2014 at 7:30am

The celebration in Laguna Niguel on July 4th lasts for most of the day and includes a variety of activities. Beginning the day with a 5K race at 7:30am, it will be followed by a 10 K race at 9:30am. After that, enjoy a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce for just $5. Preceding the fireworks is a concert at the Crown Valley Community Park. Finally, the day concludes with a fireworks show over the lake at the regional park.

Related: Best Parks In OC

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.