Santa Barbara County prepares to celebrate the Fourth
The traditional Fourth of July is back.
On Sunday, people can watch colorful fireworks explode in the night sky above Santa Barbara and Lompoc, gather with their extended family and friends in a backyard barbecue or march down the street in a parade waving American flags. It’s a different story than last year when COVID-19 restrictions prevented the usual celebrations.
While not all county traditions are taking place this year — such as fireworks shows in Santa Maria, Solvang or Goleta — many well-known events are returning this year.
For example, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is putting on a big Fourth of July celebration at the Santa Barbara Cemetery on Sunday. The free event marks Pierre Claeyssens’ first in-person event since November 2019. The program will feature an honor guard, the Gold Coast Pipe Band, keynote speakers and a crowd favorite — a flyover in the skies above the venue presented by the Condor Squadron based in Van Nuys.
The Vandenberg Air Force Base Honor Guard will present the colors, and retired Sgt. David Gonzales from the Santa Barbara Police Department will sing the national anthem. Musical performances will feature “After the Battle” by the Gold Coast Pipe Band,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “God Bless America” by the Kim Collins Quartet and “Taps” by Bob Burtness.
Speakers will include PCVF co-founder Lt. John Blankenship (USN former), U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara), special guest speaker Col. Robert A. Long and keynote speaker Capt. Charlie Plumb.
Col. Long is the new commander of Space Launch Delta 30 and the United States Space Force, and retired Navy Capt. Plumb spent six years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
The community is invited to attend the outdoor event, running from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Santa Barbara Cemetery at 901 Channel Drive.
Over in Montecito, in keeping with the new 2020 model of the Fourth of July, the Montecito Association will host a road show starting at Lower Manning Park and cruising through neighborhoods. The Village 4th Road Show 2021 will roll down San Ysidro Road, North Jameson Lane, Channel Drive, Fairway Road, East Cabrillo Boulevard, Coast Village Road, Olive Mill Road and finish up on Schoolhouse Road.
The association reported that it is completely full of entries for the parade, but invites families to celebrate from their homes. The road show will begin at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Santa Barbara’s fireworks show is returning to Stearns Wharf Sunday night.
The Santa Barbara Waterfront Department will sponsor a fireworks display at 9 p.m. off West Beach, but the traditional live music and food booths will not be present. Instead, radio station 92.9 KjEE will play music along with the fireworks, and KEYT-TV will livestream the show.
The 20-minute show will be choreographed to classic, patriotic tunes. In addition, waterfront parking lots will be open on Sunday, with Stearns Wharf closing to vehicular traffic from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Further north, Solvang will hold its Fourth of July parade at 11 a.m. Sunday, running up Alisal Road from Elverhoy to Copenhagen, west on Copenhagen to 2nd Street and down 2nd Street to return to the street. Sponsored by Solvang Rotary Club, the parade’s theme is “God Bless America” and will feature floats, bands, horses Viking ships and rare automobiles.
State Route 246 will remain open to through traffic, and road closures begin around 10 a.m.
Lompoc is holding its “4th of July Spectacular” fireworks show Sunday night as well. There will be entertainment, food and, of course, fireworks at Ryon Memorial Park at 800 W Ocean Ave.
The gates open at 5 p.m. and fireworks begin at dusk. No glass containers, ice chests, pets, smoking or alcohol will be permitted.
Tickets can be purchased the day of the event, costing $6 for children 12 or younger and $8 for adults.
The Santa Barbara Police and County Fire are reminding residents that all fireworks, including safe and sane, are illegal in all unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County, as well as the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Buellton and Solvang.
Safe and sane fireworks are allowed within the city limits of Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Lompoc. Fireworks that are purchased in any of these cities must be used within the city limits.