Fireworks show permitted for the Fourth of July in Santa Barbara
After quite the unusual Santa Barbara Fourth of July last year — beach closures, parking lot closures and no cookouts, yard games or, most importantly, fireworks — city residents can rest assured they’ll get their boomin’ fireworks show this year.
The Santa Barbara City Council authorized the waterfront director to execute an agreement with Garden State Fireworks, Inc. for the 2021 July Fourth and December 2021 Parade of Lights fireworks displays.
Garden State Fireworks has put on both shows every year from 2015 to 2019, as 2020’s was canceled. The cost of the show on the Fourth is $55,000, and the Parade of Lights show is $5,500.
“I’m really glad that we’re moving into a new pandemic condition where we can allow this,” Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo told the News-Press. “People will really enjoy it, and we deserve to have a feeling of celebration right now.”
The July 4 celebration won’t be totally complete, though. There will be no stage with bands or live music, food vendors, the parade or the concert. However, with California reopening June 15, there won’t be any restrictions on masks and gathering. The show is roughly 20 minutes long starting at 9 p.m. at West Beach.
Other cities in the county have yet to announce fireworks shows for the Fourth of July, except for Lompoc, which will hold its fireworks show at Ryon Park. The shows in Goleta and Solvang remain up in the air, but Santa Maria announced it will not be holding its show, according to local media reports.
“I think we’re going to be one of the few organizations that’s doing one, so it’s going to be a real treat for the whole area,” Mayor Murillo said. However, she added, “We are not promoting it in any way to Southern California.”
The mayor encouraged attendees of the show to err on the side of caution and keep six feet away from other families and individuals.
“I’m still keeping six feet away from people and wearing my mask until we get the all clear from County Public Health that we’re in a new tier,” the mayor said. “But I think being outside at the beach is going to be pretty safe … We know now that when you’re out in the open with a breeze blowing, with the sun shining, virus transmission is really diminished or eliminated, and now half the people in the county are vaccinated, so people can feel safe finding a spot out on the sand and watching the show.”
The mayor estimated that there will be an extra cost of $100,000 to pay for security patrol, traffic control, extra trash receptacles and the subsequent clean-up. However, she said, “This really is a gift to the community.”
“I’m excited that we’re doing this. I think people are really looking forward to a fireworks show,” Mayor Murillo said.
“I mean, people love fireworks anyway, but as we come out of the pandemic, I think there’s going to be a real sense of celebration.”