There are many opportunities for people all over the Central Coast to get out and enjoy the 4th of July this year.
Fireworks shows are happening in Cayucos, Cambria, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang, Goleta, and Santa Barbara. Many other communities are holding parades, contests and family-friendly activities.
Unauthorized exploding fireworks are illegal everywhere, and "Safe and Sane" fireworks are only allowed in certain areas.
Here's a list of the events you can go to this Independence Day:
Festivities in Cayucos start early with a sand sculpture contest by the pier from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. With a hometown parade, barbecue, bingo, and beach games, it's an action-packed day for the entire family. Top it all off with a fireworks show shot off the pier at 9:00 p.m.
The annual Picnic in the Park is free and starts at 11:00 a.m. in Shamel Park. Festivities include a waiter and waitress race, pie eating contest, and all-day concessions and face painting, ending the night with a fireworks show at 8:45 p.m.
Family Fun Day in Morro Bay kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with a skateboard race, followed by a bike parade and a carnival at Tidelands Park with games and food for the family until 5:00 p.m. Several boating companies are running shuttles in the evening to the fireworks show in Cayucos.
A celebration with arts, crafts, music and food will be going on all day in the downtown area, and fireworks will be shot off near the pier at 9:00 p.m.
Start early with the Civic Association's pancake breakfast fundraiser at the community center at 8:30 a.m. Tickets for the breakfast are $7 for adults and $3 for children 6 and under, purchased at the door. To celebrate the 4th with your furry friends, Avila's annual doggie parade begins at 11:30 a.m. on the Avila Promenade.
Listen to the sounds of patriotic music by the Village Band filling the Rotary Bandstand in Heritage Square Park starting at 1:00 p.m. The event includes a barbecue, vendors, and you can write postcards to U.S. troops stationed overseas.
Celebrations begin with a pancake breakfast at 7:00 a.m. by the Templeton Fire Department. At 10:00 a.m., a parade runs along Crocker and Main from 1st to 8th streets. A Party in the Park takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Templeton Community Park with food vendors, a barbecue, arts and crafts, drinks, a bounce house, and face painting.
The first-ever Bluegrass Freedom Festival will take place at Atascadero Lake Park from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Games and food will be available with free admission to the public. Plus, enjoy live music by Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players.
A pancake breakfast in the Adobe Plaza from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. will raise money in memory of Jim Tefft, a retired Lt. Col. who passed away in July of 2016. The breakfast will be followed by a parade at noon and a free community barbecue from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Donations of snacks and hygiene items will be accepted and you can write letters to put in care packages to our troops overseas.
The Red, White, and Boom event at Sierra Vista Park will offer a street fair and free outdoor concert from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. featuring local band Nothing But Trouble! The fireworks show starts at 9:00 p.m. Parking is $5 and available on Panther Drive.
A 4th of July Spectacular is taking place at Lompoc High School's Huyck Stadium. Tickets are $2 for ages 12 and under and $4 for those 13 and older until July 3. After July 3, ticket prices increase $3 each. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and fireworks start after dark.
Start celebrating early with a free concert featuring the Santa Ynez Valley Wind Ensemble at Solvang Park at 10:00 a.m. The Solvang parade starts at 11:00 a.m., followed by a barbecue in the park from noon until 2:00 p.m. Gates to the Independence Day Festival & Fireworks Show open at 2:00 p.m. at Old Mission Santa Ines. Admission is $10 for people 8 and older. Fireworks begin at 9:00 p.m.
Gates to the Goleta Rotary Club's Fireworks Festival open at 5:00 p.m. The festival takes place at Girsh Park and fireworks begin at 9:00 p.m. Admission is $8 for people 13 and older.
Live, local musicians and various festivities will take place along the waterfront and at Stearns Wharf from noon until 9:00 p.m. when the fireworks show begins at West Beach.