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Santa Barbara 4th of July Celebration 2021: The Big Show is Back!


American flag waving with Happy 4th of July 2020 banner

There’s a lot to celebrate this Santa Barbara 4th of July now that the state of California has fully reopened. However, local officials are urging everyone to keep safety top of mind.

Celebrate Safely

If you’re thinking of buying some fireworks yourself from one of the neighboring communities where safe and sane fireworks are legally sold, think again. Remember, fireworks are illegal here.

READ: 20 Things to Love About Santa Barbara

The recent flurry of illegal fireworks throughout Santa Barbara County has frustrated residents, firefighters, and law enforcement officers, not to mention how the blast and booms scare our four-legged residents. Local police are cracking down on that illegal activity, which comes with a hefty fine and possible jail time.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Santa Barbara 4th of July 2021, officials ask that all Santa Barbarians be considerate of their neighbors, veterans who have PTSD, children who may be sleeping, and pets who may be scared.

READ: 7 Things You Can Do to Conserve Water: The California Drought is not over!

Besides personal safety issues when it comes to lighting fireworks on your own, there are other reasons to be concerned. The County is currently in a drought, with low moisture levels. Any type of open fire can be disastrous for our community. It only takes one spark on dry grass, leaves or branches to start a fire.

Of course, fireworks are not good for the environment either. Any activity that, at its core, is all about lighting things on fire and explosions will have some kind of negative environmental impact. In the case of fireworks, a recent study indicates that fireworks cause a spike in local air pollution. 

Firework celebrate anniversary happy new year 2021, 4th of july holiday festival. colorful firework in the night time to celebrate national holiday. countdown to new year 2021 party time event.

Local Celebrations

There’s a lot to celebrate this year. You can rejoice in the fact that you lived through a global pandemic. You can celebrate the fact that we are no longer in quarantine and that the Golden State has reopened. And the best news is Santa Barbara’s annual fireworks show is on! 

The Big Show is Back!

In 2021, the annual Santa Barbara fireworks display will begin sharply at 9:00 PM featuring more than 20-minutes of incredible displays above West Beach. The event is completely free to attend, and tens of thousands of visitors are expected.

“This year, people can feel safe finding themselves a spot on the beach and watching the fireworks,” Mayor Cathy Murillo said. “I’m hoping people enjoy themselves and celebrate pandemic conditions lightening up, as well as having pride in our country on Independence Day.”

But the fireworks display is not the only game in town. Here are some other ways to celebrate our independence:

Stearns Wharf
Head over to Stearns Wharf at West Beach for an all-day event under the sun that includes live music, fun activities, and plenty of food. Local food vendors set up their stations along Cabrillo Boulevard between State and Castillo Streets, offering cuisine of all types. Vendors will be open from noon to 9:00 PM so you can expect to grab a bite throughout the event. The live music lineup is family-friendly and will be playing all day from 11:00 AM up to the fireworks extravaganza.

Pierre-Claeyssens Foundation Annual Santa Barbara 4th of July Celebration
Join the Pierre-Claeyssens Foundation at the Santa Barbara Cemetery to observe the founding of the United States and celebrate our independence together, in person. This FREE event includes live music including the Gold Coast Pipe Band, and amazing flyovers! This year’s Keynote Speakers are Navy Captain Charlie Plumb, USNR, (Ret.), and Colonel Robert A. Long, Commander, Space Launch Delta 30 at the United States Space Force. The event starts at noon on July 4th at the Santa Barbara Cemetery, located at 901 Channel Drive. 

READ: The Fine Art of Outdoor Dining in Santa Barbara

Celebrate at home

Perhaps you started a new tradition last year by enjoying the holiday at home. If you did, great. If you didn’t, you can start your own remembrance this year with your family and friends. Here are some excellent ideas:

  • Plan a Neighborhood Potluck
    Potlucks are a favorite pastime for Santa Barbara 4th of July because they spread the responsibility of cooking between a lot of people while also bringing everyone together. This way, you can enjoy your day away from the kitchen because you won’t have to make an entire meal on your own while also feeling connected to your community.

  • Play Backyard Games
    Even for adults, games like water balloon tosses, corn hole, and horseshoes are a great way to celebrate and blow off steam without lighting anything off. If you don’t have games on hand, they’re easy to order online or pick up at local stores.

READ: Who Says Fun Games to Play Outside Are Just for Kids?

  • Watch a Patriotic Movie Outside
    Set up an outdoor movie theater and cozy seating on your lawn, then sit back and relax with some of the best patriotic movies like Yankee Doodle Dandy or Miracle

  • Take a Family Bike Ride
    No neighborhood 4th of July parade this year? No problem. You and your family can have your very own private parade by decorating your bikes with flags, streamers, and ribbons, and setting off together for a few casual laps around the block or even down State Street. The ride will help everyone work up an appetite before the celebratory barbecue.

  • 4th of July 2021 Barbecue
    Gather the kids together and make a plan to create the ultimate backyard barbecue. Get yourself decked out in red, white, and blue, and create patriotic dishes together that you and your family can enjoy all day long.

  • Stroll the State Street Promenade
    Many of the popular restaurants and shops along the new State Street Promenade will be rocking over the 4th of July 2021. Support your favorite local Chef!

Outside Safety Tips

Staying safe means taking the time to think before you react. When outdoors, also consider the following:

1) Drink plenty of water
2) Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing
3) Try to limit sun exposure
4) Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ and reapply every two hours
5) Make sure pets have shade and water
6) Don’t bring your pet to a fireworks display
7) Use caution near all open flames, campfires, and barbecues
8) Remember that facemasks, good hygiene and social distancing are still required

Let’s make Santa Barbara 4th of July 2021 safe and fun for all. If you’re thinking of spending 4th of July 2022 in a new Santa Barbara or Montecito home like these, give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Happy 4th of July, everyone!



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