Santa Monica Fire Chief Jim Hone wants to remind everyone that lighting fireworks is illegal in Santa Monica, so instead of breaking the law, join him for the third annual Fourth of July Parade along Main Street.

Hone will be the grand marshal for this year’s event, which begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Civic Center on Independence Day. Bands, civic groups, sports teams and more are invited to participate. Call (310) 564-1968 or visit www.opa-sm.org to register.

The SMFD cautions residents against the use of amateur fireworks — all types of which are illegal in Santa Monica. Negative effects can include scarring, loss of vision and dismemberment for users and bystanders as well as fires and property damage.

“Safe and sane fireworks don’t exist,” said Dr. John Hall, assistant vice president of fire analysis and research for the National Fire Protection Association. “When things go wrong with fireworks, they go very wrong, very fast, far faster than any fire protection provisions can reliably respond to.”

Heavy traffic is expected west of Lincoln Boulevard throughout the holiday weekend. The Santa Monica Pier will be closed to vehicular traffic from Thursday at midnight to Sunday at midnight. All of the pier’s shops, rides and attractions will be open during their regularly scheduled hours of operation and the pier will be accessible to pedestrian traffic.

Main Street between Colorado Avenue and Marine Street, Neilson Way between Ocean Park Boulevard and Barnard Way and Barnard Way between Ocean Park Boulevard and Neilson Way will be closed Saturday from 6 a.m. until noon. Discounted parking will be available at the Civic Center Structure/Lot and the Main Library Structure.