Q: My family and I are excited to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. We are staying at a hotel in Santa Monica and wondered where we should watch fireworks from? What can you recommend?

A: Unfortunately, it has been about 22 years since the city of Santa Monica has had fireworks. Having grown up here, I have fond memories of the phenomenal fireworks show at the Santa Monica Pier. I also remember sitting along the bluffs in Palisades Park when the fireworks show was moved to the early morning. For years, Santa Monica’s Fourth of July fireworks were the best and the brightest. But don’t worry! There are plenty of other opportunities for you and your family to enjoy Independence Day together. City Hall has planned other activities that will keep residents and visitors entertained.

City Hall and Santa Monica College have collaborated on a fantastic, fun family event! The good news is that it is this weekend, and it’s free! SMC’s Independence Day Celebration is the biggest and most sensational patriotic community event on the Westside. Bring your family and friends to SMC for a star-spangled salute to our nation’s independence. Make sure to come early; enjoy a picnic on the lawn, and continuous entertainment and special exhibits. There will be plenty of refreshments available for purchase. Once the sun has set and it is dark, there will be a spectacular fireworks salute to America. Santa Monica College is located at 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Starting on July 4 at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Santa Monica Civic Center, the fifth annual hometown parade will take place. The entire stretch of Main Street in Santa Monica will be closed for the duration. The parade’s theme is “Fourth of July at the Beach” and the legendary Santa Monica ocean lifeguards will be the parade grand marshals. After the parade there will be a refreshment area at Ocean View Park, including one band that will continue to play until noon. Also, the pier will be closed to vehicle traffic in order to allow pedestrians to take full advantage of all the attractions offered.

If you are unable to attend either of these events, or are looking specifically for a fireworks show on July 4, there are plenty of locations and shows to choose from within a 20 minute drive from Santa Monica. The Pacific Palisades will be rocking the Fourth all day long, starting with their Fourth of July Parade and ending with their “Fireworks Spectacular.” The event will be at Palisades Charter High’s Stadium by the Sea, located at 15777 Bowdoin St. There will be a two hour concert that offers a fabulous and diverse array of musical entertainers, from traditional patriotic tunes to rock and roll. The Firework Spectacular will be presented by world famous Pyro Spectaculars. For more information visit palisadesparade.org.

For an event south of our city, there will be a parade and firework show in Redondo Beach. Their fireworks show will feature stirring patriotic music, with a wide variety of fireworks perfectly matched and timed to the music — a true pyro-musical production. Through the pyrotechnic mastery of Fireworks America, this year’s show will firmly establish the Redondo Beach Fourth of July show as one of the premiere fireworks displays in Southern California. You can find more information about this event at redondofireworks.com.

There will be a fireworks show on the Fourth in Culver City at Culver City High School. The gates open at 5 p.m., entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m., and the fireworks start at 9 p.m. Bring a picnic or enjoy food from the snack bar and vendors. There is a suggested donation of $2 at this event. For more information, go to culvercityfireworksshow.com.

We would like to remind everyone that all types of fireworks are illegal in Santa Monica. According to the fire department officials, this form of entertainment is dangerous, even when done by professionals. The displays are not only dangerous to the users, but also to the public, as they can be a potential cause of wildfires. Also, on occasions, fireworks fail to detonate and therefore represent a great danger for children who might later pick them up.

Additionally, many streets will be closed during this Fourth of July due to the parade. For more information about the Fourth of July celebrations in Santa Monica call (310) 458-8411. Just to reiterate, there will be no fireworks show in Santa Monica on the Fourth of July.

Welcome to the neighborhood

Hello,

My name is Officer Marilyn Amiache and I am your new Beat 2 neighborhood resource officer. This area is bordered by the 10 Freeway to the south city limits, and Lincoln Boulevard west to the beach. I will be taking over for Officer Pace who has been promoted to a new position within the department.

I am particularly excited to serve as your NRO as I am a former Beat 2 resident, attended all Santa Monica schools, and spent a lot of time in our local parks playing sports and spending birthdays at the beach. I have seen Beat 2 develop into a great community and would be honored to be a part of its continued growth.

I have been a police officer for over six years and speak French and Spanish fluently. I currently serve as a member of the Crime Impact Team where we eliminate specific crime trends by utilizing different resources. I am also a member of our Customer Service Program where we provide our employees with additional tools to further enhance the quality of service to the citizens of Santa Monica. I am eager to forge partnerships and work together addressing your issues and concerns to improve the quality of life in our Beat 2 community. Please feel free to contact me and I look forward to meeting you all!

Officer Marilyn Amiache

Phone: (424) 200-0682

E-mail: marilyn.amiache@smgov.net

This column was prepared by NRO Scott McGee (Beat 5: Montana Avenue to north city limits, Ocean Avenue to 26th Street). He can be reached at (424) 200-0685 or scott.mcgee@smgov.net.

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