Sofia Pirri, Special to the Daily Press
As reopening progress puts Santa Monica residents in a celebratory mood, 4th of July festivities around the city are still diminished from years past but some fun will be available.
While the Ocean Park Association’s highly anticipated Fourth of July Parade will not take its usual form, residents should keep their eyes open Sunday morning for a contingent of festive trucks heading down major streets, including the parade’s co-founder Jeffrey Jarow and Santa Monica Police and Fire Departments.
Santa Monica College canceled their fireworks show again this year, so those looking for fireworks celebrations should head to the Palisades or Marina Del Rey. The Palisades is bringing back their annual celebration with a 2 p.m. parade down Sunset, a World War II fighter plane flyover, and 9 p.m. fireworks at Pali High.
Down South, Marina Del Rey will once again host their annual fireworks show after last year’s hiatus. This year, fireworks will be launched from the South Jetty instead of a barge in the channel, and the 9 p.m. show will be condensed to 10 minutes as opposed to the usual 20.
The Marina Del Rey team advised viewing from anywhere in the Marina, particularly Burton Chace Park, Marina “Mother’s” Beach, Fisherman’s Village, Aubrey Austin Park (along Via Marina) or Marina Peninsula (south of Venice Pier). Only pre-registered guests are allowed entry to Burton Chace Park, and tickets were sold out as of June 30.
As always, fireworks of all kinds remain illegal in Santa Monica. Assistant Fire Marshal Joe Cavin said, “Please remember that fireworks can negatively affect veterans, older adults, children, pets, and start fires to structures and wildland.”
Although Santa Monica will not have any fireworks this year, Jarow, is on a mission to keep up the festivities in response to requests from residents.
“Everybody’s calling me to have this parade!” Said Jarow. “The reaction’s always great.”
While this year’s parade was prevented by budgetary concerns and the safety hazards of Main Street’s new barricades, Jarow will lead a makeshift parade of trucks for the second year in a row from around 9 a.m. to noon.
“I’m going to get a truck and decorate it like I did last year. This year’s theme is going to be ‘Thank you to the essential workers.’” said Jarow. “We’re going to drive around for a couple of hours, swinging by the hospitals, some of the parks, and the beach. Lots of noise, lots of sirens, lots of fun stuff.”
Jarow will be blasting patriotic music from his truck including the hits “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” and “Celebrate” by Stevie Wonder. He will be joined by the Police and Fire Departments, and possibly several hospitals and UCLA.
For 15 years now, the parade has been a source of joy and community for Santa Monica residents, consisting of 1,500 people and drawing a crowd of over 12,000. Last year, even during the pandemic, residents found ways to participate in the tradition.
“We turned around and there were like 10 cars following us, honking their horns and waving the flags,” Jarow said. “So I think it will happen again.”
Given the difficulties of the last year and a half, the chance to continue this beloved community tradition in some capacity might be just what Santa Monica needs.