By Breeana Greenberg
Fourth of July is almost here and there’s lots of festive events planned in Dana Point for the long holiday weekend.
From a trolley hop with exclusive drink specials, water gun battles inside the harbor, a WWII-era plane fly over, and fireworks from Doheny State Beach, there’s a variety events offered throughout the city to celebrate the patriotic holiday.
On Sunday, July 3, from noon to 5 p.m., residents 21 and older can hop from stop to stop on the Dana Point Trolley with the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce’s Red, White and Booze event.
Riders can purchase a wristband online or in person at the Chamber office, located at 34183 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite A, Dana Point. The first 500 riders to register will receive an anchor bottle opener.
The annual Dana Point Water Wars is sure to keep residents cool on and around the harbor this Monday. All day on July 4, boaters participating in the annual Water Wars can be seen in the main channel.
Participants in all sorts of vessels, from inflatables to fishing boats, can be seen armed with water guns battling inside the harbor. The “main skirmish” is expected to occur at noon under the Island Way bridge.
In past years, pedestrians on the Island Way bridge watching the battles below have been fair game, getting sprayed with the water guns.
No water balloons are allowed and participants must have enough life jackets for all on board. Participants must also maintain a safe speed throughout the Water Wars.
From about 5:55-6 p.m. be sure to look up in the sky as the Condor Squadron of WWII North American AT-6 airplanes are scheduled to fly over Dana Point.
And starting at around 9 p.m., fireworks will be launched from a barge off of Doheny State Beach. A curated playlist to accompany the firework display is available on Spotify.
The City of Dana Point recommends that attendees use the Dana Point Trolley over the holiday weekend as traffic can get congested. However, the trolley stops running at 8:30 p.m.
According to the State Parks website, July 4 is considered the busiest day of the year for parking at Doheny.
Following the fireworks show, motorists should expect to see some congestion along the roads and access points around the state beach and harbor parking lots. In the morning, left turns on Dana Point Harbor Drive will be restricted between Pacific Coast Highway and Golden Lantern. Access to the harbor will be restricted during the fireworks show.
Cove Road will also be closed during the fireworks display from 8:45-9:30 p.m. to allow for emergency vehicle access.
During the long holiday weekend, Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) offered some water and firework safety.
OCSD warned attendees of firework displays not to bring their pets to watch fireworks. If fireworks are used near your home, OCSD recommends that you make sure your pets have an identification tag and collar in case they run off.
Additionally, for those setting off fireworks this weekend, OCSD warned to always wear safety glasses, only use fireworks outdoors away from structures and vehicles, and to always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
A responsible and sober adult should supervise launching fireworks and fireworks should not be given to children, OCSD said.
The Orange County Fire Authority also recommends that you have a bucket of water ready to soak fireworks before throwing them in a trash can.
No fireworks or open containers are allowed at Doheny State Beach.
According to the Dana Point Municipal Code, it is illegal to possess, set off or explode “firecrackers, rockets or other fireworks” in a park.
OCSD warned residents to never leave children alone near a pool or open body of water, and to always designate a responsible and sober adult as a “water watcher” to keep an eye on those swimming and playing in the pool.
The department also recommended that children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life vest around bodies of water and life vests should always be worn when boating and jet skiing.
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org