The City of Santa Barbara's traditional Fourth of July celebration will take place along West Beach from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm on Independence Day, Saturday, July 4th.

If you have ever wondered why we celebrate Independence Day the way we do, Forrest Wickman of Slate Magazine offers the answer. “Because John Adams wanted us to. Before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, (Adams) envisioned fireworks as a part of the festivities. In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he wrote that the occasion should be commemorated ‘with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward Forever more.’

“The first commemorative Independence Day fireworks were set off on July 4, 1777. The Pennsylvania Evening Post wrote that in Philadelphia, ‘The evening was closed with the ring of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.’ The paper noted that ‘Everything was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness was universal.’ That same year, fireworks also lit up the sky in Boston.” 

The City of Santa Barbara will continue this American tradition, begun 238 years ago in Philadelphia, with a celebration that echoes the vision of one of our great founding fathers…..John Adams.

Join the celebration!

On the Alley makes a great stop on Harbor Way for ‘to go’ or picnic table dining.

Best fish and chips I've ever had.....anywhere.