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General Press Releases

Celebrate Independence Day at the Big Bay Boom!

Colorful fireworks over San Diego Bay
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Celebrate Independence Day at the Big Bay Boom!
Colorful fireworks light up San Diego Bay in a previous Big Bay Boom celebration.

Get ready for a spectacular evening of pyrotechnics on San Diego Bay with the Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom. The annual holiday tradition is one of the most anticipated fireworks shows in the nation and takes place at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.

Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from four barges placed strategically around San Diego Bay. The barge locations are off the shorelines of Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, and South Embarcadero. The show can be viewed from most anywhere along the northern and central parts of San Diego Bay. The most popular areas to watch are at Shelter Island, Spanish Landing Park, Harbor Island, Embarcadero Parks North & South, Seaport Village, Cesar Chavez Park, and Coronado Ferry Landing. Additionally, there will be food trucks on Broadway Pier.

All attendees are encouraged to arrive early, bring a lawn chair and/or blanket, and bring a radio to tune into the musical simulcast that will be broadcast live on KGB 101.5 FM radio. 

Those who can’t make it to the show can watch it on Fox 5 San Diego, KTLA 5 Los Angeles, or Fox 40 Sacramento. The live telecast on these stations is from 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. A delayed broadcast will be on Fresno KGPE from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. and on Bakersfield KGET from 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. 

“The Port of San Diego is proud to sponsor the Big Bay Boom and invites San Diegans and visitors to enjoy this incredible celebration,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “The Big Bay Boom is one of the Port’s iconic holiday events and is a significant economic boost for local businesses.”

The Big Bay Boom has taken place every year since 2001, except for a pause in 2020 due to the pandemic. A 2022 economic impact assessment was conducted by San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and reported that the Big Bay Boom generated approximately $74.4 million in direct and indirect economic impacts to the region. San Diego Bay area hotels, restaurants, retail shops, tour operators, museums, charter cruise firms, boat rental companies, and other businesses see a boost from locals and visitors alike. 

Transportation and Parking
Parking is always in high demand on a holiday. This year, there are some new parking restrictions to note, including a limited amount of oversized vehicle parking spots at Shelter Island due to a newly-passed oversized vehicle ordinance.

To help reduce traffic congestion, vehicle access roads at Harbor Island and Shelter Island may be closed to entering vehicles at some point during the day. Pedestrian access will remain available. As part of efforts to ensure a safe and accessible waterfront, there will be zero tolerance for illegal parking. Double parking, parking in a red zone, and parking against posted signs will result in citations and/or towing. 

The Port of San Diego encourages attendees to utilize public transportation, ride share, or bicycle. The Big Bay Boom has partnered with Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) for expanded July 4th train, trolley, and bus service. Additionally, since it is a major holiday, MTS’ “Friends Ride Free” promotion will be in effect. Stations located near prime fireworks viewing spots include County Center/Little Italy, Santa Fe Depot, One America Plaza, Seaport Village, Convention Center, and Gaslamp Quarter. 

Public Safety
To ensure a fun and safe experience for all, the Port of San Diego Harbor Police, along with other local, state, and federal law enforcement partners will be prominent on the bay and waterfront on July 4th. Public safety is everyone’s responsibility. Residents and visitors are encouraged to report suspicious activity to a uniformed officer or call 911 or the Harbor Police non-emergency number at 619.686.6272. The public should be prepared to describe who or what they saw, when they saw it, where it occurred, and why it’s suspicious.

The public is reminded that possession of open alcoholic beverages is prohibited along the waterfront and in Port parks, smoking and vaping are prohibited in Port parks, and drones and other unmanned aircraft systems are illegal to fly within five miles of an airport or above crowds. 

Boater Safety
All boaters interested in viewing the event on the water are asked to be extra cautious and pay special attention to the volunteer patrol boats with flashing yellow lights. They will be positioned to ensure boaters do not get within the 1,000-foot perimeter safety zones around the four fireworks barges. All boaters are also encouraged to review the ABCs of California Boating. Children under the age of 13 are required to wear a lifejacket on a vessel of any length. Boaters enjoying the fireworks should be conscious of and avoid anchoring within eelgrass habitats. Eelgrass is an important habitat for juvenile fish, seabirds, and other animals. It is easily damaged by boat anchors and propellers, so please avoid anchoring in eelgrass while enjoying the show.   

For detailed information on the Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom, visit

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.

About Port of San Diego Experiences

Port of San Diego Experiences welcomes businesses, residents and visitors from across the globe to enjoy and prosper from our dynamic waterfront.

As a treasured destination, the Port provides unique opportunities to captivate visitors and ensure everyone is welcomed, connected and inspired by our beautiful waterfront.