What better place is there to spend Independence Day than at the San Diego County Fair? Highlighting the day will be the traditional fireworks display, which will happen at approximately 9:00PM. The fireworks display is visible throughout the Fairgrounds, so as long as you're outside, there's no better place to watch!
We'll start the day with a patriotic Opening Ceremony about 9:30AM at the O'Brien Gate. When the gates open about 10:00AM, there'll be plenty to do.
During The Day
Enjoy exhibits, entertainment, contests and much more. Don your red, white and blue for the Most Patriotic Costume Contest! Visit the World Memorial Exhibit located at the south end of the Del Mar Arena.
Here's a partial list of the great activities we have planned:
10:30AM: Stars, Stripes and Stems Floral Design Contest (Flower and Garden Show Stage)
Noon: Pie Eating Contest (Plaza Stage)
1:00PM: Gold Medal Flour Cookie Contest (Home and Hobby One Day Contest, see the Contests section for registration information)
1:00PM: Guest Speaker Ramon Rodriguez, a highly decorated Vietnam War soldier (Plaza Stage)
1:30PM: Patriotic Costume Contest with special guest judges (Plaza Stage). This contest also will be at 3:30PM at the Fiesta Stage.
2:30PM: World Memorial Guest Speakers Joe Torrillo, Tommy Fenech and John Lightsey (San Diego Showcase Stage)
6:00PM: Frog X Parachute Jump with 1,100-square-foot American Flag
6:30PM: Meet the Frog X Parachute Jump Team
6:45PM: Special Guest Speakers. We are honored to have as our guests some genuine American heroes: Joe Torrillo (pictured right), Tommy Fenech, John Lightsey and Ramon Rodriguez. Torrillo, Fenech and Lightsey helped in the rescue of people in the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001. Rodriguez (pictured above) was awarded three Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts as a result of Vietnam War combat, and is a current nominee for the Congressional Medal of Honor, a nomination supported by the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society.
7:00PM: Hometown Heroes Parade from Family Funville to the Grandstand. Hometown Heroes are people who make a difference in the lives of others, such as first responders, nurses, teachers, and volunteers. One hundred people will receive special recognition in the Hometown Heroes parade.
7:30PM: Navy Band Southwest performs on the Heineken Grandstand Stage.
9:00PM: Fireworks (visible throughout the Fairgrounds)
9:30PM:Dana Carvey performs on the Heineken Grandstand Stage
Open until midnight; lots to do
Stick around after the fireworks, let the traffic clear, and have some fun! All the shopping and exhibit buildings will be open until midnight, as will the Fun Zone.
We also will have entertainment on several stages after the fireworks, all included with Fair admission: On the Heineken Grandstand Stage: Dana Carvey On the Coors Light Rock On Stage: Pete Johnson Show Band On the Ford Dealers Paddock Stage: Justin Myers Band On the O'Brien Stage: Tom Griesgraber On the Plaza Stage: Honeyrock On the San Diego Showcase Stage: Mark Yuzuik – Master Hypnotist Download the July 4 daily schedule to get a list of scheduled events for the day.
Transportation and parking
The COASTER train will run its normal Saturday schedule on July 4, which includes late trains running north and south so you can stay for the fireworks. (Some of the late trains are operated by Amtrak, but are included in the COASTER fare.) We have a great package deal called the Fair Tripper, which includes Fair admission and the round-trip fare on all the North County Transit District trains and buses. See the public transportation page for additional information.
Park at one of our free off-site lots on July 4 and take the free shuttle to the Fairgrounds. We have three free off-site lots, open from 9:00AM to 1:00AM on July 4. Shuttles run continuously about every 15 minutes from the lot to the O'Brien Gate (the main entrance):
• MiraCosta College's San Elijo campus
• Horsepark Equestrian Center
• Torrey Pines High School
See the parking page for more information.
NCTD trains and buses will operate on their regular Friday schedule on July 3, and their regular Saturday schedule on July 4. Amtrak trains listed on the COASTER schedule will also operate as scheduled those days, and the fare is included with the COASTER fare. Please click the image to read more information on the NCTD website.