This article originally appeared in The La Jolla Village News
Whether barbecuing, dining out, participating in or attending parades or fireworks this Fourth of July, La Jolla is the place for you. The Jewel, as the beach community is known, has all kinds of diversions to entertain on Independence Day.
Parade & festival
The iconic Bird Rock Fourth of July Parade will march down Beaumont Street in the heart of the community for the 37th consecutive year.
San Diego-based Murfey Construction, with brothers Scott and Russ Murfey, are sponsoring and coordinating this year’s homespun parade bringing the event full circle with needed volunteers and donations.
This year’s Beaumont Parade theme, “1980’s Rad BMX, Surf & Skate” will kick-off with registration at 9:15 a.m. on the holiday with a shotgun start at 10 a.m.
For decades, hundreds of bikes and small floats have anchored this quintessential “small town” celebration spanning generations of La Jollans.
“The Fourth of July parade is one of the things that defines this neighborhood,” said Russ Murfey. “For us, there is the obvious personal connection to the parade, but more importantly is what it means to the community as a whole.”
Started in 1980 by Barbara and Buddy Murfey, Scott and Russ’ parents, alongside other Bird Rock parents, the parade initially consisted of just a few Bird Rock families and grew exponentially year after year, now attracting nearly 5,000 participants.
This year, in addition to the parade, there will be plenty of food and activities including carnival games and photo booths at the end of the parade route in the Methodist Church parking lot.
Despite moving full steam ahead, volunteers and donations are still needed. People interested in supporting the Bird Rock Fourth of July Parade can go to www.gofundme.com/2016birdrockparade to make an online donation.
For questions or more information, contact Russ Murfey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In another annual La Jolla Fourth of July tradition, a dazzling fireworks display can be viewed free from Ellen Browning Scripps Park for the 31st consecutive year. The approximately 25-minute Cove fireworks display will begin at 9 p.m.
The annual extravaganza, begun originally by La Jolla restaurateur George Hauer, is now coordinated by the La Jolla Village Merchants Association Business Improvement District. Deborah Marengo, who organized the display for a few years after Hauer stepped away, continues in that capacity.
Marengo credited LJVMA’s executive director Sheila Fortune, and civic activist and former La Jolla Town Council president Darcy Ashley, for their role in “collecting donation money that can be written off in taxes.
“They’ve been helpful getting word out (about fireworks) and keeping donors for at least five years,” said Marengo, noting all donations are important, no matter how big or small.
“We’ve had people donating $1, $10 – whatever they could afford,” Marengo said adding, “It’s really inspiring that so many people continue to donate because they’re concerned about our community and our heritage here.”
Supporting sponsors for the La Jolla Cove fireworks display are Hughes Marino, George’s at the Cove, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Duke’s La Jolla, La Jolla Cove Suites, La Valencia Hotel, Willis Allen, Leo Loves Fireworks, J. Todd Figi, John Barbey and Steven Black.
Cautioning that La Jolla’s steadfast core group of fireworks donors “won’t be around forever,” Marengo added it’s important to continually be looking to expand the list of event supporters.
And staging fireworks, with permitting, security and other costs, only gets more expensive each year.
“When I started seven years ago the cost was about $40,000,” Marengo said. “Now it’s in the range of $50,000 to $55,000 with more security and fencing required.”
Marengo reminded fireworks attendees that Coast Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 5 p.m. on July 4.
Independence Day dining
Just a few suggestions, out of many possible throughout the Village, for dining/fireworks viewing on July 4:
- Brockton Villa Restaurant, 1235 Coast Blvd.: One of La Jolla’s best parties on the Fourth is at this restaurant from 6 to 9 p.m. overlooking the Cove. For $75 for adults, $25 for kids 12 and under, the Independence Day special includes a full dinner buffet, appetizers, dessert and non-alcoholic drinks. The holiday observance includes yard games, hourly raffle prizes, a photo station, great service and loads of fun. Attendance includes epic firework viewing all the way up the coast. For more information, call 858-454-7393.
- The Marine Room, 2000 Spindrift Drive in La Jolla Shores: A true classic, bring your appetite to this oceanfront eatery that features, besides exquisite cuisine, a “High Tide Dinner” as the tide, quite literally, brings waves right up to the restaurant’s picture windows.
- George’s at the Cove, 1250 Prospect St. in the Villlage: There’s almost no better place to watch fireworks than from this three-story restaurant with an outdoor patio offering unparalleled views of La Jolla Cove and holiday pyrotechnics. Call 858-454-4244.
- Duke’s La Jolla, 1216 Prospect St. in the Village: Join this two-story, Hawaiian-inspired restaurant with outdoor dining and ocean views for the Fourth. Call 858-454-5888.
- Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, 1270 Prospect St. in the Village: You can’t go wrong at this elegant, fine dining restaurant with a seafood and steak menu, cocktail lounge and incomparable ocean views that frequently features live jazz.
- Nine-Ten Restaurant & Bar, 910 Prospect St. in the Village: This restaurant with chic, contemporary décor in the Grande Colonial Hotel offer inventive takes on seasonal cuisine. Call 858-964-5400.