The Cambrian

Here's what you need to know about celebrating the Fourth of July in Cambria

Fireworks explode over Moonstone Beach in a view from the Santa Rosa Creek overlook.
Fireworks explode over Moonstone Beach in a view from the Santa Rosa Creek overlook. Special to The Cambrian

Independence Day fun and celebrations? Yes, please. But here’s a fire-safety reminder for residents and visitors: No personal or other fireworks that are considered “safe and sane” on the North Coast, no matter what the label says.

According to fire officials, just having fireworks on hand is illegal enough to get the owner a citation and/or a fine, and shooting them off can increase the penalties exponentially, with fines of up to $2,000.

In fact, fireworks are illegal in most of San Luis Obispo County, and those few communities that do allow them sharply restrict the timeframe in which they can be used.

The only fireworks allowed in the Cambria-San Simeon-Harmony area are in the professional show sponsored by American Legion Post No. 432, an annual display that Pryo Spectaculars will launch over the ocean at Shamel Park at dusk on Independence Day.

Parking restriction

Brian Griffin, the post’s vice commander, said no parking will be allowed on the night of July 3 in Shamel Park’s north or south parking lots this year, and “parking in those lots is strictly controlled on the 4th. Cars that are not moved out of the parking lots on July 3 will be towed at the owner’s expense. Signs will be posted warning drivers of this.”

The big show

Cambria’s fireworks display this year and the permits to put it on cost $18,000, and the Legion Post is seeking donations.

“Fireworks are very expensive, and we can only have them with the support of the community,” said Griffin.

Deposit donations into cans located in various shops around town, or mail them to the Post, P.O. Box 697, Cambria CA 93428.

The Legion and participating nonprofits also sponsor classical, festive Independence Day activities all day at the park. Legion members will sell fundraising raffle tickets there. Prizes in the two separate raffles are $1,000 cash and a top-of-the-line iPad.


Traditions are the foundation of July 4th celebrations, and, as Griffin noted, this year’s festivities at Shamel Park (at the Windsor Boulevard curve on Park Hill) probably will be a “carbon copy of years gone by.”

The patriotic opening ceremonies are at 11 a.m. Tula yoga happens at 9 a.m. After the opening, there’ll be assorted kids’ games, face painting, a bounce house and Linn’s pie-eating contest. The fast-paced waiter-waitress race pits teams of servers against each other.

Griffin said three bands will play during the day and evening, and Dancers by the Sea will perform during a break.

Lots of food and beverages will be available, from pulled pork sandwiches, various burgers (including veggie), brats, hot dogs, chili boats, nachos, corn on the cob and candy to beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, water and smoothies.

Fireworks should start about 9:15 p.m., with everybody hoping for cooperative weather (no fog, little wind).