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San Diegans Celebrate The Fourth With Parades, Picnics and Pyrotechnics

An equestrian unit makes its way down Orange Avenue in Coronado at the annual Fourth of July parade, July 4, 2014.

San Diegans got into the red, white and blue spirit of Independence Day on Friday, starting with parades and pancake breakfasts before moving on to picnics and then fireworks.

In Coronado, people got up early to claim good spots along Orange Avenue where they watched the 66th annual Fourth of July parade.

As it does every year, the parade went from First Street to Churchill Place, and it made the 25,000 people who call this Navy town home proud.

This year’s parade theme: “America — Stars and Stripes Forever.”

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Celebrate Independence Day 2014 in San Diego County with fireworks, festivals, entertainment and fun.

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A Marine Corps marching band participates in the 66th annual Fourth of July parade in Coronado, July 4, 2014.

Other communities also held parades, including Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch, but Julian had to cancel its parade because of a brush fire that broke out Thursday morning east of the town. Firefighters had made progress in squelching the blaze by Friday, but civic leaders thought it best not to go through with the parade.

Thousands of people also filled parks throughout the county as well as the 70-plus miles of beaches. They got to enjoy perfect summer weather, with high temperatures in the 70s along the coast and in the 80s inland and in the mountains.

The biggest fireworks show will be over San Diego Bay, where the annual Big Bay Boom will take place about 9 p.m. The best places

to watch are the Coronado Ferry Landing, Harbor Island, Seaport Village, Shelter Island and along the downtown waterfront.

The show will be broadcast live on Fox5 San Diego and KTLA in Los Angeles, with musical accompaniment from The Walrus 105.7 FM.

“Thanks to the folks at Fox 5 and KTLA, we are able to reach a huge audience with our message of celebration for our nation's birth,” said the show's executive producer, Sandy Purdon. “And we will be able to honor and financially support again our military families and wounded warriors who get great support from the Armed Services YMCA.”

Event organizers say parking on Shelter Island usually fills up by 1 p.m., and the last spots on Harbor Island are often filled by 5 p.m. Shuttle buses will run from the Port of San Diego's administration building at 3165 Pacific Highway to Harbor Island.

The show made national headlines two years ago when a computer caused all of the fireworks to explode at once, about five minutes before the show was scheduled to begin.

Officials at Garden State Fireworks quickly took responsibility for the massive mishap, and the company returned last year and the show went off without a hitch.

Other fireworks displays are scheduled at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, Legoland California in Carlsbad, SeaWorld San Diego, Camp Pendleton, Kennedy Park in El Cajon, Grape Day Park in Escondido, Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch, the Imperial Beach Pier, Mira Mesa High School, Kimball Recreation Center in National City, the Ocean Beach Pier, Poway High School, Olive Peirce Middle School in Ramona, Bernardo Heights Middle School in Rancho Bernardo, Westview High School in Rancho Peñasquitos, Bradley Park in San Marcos, Town Center Community Park in Santee and Brengle Terrace Park in Vista.

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