Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | KPBS Voter Guide

500,000 Expected To Pack The Waterfront For Annual Big Bay Boom

A photo shows 4th of July fireworks in downtown San Diego, July 4, 2017.

Credit: Christopher Maue Photography

Above: A photo shows 4th of July fireworks in downtown San Diego, July 4, 2017.

The countdown to the annual Big Bay Boom is on.

"San Diego Bay is the best place in the world for fireworks — it’s so picturesque," said Sam Bruggema of Pyro Spectaculars Inc. "You can’t get a better location in America."

By Reporter Matt Hoffman

The show, which features more than four tons of explosives, kicks off at 9 p.m.

You can hear this story and other local news every morning by subscribing to San Diego News Matters, KPBS’ daily news podcast. Subscribe via iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.

Bruggema is in charge of setting up the show which attracts around 500,000 people to the waterfront.

"It’s a natural medium of joy," he said of fireworks shows. "It makes you happy."

The show, which consists of more than four tons of explosives, is launched from several barges scattered throughout San Diego Bay. Bruggema said there's not a bad seat in the bay to see the fireworks.

"Go to shelter island, go to harbor island, go to Embarcadero down by the Midway," he said.

The show will last for about 20 minutes and be synced to music on the following radio stations: Star 94.1, Channel 93.3, JAM’N 95.7, 101.5 KGB, ROCK 105.3, NewsRadio 600 KOGO and XTRA Sports 1360.

For those who remember the Big Bay “Bust” of 2012 , when the show malfunctioned and all the fireworks went off in just 15 seconds, Bruggema said his computer system has fail-safes to prevent such a thing from happening again. He also pointed out that another company was in charge of that show.

"That was [an unfortunate] incident and thank God no one got hurt — but glad it wasn't me," he said.

Port of San Diego Harbor Police said they will have extra patrols during the show.

"[At] all the port parks there is no alcohol allowed or smoking," said Harbor Police Captain Jeff Geary. "So if you’re observed smoking, vaping, having an open alcohol container or consuming alcohol you’re likely to get a citation."

Parking near the bay will be limited and police will be strictly enforcing time restrictions for parking spots, Geary said.

The show takes to the skies at 9 p.m.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Matt Hoffman

Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.