For me, the 4th of July is summed up by San Diego beaches, friends and family, good food and fireworks over the Bay. Growing up, we had annual BBQs at La Jolla Beach, where my entire extended family (and there are a lot of us) would watch the warm summer days fade into evening, ending with fireworks lighting up the sky. I’ve always loved gathering with family and staring in awe at the display of lights over the ocean.
This year, my plans are to spend that day once again with friends and family, and head down to the harbor to watch multiple firework displays over the San Diego Bay, famously called the Big Bay Boom. We watched the Big Bay Boom fireworks show last year, and it was spectacular, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they top it this year!
Want to know how the rest of the Curator team plans to celebrate this year? Check out their plans and favorite memories below:
My all time favorite 4th of July had to be in 2012. Some of my best friends were getting married just a few days later in Chelan, which gave us all a great reason to head over there early for a celebratory 4th of July holiday. We spent the day by the water with good food, good drinks and surrounded by all of closest friends who were finally together in the same place! Between busy schedules, work, kids, and living far apart, it's so rare to get everyone all together, so it's always such a treat when it works out.
This year I'll actually be heading down to San Francisco to spend 4th of July there for the first time. Fireworks from a new view! -- Annie
My favorite 4th of July memory is having my mom’s side of the family, who all live in the area, gather at my uncle’s house, as we have for the past several years. From his deck over Lake Washington, we can see several fireworks displays happening simultaneously. It’s so pretty! Along with that, a staple of my family’s celebrations is delicious, summery foods to congregate over. My aunts should all have their own cooking shows and books!
This year, I’m spending the 4th of July BBQing on Lake Union in my neighborhood with some good friends, and then we’ll head to my friend’s house nearby to watch the fireworks from her patio. – Megan
My best memories of the Fourth of July revolve around summers as a kid spent visiting family in Ouray, Colorado. This town, which is tiny, goes all-out for the Fourth and just about triples in size. There’s so much to love—firefighter-hose fights in the town square (which sting your face like hell); fixing up our family’s old ’57 Willy’s Jeep every year; off-roading in the surrounding mountains and sledding in 80-degree weather; pie-eating contests; the small-town parade.
My favorite memory, though, is probably that someone used to always set off a couple sticks of dynamite the night of the third, right when the clock ticked over to midnight (Ouray is an old mining town). One year, my cousins told me to stay away from the windows because the shockwave could explode them inward. So when I heard the sound that night, I ducked for cover. Naturally, they were liars, and I looked like an idiot. I don’t know if it was the most memorable thing that ever happened, but it certainly encapsulates the kind of dumb fun we had every time we went there.
(This year) it’s going to be low-key and boring because I have a kid and forgot that you have to plan any holiday weekend like six months in advance. But look, we’ll have some beer, and some meat, and some fire, and if that isn’t America, I don’t know what is. – Paul
When I was eight, my dad built an elaborate fireworks display in the backyard of our new house. The landscaping hadn’t been done yet, so there was a ton of room. I remember watching him run around in the dark and setting off all of the different types of fireworks. I thought it was awesome, though my little brother, who was four at the time, stood inside the house and watched from the backdoor while wearing a Los Angeles Raiders football helmet.
This year, I’m spending the holiday with my husband and daughter, and my sister-in-law and two nephews at her mom and dad’s house in Burien. My sister-in-law and nephews live in Southern California, and we don’t see each other often. I can’t wait to spend time with them! – Jennifer
I don't think I have just one favorite 4th of July memory, but more a general love for getting together with family and friends, eating and drinking, and of course watching fireworks. There has to be fireworks!
This year I am getting out of town and will be enjoying the 4th in Lake Chelan! Hoping for hot weather and some good fireworks shows over the lake! – Chelsey
My favorite july 4th memory was back in Ohio, when my neighbor buddy's dad decided it would be more fun to light up the whole box of fireworks at once, rather than one by one. i don't have any pictures of this, outside of my mind. but it was as impressive as it sounds. – Shawn
(My favorite memory is) sitting in Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands watching fireworks overhead with my wife and kids.
This year we're heading back to the island this 4th — watching the 4th of July parade in Friday Harbor in the morning then spending the evening in Roche Harbor to watch the fireworks. – Scott
West Seattle always hosts a fantastic little 4th of July kiddie parade. People decorate bikes, pets…themselves…and hit the streets to celebrate together. Police and fire trucks line the parade route. It’s all very Mayberry. I think my very favorite fourth was a few years ago when my kids were finally old enough to ride their bikes and experience the event on their own. It was pretty fantastic to see them anticipate the holiday tradition, knowing that this is how they’ll remember their childhood 4th when they’re older.
What Will I Be Doing This Year for the 4th? We’ll be marching in the parade again, having a casual back yard BBQ and lighting a few kid-friendly fireworks in the streets. Safety first, people. – Ann Marie
Aside from my childhood memories where I spend the 4th with my friends and family while enjoying firecracker popsicles and the sweet smell of summer BBQ's, I'd have to say my most notable 4th of July memory was the summer after my sophomore year of college. Being my first summer living in Spokane, I had no idea what to do for the fourth. I had heard Lake Coeur De Alene has a huge fireworks display but I had no idea where to go or what to do. So my girlfriend and I took the quick drive to Lake Coeur De Alene for the day and ended up finding a beach off the side of the road where we decided to post up and have a picnic. We figured since there was a nearly destroyed dock that this location has been long abandoned.
After about 4 hours of laying in the sun, the sun finally set and the local residents came out of the woodwork and all crowded up around are picnic spot. To my surprise we chose literally the best spot to see the fireworks, but unfortunately my camera died on my right after sunset. When the firework show started we could see both shows at either ends of the lake almost as if each firework was an echo of the other. It was madness and I was so bummed my camera was dead. But after such an awesome night, it truly turned from spur-of-the-moment to an awe-inspiring and romantic outing. Above is my favorite picture I shot that day right before it died.
This year I plan on staying local by apartment surfing and bar hoping with my friends down in Lower Queen Anne Friday night. The night will likely be full of tomfoolery, bottle rockets, beer, and patriotism. – Colin
Favorite 4th of July memory? July 2006 when I was living in the small beach town of Fenwick Island, Delaware for the Summer. It might be because I lived in a bathing suit for 3 months, but the bonfire and fireworks with my best friend visiting continues to be one of the best Fourth of July memories of all time! – Brooke
Last year was probably my most unconventional Fourth of July: I was at a music festival in Denmark and I think the only fellow Americans I saw were bands on stage. It was certainly different to go through the day thinking about what sort of festivities were going on at home while simultaneously experiencing festivities of a completely different manner. This year, I'm looking forward to getting fireworks back! I plan to be down at the beach soaking up the sun, surf, and sand. – Maggie
What are your plans to celebrate the 4th this year? Tweet us: @CuratorPR, and have a happy and safe 4th!