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4th of July in Santa Cruz 2021

How about celebrating Independence Day in Santa Cruz style?


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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It's amazing how this small coastal community hosts such a variety of 4th of July events. Groups of visitors are attracted annually to Santa Cruz to take in the festive spirit while celebrating the Independence of the United States. You definitely need to witness these numerous parades and unforgettable fireworks for yourself. From Boulder Creek to Watsonville, there is always something to marvel at!

Boulder Creek 4th of July Parade (virtual event 2020)

This year, you can enjoy an online parade with floats, music, and community messages, compiled from the videos from the locals. In other years, the 4th of July brings clouds of people to Boulder Creek to enjoy Independence Day activities. Whatever you can imagine, everything is here for you and your family: a famous pancake breakfast, a swimming hole, BBQ, music, vendors, beer & wine, and of course, the not to be missed free parade downtown. During the show, you will witness marching bands, engines, floats, horses, fancy automobiles, historical reenactments, local heroes, and much more. We promise that Boulder Creek 4th of July Parade will leave a lasting impression.

Santa Cruz Firecracker Race (virtual run; July 1–14, 2020)

Start celebrating the Independence of America by running the Santa Cruz Firecracker 10K or 5K. This running event has been a 4th of July tradition in Santa Cruz since 1985 and includes a 1K run for kids as well. The run starts from Harvey West Park and you must be previously registered. Being the most significant annual benefit event, Firecracker races apply its proceeds to international and national charity projects. In 2020, you don't have to run on the 4th of July. Registration for all three distances (1K kids run, 5K, and 10K) closes on July 14, 2020. The virtual results for each distance will be accessible online from July 1 to July 31. Another good point is that you can do a run every day and upload your results every day. At the end of the two-week running period, you can pick your personal record as the time you want to be posted on the results page. Check for details on the Firecracker registration page.

World's Shortest 4th of July Parade in Aptos (canceled in 2020)

The famous 4th of July parade in the small town of Aptos lasts just 0.6 miles or two city blocks and is deservedly known as “The World’s Shortest Parade.” The event usually starts at 10 am, and there is always the Party in the Park from noon to 4 pm hosted by Aptos Village Park. So why not relax and replenish with a world of food, vendors, music, and different activities around?

Spirit of Watsonville 4th of July Parade (canceled in 2020)

Keep an eye on the Spirit of Watsonville 4th of July parade to celebrate unbelievable Independence Day. This amazing Watsonville event features equestrian units, local non-profit agencies, fire engines, car clubs, tractors, antique cars, and, of course, the Watsonville Band. The parade proceeds from St. Patrick’s Church down Main Street to First Street, with thousands of viewers lining the route over five people deep. If you want to get a seat in the front row, you'll have to wake up early on the parade date to place your chair along the course. It is even possible to take part in the parade after submitting an entry form.

Scotts Valley 4th of July Parade & Fireworks (canceled in 2020)

Welcome to the celebration of Independence in Scotts Valley! This unforgettable event is full of various activities, food, and other stuff to enjoy for the whole family. The annual party in Scotts Valley opens with a parade along Scotts Valley Drive and continues with a flyover, BBQ, games, petting zoo, and much more at Skypark. The main attraction during the event is an impressive fireworks displays followed by live music, the only fireworks show in Santa Cruz. Admission is $6 in advance just for the fireworks, and $8 for the whole day. Food and activities are not included in the price.

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