5 Exciting Things to do in Santa Cruz July 4th Weekend

Santa Cruz County is a great destination to spend the 4th of July weekend. Between the stunning redwoods, gorgeous beaches, and numerous delicious spots to grab a bite to eat, the entire family will find something to enjoy in this area during your weekend stay.

Santa Cruz County will be celebrating the 4th of July a little different this year, though. Fireworks of all kinds are strictly prohibited in this County, including safe and sane labeled ones. This includes the annual firework show, which will not occur this year.

Santa Cruz July 4th

While it might seem odd to not have fireworks, Santa Cruz County suffered a devastating fire season last year and is doing everything in its power to prevent it again. Violations will incur triple fines the weekend of the 4th, and the County is asking everyone to respect the area and not use fireworks.

Let’s dive into the fantastic activities you can do during the holiday weekend in Santa Cruz County.

July 4th in Santa Cruz

For all the runners and athletes out there, Santa Cruz will be holding their annual Santa Cruz Firecracker 5k. This socially distanced run is perfect for kicking off your holiday weekend. The 5k is $40 for admission and starts at 8:40 am on the 4th of July.

Roaring Camp will be open with family-friendly activities and live music for all. You can hop on the Redwood Forest Steam Train or the Santa Cruz Beach Train to get into the camp and enjoy time out with the family.  

Wilder Ranch State Park is taking a step back in time to 100 years ago with their early 1900s-style Independence Day celebration. The park will have a parade, games, a children’s craft area, live music, living history demonstrations, historic speeches, and a flag-raising ceremony. You can bring your picnic lunch or purchase food and beverages at the park, and there will be a $10 parking fee to attend.

4th of July in Aptos

Aptos is holding the World’s Shortest Parade. The parade starts at 10 am on July 4th at the corner of Soquel Dr and State Park Dr. The parade route is only a half-mile long but can last up to two hours, and you can continue your celebration at the park nearby.

Boulder Creek July 4th Events

Boulder Creek will be holding their annual 4th of July parade. The parade will be on Highway 9 between Scarborough Lumber and Railroad Avenue. Come at 10 am to enjoy the parade that the Boulder Creek Fire Department hosts, and after enjoying a BBQ from 12-3 pm.

4th of July Parade in Scotts Valley

Scotts Valley will be hosting a 4th of July parade and flyover on Scotts Valley Drive. The event starts at 3 pm with the parade and flyover; then, at 4 pm, guests can enjoy live music, food trucks, and a kid zone over at SkyPark. To attend the event, you must purchase tickets online.

Watsonville July 4th Parade

Watsonville will hold a July 4th parade called The Spirit of Watsonville. The parade will go along Main Street from St. Patrick’s Church to First Street. The parade is known to get busy, so the city encourages you to grab a lawn chair and arrive early for the best viewing locations.

Although Santa Cruz County won’t allow fireworks this year, there are still plenty of fun events and activities you can do in Santa Cruz County. Enjoy spending this weekend with your family, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

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