This time of year brings up so many memories for me: cheering for "The Grand Finale" at the local fireworks show, begging for a sparkler to write my name in the air, the looks of terror on my parents' faces as the neighborhood kids' rogue bottle rockets landed on our roof.
I am happy to report that this 4th of July weekend brings with it plenty of opportunities to make even more great memories. Just keep that fire extinguisher close.
Our goal is to make the Get Out planner as reliable as possible, but keep in mind, some events change at the last minute. We advise calling ahead just in case.
When/Where: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. this Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. this Sunday at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, 15 39th Place, Long Beach
Why Go: Aaargh you ready for the pirates to invade? This two-day pirate invasion features live pirate battles complete with cannon fire and swords, a pirate market, pirate parades, costume contests, treasure hunts, a pirate movie and more.
When/Where: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. this Saturday at the Rainbow Harbor Ampitheater, Shoreline Drive and Pine Ave., Long Beach
Why Go: Celebrate Independence Day early at this fun, free, family-friendly event. There will be live music, kids' activities including trackless train and strolling magician and a festive fireworks show.
When/Where: Registration opens at 9 a.m. this Monday at the Granada Beach boat launch ramp, 1 Granada Ave., Long Beach
Why Go: It's time for Justin Rudd and his Community Action Team's 8th Annual Great American Kids' Bike Parade. The out-and-back, two-mile parade route will head east along the bike path and continue down Bay Shore Avenue to Second Street. Adults, teens and kids are encouraged to ride. Kids must wear helmets and be escorted by a parent or guardian during the parade. There will also be fun contests for all kids 12 and younger including a Patriotic Speech Contest, Watermelon Seed-Spitting Contest and Patriotic Costume Contest. To pre-register, send your child's name and age to Justin@JustinRudd.com and then just sign the liability waiver when you arrive. You may also register on site the day of the event.
When/Where: 3 p.m. this Monday on the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach
Why Go: Celebrate the 4th with live blues, zydeco, dancing, face painters and Uncle Sam himself. Plus, you will get a great view of the fireworks which begin at 9 p.m.
Pricing: $12.95 ages 5-11, $21.95 ages 65 and older, $24.95 general admission
When/Where: From noon until the end of the fireworks show at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, 15th 39th Place, Long Beach
Why Go: Enjoy live music, great barbecue, a beer garden, boat rides and reserved seating for the big fireworks show.
More than Roman Candles can burn you this summer; that Southern California sun is blazing. Stay safe and cool; read our helpful raticle,
Did we miss anything? Share your best ideas for this 4th of July weekend in the comment box below.