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Central Coast July Fourth fireworks shows will be back

The Pismo Beach fireworks show is returning after the pandemic forced the closure last year

Firework shows are returning to the Central Coast this weekend, after the pandemic led to events being cancelled last year. 

The Pismo Beach fireworks show is one of the busiest weekends in the city, drawing about 100,000 people to the pier.

After a year's absence, the show is back on.

“You can expect the regular fireworks show, it’s about 26 minutes in duration," City Manager Jim Lewis said. "We really tried, though, to be as safe as we could for our community.”

Lewis said this time around, the city didn’t advertise the firework show online or through media outlets in the Central Valley. Also, the reserved pier seating was only open to residents of San Luis Obispo County, instead of the usual tourist crowd.

“[We did that] because we want local people to enjoy it," Lewis said. "Still, people have different opinions of COVID and people coming over to our county, so we are really hoping it will be primarily driven by the county and Pismo Beach residents enjoying the show.”

Up the coast in Cayucos, Lori Stone with the Chamber of Commerce said they are in frantic all-out effort to accomplish something in short order. 

“We found out very late in the game that we could potentially move forward," Stone said. " So what normally takes six months to plan, we had to condense down to about three and a half weeks.”

Stone said the show will likely happen, but it will be small-scale, running about half the normal length — and the parade will not be returning this year.

“We’ll get back to our great big events in 2022," Stone said. " Let's just kind of take it easy this year, and do what we can, and come together and enjoy the festivities as best we can.”

The City of Santa Barbara will be hosting its fireworks show at Stearns Wharf, and the City of Lompoc will be hosting their show at Ryon Memorial Park — but Solvang has canceled its display for the second year in a row, citing financial uncertainty and managing large crowds.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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