James’ SLO Life… Fireworks and Family

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The 4th of July is one of those holidays that stir up many fond memories of my childhood back in Hawthorne, CA. I was fortunate enough to live on a cul-de-sac with a broken street light, in one of the last few cities in LA that still allow fireworks. We had a lot of kids on my street growing up, so it was kind of an unofficial block party every year. Plus, the perks that came with having a police officer for a dad was that the quality of fireworks tended to be much greater with little risk of getting in trouble. Honestly, the things we used to do, it’s amazing that no one ever got hurt. I specifically remember a mortar shell exploding at knee level in the middle of the street, surrounded by people.

Now, living in Templeton; I have the pleasure of raising my kids on a cul-de-sac (with a broken street light) in one of the last cities in the 805 to allow fireworks. I was like a little kid when I saw a stand open up on Las Tablas on Sunday to start selling those wonderful, if not fleeting, sticks of mixed powder that seem to brighten everyone’s eyes to the point of “blindness”. I can’t wait to get my hands on some “piccolo petes” and start crimping them down to make them a little more fun then they are set up to be (unsafe and insane?). After seeing my daughter in Ohio with the fireworks and her reactions to them, I am excited to spend my time with the whole family, partaking in a great American tradition (yes, I know fireworks were invented by the Chinese).

If planning on spending the 4th in north county, make sure to hit up those firework stands in Templeton (and please only use them in Templeton). While Atascadero and Templeton both have daytime events, there will be no firework show this year (as of July 1st) at Barney Schwartz Park in Paso Robles. With Robert Hall Winery also canceling their big function, North County seems to not be the happening place for events. Most [in North County] will be flocking to Templeton Park to light fireworks with half of the county. I am gonna invite some friends over and light up my cul-de-sac, with the broken street light, in a great show of dazzling fire and sparks before shifting into Ramadan on Monday the 8th. What? James is Muslim? More on that next time. Be safe and enjoy your 4th of July.

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4th of July Events in San Luis Obispo County

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FREE 4th of July Celebrations in San Luis Obispo County

All events listed are for July 4, 2013, unless otherwise noted


In alphabetical order by city/town…

Arroyo Grande – Fourth of July in the Village – Rotary Bandstand – 1 pm to 3 pm – NO FIREWORKS – live music, lemonade, and hot dogs.

AtascaderoFourth of July Celebration at Atascadero Lake Park – Atascadero Lake Park – Starts at 7 am and goes all day long – NO FIREWORKS – Bounce houses, free movie, horseshoe pitching contest, pony rides, picnic games, and food sales. FREE PARKING

Avila Beach – 4th of July Boat Parade – Avila Pier – Noon – NO FIREWORKS

Cambria – Picnic in the Park & Fireworks Display – Shamel Park – 11 am to 9 pm – Fireworks show at 9 pm – old fashioned celebration with live music, face painting, pie eating contests, races, raffles, food concessions, and more. FREE PARKING

Cayucos – Independence Day Celebration – 5 am to 8 am Sand Sculpture Contest on the beach, 9 am to 4 pm Peddler’s Faire at Cayucos Creek Lot, 10 am Parade on Ocean Ave., and 9 pm Fireworks show off the pier.

Morro Bay – Morro Bay 4th – Tidelands Park – 10 am to 9:15 pm – Fireworks show at 9:15 pm – bike parade and live music all day.

Pismo Beach – July Fourth Celebration – Pismo Beach Pier – 10 am to 11 pm – Fireworks show at 9 pm – music, food, art, and crafts.

San Luis Obispo – Old Fashioned 4th of July – Mitchell Park – 11 am to 3 pm – NO FIREWORKS – carnival games (free), bbq fundraiser, and live music.

Santa Margarita – Fourth of July Parade and Event – Santa Margarita Community Park – 9 am to 1 pm – NO FIREWORKS – Decorate your bikes and wagons and join in a parade down H Street, music, games, and craft faire.

Templeton – Templeton’s Independence Day Parade – Main Street – Starts at 10 am – NO FIREWORKS



Where are fireworks legal in San Luis Obispo County?

Arroyo Grande

Grover Beach


San Miguel