Santa Barbara- S County

Massive crowds flock to Santa Barbara Waterfront for Fourth of July

Santa Barbara caps Fourth of July celebration with impressive fireworks

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Thousands came to West Beach in Santa Barbara Thursday for a Fourth of July celebration that lasted all day long.

"What a great, magnificent and incredible day it is today," local emcee Drew Wakefield said at the celebration's stage just west of Stearns Wharf. "Happy Birthday America! God Bless America!"

NewsChannel 3 senior reporter John Palminteri co-hosted the festivities with Wakefield.

The event's stage manager, Hector Hurtado, doubled as the lead singer for band Super Stoked.

"This whole team of putting everybody together, it's as seamless as these things can go," Hurtado said.

Things were not quite seamless on Thursday. Local bands rocked throughout the day until a generator failed around dusk, cutting power to the stage and ending the Super Stoked's set just as it began.

Luckily, power was restored in time for the singing of the national anthem just before the fireworks show.

The 20-minute display dazzled the thousands along the waterfront. The exploding shells were cued up to music played by local radio station KJEE.

While almost everyone brought spirit, the La Boheme Professional Dance Group also brought some swagger.

"This is a fun, down home community event," dancer Teresa Kuskey-Nowak said. "We're trying to create that old-fashioned feel."

Tri-tip sandwiches, corn and funnel cakes were among the favorites served up by food venders on Cabrillo Boulevard.

William Price and his friends brought in a huge pizza from State Street for the second straight year.

"The only time we ever get pizzas like this is the Fourth of July," he said. "It's really fun."

As the day went on, more and more people left their pools and barbecues to come together by the Waterfront. Though not everyone came for the fireworks. 

"What I really like—I'm local, I live on the Mesa—and I can ride my bike down here," Bob Grueneberg said.

That's because Cabrillo Boulevard was shut down to cars starting at 6 p.m., allowing the packed crowds more space to ride or sit and watch the show.

The following groups helped make the event possible:

FOOD Vendors: 
WOODY'S BBQ, tri-tip, hamburgers, corn on the cob. 
TINKERS hot dogs. 
LIDO's Philly Cheesesteaks 
UNCORKED - Lobster Rolls, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Apple Pie and ice cream
KETTLEMASTERS Kettle Popcorn Corn

Mely's - Fiesta and summer fashion and hats
Tere Jurado Jewelry designer - necklaces, bracelets and rings
Quest by Magdalena
Bill Enterprises
India House

Michael Hammer and the Armand Hammer Foundation
The City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation PARC Foundation

The Santa Barbara Waterfront Department
The Santa Barbara Bowl Education Outreach Foundation
Consumer Fire Products
Montecito Bank & Trust
American Riviera Bank
The Berry Man
Ablitt's Fine Cleaners
The Santa Barbara Downtown Organization
Visit Santa Ynez
Dario Pini Investments / Ala Mar / Villa Rosa hotels
The Santa Barbara Eyeglass Factory

A special thank you to the Santa Barbara Police, Fire, and Public Works departments. Kim Stabile, Roger Perry, Hector Hurtado, Drew Wakefield and DSR audio.

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