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'Celebrate America' Returns to SMC Campus


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Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000



By Jorge Casuso

June 20, 2024 -- "Celebrate America" -- Santa Monica's only fireworks display marking the nation’s independence -- will return to Corsair Field on Santa Monica College's (SMC) main campus this month.

The celebration, which will take place Saturday, June 29 at 6 p.m., is "a star-spangled salute to our nation’s independence and the wonderful vibrancy and diversity of our community," college officials said.

Celebrate America at SMC
Celebrate America fireworks display (Courtesy SMC)

A "dazzling" fireworks show by Rialto-based Pyro Spectaculars Entertainment will once again cap the annual festivities on the Saturday before the Fourth of July, officials said.

The free event features live music by Westside Crew performing the very best in Old Skool Funk, Top 40 and Latin Soul, with Eddie Jauregui presiding as Master of Ceremonies.

“Celebrate America 2024” festivities also feature three inflatable bounce houses for kids, community service booths and food booths operated by Keith's Kettle Corn, Kai Kai Dumplings, What the Funnel, Pucker Up Lemonade and Oma’s Puffers.

Also selling food are Heritage Kitchen, RS California Fusion and Aloha Catering food trucks.

The SMC Zone at the south end of Corsair Field offers booths presenting information on SMC’s academic and student support programs, and Emeritus and SMC Community Education classes.

Information also is available on a range of community services, including events at the acclaimed performance venue The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage and its presenting company, BroadStage.

Picnicking is welcome, but alcoholic beverages, weapons, glass containers, barbecues, fireworks (including sparklers), and chairs with pointed legs are prohibited, college officials said.

SMC is a smoke free campus, and ALL smoking is prohibited.

Launched by SMC in 1992, "Celebrate America" returned to the college's main campus last year after being sidelined for three years by the COVID emergency.

The college became the sole venue for Santa Monica’s fireworks display after hundreds of thousands of spectators flocked to the Pier in the late 1980s and early 1990s for the City sponsored evening festivities.

In 1990, the fireworks celebration -- dubbed "Dawn's Early Light" -- was moved to 4:45 a.m. in hopes that the early hour would dwindle the crowds that prompted traffic and safety concerns.

But the following year, 250,000 people attended, requiring the full deployment of police and fire forces for two days, leading the City to permanently scrap the popular pyrotechnical displays.

The following year, SMC began hosting Santa Monica's fireworks celebration.

Parking lots for this year's festivities open at 4 p.m. (enter at Pico Boulevard and 17th Street), and parking is $5.

The Corsair Field gates open at 5 p.m., with entertainment beginning at 6 p.m. The fireworks are scheduled at 9 p.m.

For safety, there will be no pre-show entry to parking lots after 8:15 p.m., or to Corsair Field after 8:45 p.m.

“Celebrate America 2024” is presented by Santa Monica College and sponsored by the Emeritus Program of Santa Monica College and the Santa Monica College Associates. Other sponsors include the City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, and BXP (Boston Properties).

Those who need an accommodation due to a disability should email or call 310-434-4173 at least 5 business days prior to the event.

More details are available at the Celebrate America website or by calling 310-434-3001.

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