Letter to the Community: Laguna Gears Up for Summer

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Dear Laguna Beach Community, 

It is nearly the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and the peak of our busy summer season is upon us. This is the time of year we remind ourselves of just how lucky we are to live and work in a community as beautiful as Laguna Beach.  

From left to right: Gavin Curran, Assistant City Manager/CFO; Mark McAvoy, Director of Public Works; Police Chief Jeff Calvert; Mayor Bob Whalen; City Manager Shohreh Dupuis; Marine Safety Chief Kevin Snow; and Fire Chief Niko King at Aliso Beach. Photo/City of Laguna Beach

Festival season is here as the Sawdust Festival and Art-A-Fair open Friday, June 30, followed by the Festival of Arts on July 5 and the Pageant of the Masters on July 7. We also anticipate large crowds for the July 4th holiday and request the public’s cooperation to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for our residents and visitors. Our Laguna Beach City Departments are coordinating planning efforts for the Independence Day holiday weekend, and the City is working with Orange County (OC) Sheriff’s Department, and OC Parks to ensure all areas in and around Laguna Beach are safe. 

We ask you to leave the fireworks to the professionals at the city and remind everyone that all kinds of fireworks are always illegal within the City of Laguna Beach. This includes “Safe and Sane” type fireworks that may be legal to purchase in other cities. The Laguna Beach Police Department, Fire Department and Marine Safety Departments will have extra officers working over the Fourth of July weekend looking for fireworks violations.  

If you see or hear illegal fireworks being used in Laguna Beach, please call our non-emergency hotline at (949) 497-0701. Our dispatchers will alert officers to the area where the fireworks are occurring. Even with our wet winter, we cannot take any chances and must remain vigilant against the threat of wildfire in our community. 

The city fireworks show will originate from Monument Point at Heisler Park and will begin at approximately 9 p.m. on July 4. The Monument Point area will be closed all day, and at approximately 5 p.m., the area of Heisler Park from Myrtle Street to the Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street will be closed to the public to allow for fireworks preparation. The Condor Squadron will also be flying over Laguna Beach at 5:45 p.m. on July 4 – don’t miss it! 

City Trolleys will operate under a modified schedule. The Coastal Route will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Canyon Route from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The normal trolley schedule will resume on Wednesday, July 5. After the fireworks show, we can expect heavy traffic as many visitors will be leaving via Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway. Our Police Department will have increased traffic control to facilitate the flow of vehicles out of town. For traffic and emergency updates, sign up for Nixle by texting 92651 to 888-777. 

The Laguna Beach Police, Fire, Transit & Community Services, Public Works, and Marine Safety Departments have all increased staffing for the 4th to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.   

Please be patient, kind and forgiving as we transition to our first year of providing all services to South Laguna Beaches, and also let us know if there are better ways we can enhance services. Marine Safety is fully staffed for summer and ready and trained to provide ocean and aquatic rescue, emergency medical response, accident prevention, protection of marine resources, and ordinance enforcement to keep the public safe at all Laguna beaches.  

The Laguna Beach City Council has been a leader in protecting the environment and the safety of the community, and starting in July, you will be seeing information about our upcoming ban on all types of balloons on public property within the City of Laguna Beach. In February, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1683, prohibiting the sale, distribution, and use of all balloons, with limited exception for private events held on private property. Though this ordinance won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2024, our educational campaign starts now. The city is dedicated to protecting its environment and mitigating the harmful impacts from balloons coming into contact with ocean life, wildlife, and power lines. 

With that, we hope to see you out and about enjoying all Laguna Beach has to offer this summer. Here is wishing all of you a safe and enjoyable Independence Day weekend! 

In Community Spirit, 

Shohreh Dupuis, City Manager 

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