To accommodate the anticipated influx of fireworks’ spectators and beach-goers on Saturday, July 4, Laguna Beach is stepping up staffing of lifeguards and traffic control.
Free trolleys will operate on Independence Day beginning at 9:30 a.m., but halt at 7 p.m., long before fireworks get underway after dark. And farmer’s market will not take place as usual next to city hall.
The city fireworks show, originating from Monument Point in Heisler Park, will begin at 9 p.m. The bluff point will be closed all day. Beginning at 5 p.m., lifeguards will also close the park area and beach below the Rock Bench at Myrtle Street and Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street, to allow for fireworks preparation.
“Please cooperate with lifeguards,” said Marine Safety Chief Kevin Snow, who anticipates up to 50,000 people on local beaches on Saturday.
Each of the city’s 30 lifeguard towers will be staffed and another 12 guards in mobile units on land and sea roving between the city’s coves. “We’re gearing up for a big day; we’ll be running ‘til dark,” said Snow, urging visitors to check in with the tower lifeguard wherever they roll out their towel.
“We don’t want to disappoint people,” he said, pointing out that surfers should avoid swimming beaches and paddle out at Rockpile and Thalia Street.
While forecasters predict small waves and a light marine layer for Saturday, if swells reach four feet rip tides are likely to occur at Crescent Beach, Main Beach, Treasure Island and St. Ann’s, Snow said.
Visitors should also know city code prohibits portable cooking devices in public parks, liquor or glass on the sand and fireworks anywhere in town, Snow said.
Prime pyrotechnic viewing locations at some outdoor restaurants, including The Rooftop at Casa del Camino Hotel, the Mosaic Bar and Grill at the Montage and the Cliff restaurant, will not be accepting reservations. Hotel Laguna will expand bar seating on the sand in front of the hotel, but also on a first come, first served basis.
But advance reservations are welcome at Montage’s Loft and Studio restaurants and Splashes at the Surf ‘n’ Sand Resort. At Mozambique’s rooftop bar, a table can be reserved for a $50 cover charge for a four-person table. Other requests for seating will be wait-listed and accommodated as space opens up.
After the finale, traffic leaving town on Laguna Canyon Road will be expedited with the addition of a second outbound lane between Canyon Acres and El Toro Road. Police and public works employees will be assisting with traffic control along Coast Highway and the canyon road to smooth the way for outbound cars, Deputy City Manager Ben Siegel said in a statement.