Summer Fun: Fireworks, Music and Shakespeare

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Fireworks over Fashion Island
Fireworks over Fashion Island

Summer hits with a bang this weekend thanks to the Fourth of July, and continues all summer with myriad events from concerts in the park to Shakespeare on a diamond (a baseball diamond).

Fourth of July

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina teams with the City of Newport Beach for the 57th annual Fourth of July celebration, this year dubbed “Star-Spangled Groovy Fest.”

The all-day event includes live music, food, activities in and around the water including beach, bike and golf cart rentals, and of course the evening fireworks display (the only one in Newport Beach).

Two stages will have bands playing music from the 60s and 70s from 2 to 9 p.m. Entrance fee is $50 per car. A Beer & Wine Garden pass is $40 per person and includes hosted bar from 3 – 8 p.m. at the gazebo and premium fireworks viewing.

For more information call (800) 765-7116 or visit

Old Glory Boat Parade / photo  by Charles Weinberg
Old Glory Boat Parade / photo by Charles Weinberg

Fourth of July also brings the return of what is being called “California’s largest patriotic boat parade,” the American Legion Yacht Club’s annual Old Glory Boat Parade.

More than 100 boats decorated in red, white and blue will cruise Newport Harbor in a path similar to the Christmas Boat Parade.

The parade starts at 1 p.m., but the American Legion Post 291 is serving a pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., a lunch buffet noon to 5 p.m. (including dancing to “The Grumps”), and dancing with Paul Eshelman Quartet 6 to 9 p.m.

Cost is $10 Breakfast Only (Open to the Public), $25 Lunch, Dancing & Fireworks, or $30 Breakfast, Lunch, Dancing & Fireworks.

Visit for details.

Concerts and Shakespeare

Summer Concerts on the Green, presented by the city’s Arts Commission, returns with a series of free Sunday evening concerts at the Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive.

Concerts begin at 6 p.m. and end promptly at 7:30 p.m., and are free to the public.

Come early with a picnic dinner, blankets and beach chairs. A viewing tip—try the top of the parking structure for a fun tailgate party.

Britain's Finest play music of the Beatles
Britain’s Finest play music of the Beatles

July 12: SligoRags – Celtic Bluegrass Fusion. Two-time winners of the Orange County Music Award for Best Folk Band, this dynamic ensemble presents Celtic Folk with a bluegrass attitude.

Aug. 23: Kelly Rae Band. A country ensemble specializing in current chart-topping country tunes, as well as classic country favorites.

Sept. 27: Britain’s Finest – Beatles Tribute Band. Experience the Beatles as if they were live in concert, from the early years to the Let It Be days.

The Arts Commission is also hitting a home run by bringing Shakespeare by the Sea back to the Bonita Canyon Sports Park (1990 Ford Road) for productions of The Bard’s

Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park

final play, “The Tempest,” on July 18 and the romantic comedy, “As You Like It,” on July 19.

Both plays start at 7 p.m. and run about two hours, including intermission. Both performances are free and open to the public. Bring blankets, beach chairs and a picnic.

Two other local concert series run through the summer.

The annual Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series runs through early October and features a variety of artists, from rock to smooth jazz to vocals. Visit for artists and show dates.

The Sunset Jazz at Newport series runs every Wednesday evening through September 16 at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Set in the Rose Garden, the series some of the most popular artists from the Newport Beach Jazz Party and The Jazz Cruise. See related article:




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