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Parades and protest, but no public fireworks show, on Fourth of July in La Jolla

A group standing at the end of the July 4 parade route in Bird Rock protests the June 24 Supreme Court ruling on abortion.
A group standing at the end of the Fourth of July parade route in Bird Rock protests the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

La Jollans celebrated the nation’s Independence Day on July 4 with homespun parades, but no large-scale public fireworks display for the fifth consecutive year.

La Jollans celebrated Independence Day on July 4 in three separate homespun parades, from large to small.

The Fourth of July fireworks show — once a long-running tradition at La Jolla Cove — was, as expected, not held. Resident Jack McGrory, who has helped the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation raise funds for the show, said the fireworks were “not happening” this year because of the city of San Diego’s closure of Point La Jolla for sea lion pupping season.

Conventional fireworks are not allowed at nearby Scripps Park — the site of past shows — because the California Coastal Commission permit this year that authorizes the closure of Point La Jolla from May 1 through Oct. 31 states that fireworks are prohibited “within Ellen Browning Scripps Park during the seasonal closure.” The permit is in effect for seven years.

McGrory said organizers are looking into a drone show for 2023.

The fireworks display was not held in 2021 for lack of a needed permit, or in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the previous two years due to lack of funding.

The La Jolla Country Club did have a private fireworks show this year.

Meanwhile, during the Beaumont Avenue Independence Day parade in Bird Rock, about 20 people held a peaceful protest in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling overturning the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.

The protest was organized by Adelaide Geurtsen-Shoemate, 14, and her brother Sam, 17, and was attended by their parents and friends, who held signs and chanted protest messages.

Adelaide, an incoming freshman at La Jolla High School, said she organized the protest after being invited to the Bird Rock parade by a friend.

“Why would I be celebrating the United States when such a horrible ruling has occurred?” she said.

Sam, a current La Jolla High student, said he’s worried that the Supreme Court will eliminate same-sex marriage rights next. “As a gay person, that’s really terrifying to me,” he said. ◆