Marine Corps band to play on Fourth

Add a 40-piece Marine Corps band to the excitement of the revived Fourth of July festivities at the Cove.

“We have secured the Marine Aircraft Wing 40-piece band,” said Deborah Marengo, who played a critical role in saving the annual event. “They will play at 7:30 p.m. up until the first fireworks are shot off at 9:30 p.m.”

Co-sponsored by La Jolla restaurateur George Hauer for the last 24 years, the event was canceled at the end of May because of the recession and rising permitting and other costs. An 11th hour Internet campaign launched by La Jolla business consultant Adam Harris and aided by Marengo’s networking, saved it.

Spirits continue to run high in the aftermath of a community drive that exceeded $27,000 needed to stage the event.

‘Mind blowing’

“We’re up around $45,000,” said Harris about the fundraising drive’s most recent tally. “We still chuckle at how successful this was. It’s mind-blowing.”

Harris, Marengo and Krista Baroudi, owner of La Jolla Cove Suites, are now working jointly to create a foundation and create a new Web site to support the event in perpetuity.

“We’re meeting with lawyers to make sure we’re doing everything correctly,” added Harris. “By the end of July we’ll have a 501 c3 (nonprofit) in place and continue to push for next year.”

Fun on Friday

Joining the festivities and contributing to the spirit of the occasion, First Friday Art Walk, a monthly community get-together hosted by local art galleries to introduce a wider audience to La Jolla arts venues, is event this week to honoring those who participated in the successful community fireworks fundraiser.

“We wanted to do a party to thank all the people who donated money, and also set up the foundation for next year,” said art gallery spokeswoman Tammy McManus of Martin Lawrence Galleries. “We’re inviting all those who donated so the event could happen this year and give them some wine and snacks as a thank you for contributing. We’re going to have raffle tickets, give out art books as gifts.”

There also will be a new promotion for this year’s fireworks: commemorative T-shirts sporting a red, white and blue artist’s rendering of La Jolla’s iconic coastline.

Harris said the shirts, made by Chillers Clothing Co., will have an event logo, cost $20 or $25 and have the names of everyone who donated to save the fireworks on the back.

Hauer in background

Hauer has moved into the background of promoting the event, but he’s still very much out front staging it, running interference with the city taking care of all the little details required to pull it off from securing city permits to putting up fencing and signage and bringing in Port-a-potties and providing security with police and firefighters.

“I don’t foresee any problems,” said Hauer. “I’m more than happy to do what I’ve done in the past with the city.”

Hauer defined his future role with fireworks foundation.

“I will do all the work, and they will reimburse me for my expenses,” he said, adding that things are working out the way they have to in order for the event to continue, which is to make it self-sustaining by making it self-supporting.

“We know the city is not as flush as it used to be,” he said. “It’s grown to be a very large event, more than 20,000 people at the Cove and the Shores. It needs to be managed the right way.”

Crowd management will fall to San Diego police who have announced some road closures and will have a command post at Kellogg Park in anticipation of crowded beaches throughout the weekend and particularly during the fireworks event.

Road closures

From 5 to 10 p.m. July 4
  • Coast Boulevard closed to parking from the lifeguard station to South Coast Boulevard
  • Cave Street going down to the Cove closed to through traffic