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July 4 — celebrating the holidays on Catalina

fireworks in Avalon

The holidays on Catalina Island are magical. An island-style Christmas, a romantic Valentine’s Day and a sun-soaked Labor Day are just a few of the amazing holiday experiences you can have on Catalina. There’s one holiday, however, that rises above the rest. If Catalina has an “official” holiday, it is definitely Independence Day.

Avalon goes all out for the Fourth of July, creating an irresistible combination of small-town patriotism, island flair and Catalina’s own unique spin on things. Now that Covid is waning, Avalon’s Independence Day celebrations will be – just about – back to normal.

It all begins with the Fourth of July parade, this year themed “Catalina Beautiful, Avalon Strong.” As usual, parade line-up will begin at noon with the parade beginning at 1 p.m. This year, instead of terminating at Claressa Street, the parade will take a right and continue up Claressa to Tremont Street, allowing those who may want to avoid the crowds along Crescent Avenue the opportunity to enjoy the parade.

Throughout the day – and throughout the town – live music will be available at several locations, including Wrigley Stage and the fuel dock. At the end of the evening, what promises to be the largest fireworks show in island history will take place over Avalon Harbor. Thanks to the generosity of a local resident, the pyrotechnic extravaganza will be twice as big as usual.

Fourth of July on Catalina isn’t just limited to Avalon. Two Harbors also hosts its own Independence Day celebration, which is held on July 3 to allow residents and visitor to enjoy the holiday at both locations. Festivities include the Children’s Festival, a dinghy parade and fireworks.

No matter where you will be celebrating Independence Day on Catalina Island, you’ll want to have boat reservations. If you are traveling from Newport Beach, mainland parking can be particularly difficult; consider a ride-share service or having friends drop your party off.

Don’t forget: fireworks are illegal on the island. Dry brush and bottle rockets are a potentially catastrophic combination.

Fourth of July poster