America's Grandest Birthday Salute

The Central Coast Team | July 4, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

She doesn’t look a day over 247 years old with nary a wrinkle in sight—well, maybe one or two—and proudly wears her stars and stripes for the world to see. One of the most beloved birthdays in all the U.S. beckons us to illuminate the skies and fire up BBQs as the nation turns its eyes to celebrating our Independence Day. 

The official holiday of summer, the Fourth of July, synonymous with outdoor concerts, parades, and dazzling firework shows, kicks off a season of fun in the sun. Whether on land or water, there’s no shortage of festivities to commemorate our country’s freedom. Let’s take a glimpse at just some of the events in California’s San Luis Obispo County.

One of the most charming and beautiful towns dotting the Central Coast, Cambria is magic for the soul. With its sky-high evergreen trees, stunning ocean views, and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants, Cambria welcomes visitors with open arms for a true Americana showcase with the 42nd annual 4th of July celebration, sponsored by the local American Legion post. Held at Shamel Park, guests will be treated to favorite summer pastimes, including three-legged races, water balloon tosses, pie-eating contests, and music beginning at 11 a.m. Food and beverage concessions will be available, and a trolley will transport visitors from the town to the park, easy peasy!  And the piece de resistance—a 25-minute fireworks display over the ocean beginning at approximately 9:15 p.m. For more information, including trolley hours of operation, contact the Cambria Chamber of Commerce at or call (805) 927-3624.

Playing host to a free celebration for the entire family, Paso Robles’ Barney Schwartz Park offers a day of fun from 2-10 p.m., including a Family Fun Zone complete with a bounce house, games, and obstacle courses. When the kids (and exhausted parents) begin to tucker out, grab a spot on the lawn and enjoy live music beginning at 5:30 p.m. and, at 9:15 p.m., a climatic fireworks display. For more information, check out

More of a dog lover than a fireworks enthusiast? Avila Beach has just the thing! What better way to kick off your Independence Day than with a pancake breakfast followed by a Doggie Parade and Doggie Costume Contest! Hankering for pancakes and sausage or bacon accompanied by orange juice, milk, tea, or coffee, make your way to the Avila Beach Community Center between 8:30–11 a.m. Tickets run $10 for adults and $5.00 for children ages 6 and younger. Puppy sitters will be on hand to care for your furry babies while you enjoy breakfast. Held at the Promenade, the parade begins at 11 a.m. All dogs must be registered to participate in the parade along with a suggested $5.00 donation. For information regarding the event and registration, please call (805) 627-1997 or visit

Beach lovers yearning for a more traditional Fourth of July gathering with a sand and surf vibe can venture to Cayucos. Early birds converge from 5-8 a.m. and watch children, novices, and professionals alike create works of art in the Sand Sculpture Contest followed by a hometown parade at 10 a.m. All this fun whet your appetite? Join the Lions BBQ from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Vet’s Hall. After a full day of fun in the sun, relax on the beach and enjoy the fireworks spectacular launching at 9 p.m.  from the Cayucos pier. Just be sure to arrive early to lock in your parking and observation spots! Check out

Fun? Endless. Sun? You bet. Music? Strike up the band. BBQ? C’mon, do you really need to ask? With no shortage of Fourth of July events and activities ringing in our country’s freedom, the Central Coast has something for everyone. From our stunning California nook, let’s raise our flags. Happy Birthday, America!