Community Meeting to Explore Replacing Ocean Beach Pier’s July 4th Fireworks – August 25

by on August 8, 2022 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

Luminosity Festival Envisioned as Planning Begins to Find Alternatives

by Mike James

With structural issues to the Ocean Beach Pier, fireworks are no longer logistically viable in the foreseeable future.

Plus with the environmental concerns and the psychological effects fireworks have on both humans and animals, many feel it is time to explore alternative ways to celebrate Independence Day.


On July 3rd, 1776, one of our Founding Fathers, John Adams penned a letter to his wife Abigail, envisioning future festivities to commemorate the Declaration of Independence. He wrote:

“I am apt to believe that [Independence Day] will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”


The action of illuminating or state of being illuminated: such as. a : spiritual or intellectual enlightenment. b(1) : a lighting up. (2) : decorative lighting or lighting effects. c : decoration by the art of illuminating.

When the first Independence Day was celebrated in Philadelphia in 1777, it included illuminations in the form of crude ‘fireworks’, basically military rockets, ‘bombs bursting in air’.

Adams also wrote in the same letter to Abigail,

“I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory.”

For Adams, illuminations were also a metaphor for enlightenment, an awakening of possibilities and new beginnings.

I would like to think that John Adams would like the idea of using modern technology to illuminate the night.


In 2019 I wrote an article on the possibility of replacing the fireworks.

With the skies above O.B. once again being dark on the Fourth of July, I have created a steering committee to look at options for the community.

The current vision is the Luminosity Festival, a ‘light festival’. What that event will ultimately look like will be explored at the first community meeting on Thursday August 25.

Drone Show? Lasers? Art Installations? We are asking the community for their input and participation in the planning process.

At the meeting we will show examples of light festivals from around the world, as well as short presentations from experts.

The steering committee overseeing the initial planning is currently headed by myself (Mike James) and Tricia Tellier Gaut. Additional committees; Operations, Sponsors and Fundraising, Marketing, Community Outreach, will be forming soon.

So far the positive response on Facebook has been beyond expectations, with over 400 Interested or Going to the first community meeting.

With the overwhelming interest we have had to move the meeting to a bigger venue, the Newbreak Church.

We are also asking individuals to RSVP for the meeting through our form at The form will also allow feedback and the option to opt-in to a newsletter to keep up to date on the planning for the festival.

The First Luminosity Festival Community Meeting

Thursday August 25 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm


2069 Ebers St.

Be a part of this historical moment, join us as we once again illuminate Ocean Beach.

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