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Fourth of July fireworks and a parade in the North State: Where and how to watch them in 2020

Jessica Skropanic
Fireworks lit up the sky over the Siskiyou County Fairgrounds in 2018.

Concerns about coronavirus outbreaks canceled most Fourth of July events in the North State, but Yreka and Redding are going forward with fireworks displays. Both have parking areas that allow watchers to stay in their vehicles while enjoying the show.

Another town, Los Molinos, adjusted the route of its annual parade to allow spectators to spread out or watch from their homes.

All three events allow spectators to follow state public health officials' guidelines for reducing possible COVID-19 exposure: Keeping a physical distance of at least six feet from other people.

Here are the Fourth of July events and where planners suggest people park to watch.

Yreka

Yreka's fireworks display starts at 9:50 p.m. and ends about 10:30 p.m. on July 4.

The fireworks are launched from the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds at 1712 Fairlane Road. No parking is allowed at the fairgrounds, but event planners will shoot off large-scale shells this year, so the fireworks “will be visible from most areas in town," fireworks coordinator Dave Peterson said.

"Sit back on your porch or in your backyard in town, crack a beer for America and our forefathers, thank them and all of our soldiers, both living and dead that you have the freedom to do so, and enjoy the show," Peterson added.

Last year's event was sponsored in part by Rain Rock Casino, and the fireworks were shot off at that location. But the coronavirus pandemic changed that arrangement, Peterson said.

Best places to park and watch include Fairlane Road, close to the fairgrounds; and in the area around the College of the Siskiyous, Peterson said. 

Bigger roads on the south end of Yreka, like 4-H Way and South Oregon Street, accommodate more street parking, he said. Businesses on those streets will likely be closed, so you won’t be blocking customer parking.

The event is hosted by Peterson with help from the Yreka Chamber of Commerce. It's funded through community donations including a GoFundMe account at https://bit.ly/2VdkKIc.

Redding

Redding’s Freedom Festival was canceled, but the fireworks display is on at 10 p.m. July 4.

Radio stations Q97.3 “Today’s Country” and Red 103.1 “Redding’s Classic Rock” will broadcast coordinated music. Spectators can bring a portable radio or listen on their car radio while watching the fireworks.

There are several good spots to park your car and watch.

A good spot to park and watch is around Caldwell Park near downtown Redding, Community Services director Kim Niemer said in an email to the Record Searchlight. Other spots include parking along Park Marina Drive, around Sequoia Middle School, along North Bechelli Lane, and in the Sunset Terrace, Highland Park and River Park Highlands areas.

While you’ll have to look off to the right, park along the view side of Hilltop Drive between Lake Boulevard and the overpass.

The usual venue for spectators, the Redding Civic Auditorium, will be shut down and blocked from traffic on July 4, Niemer said. “Parking will be available for visitors to Turtle Bay and Sheraton Hotel guests only.”

People are reminded to avoid crowded areas and follow all state and local health and safety guidelines, she said.

Los Molinos

Los Molinos’ 53rd annual 4th of July parade starts at 10 a.m. on July 4.

This year’s parade route is designed to comply with COVID-19 guidelines and to bypass construction on Highway 99, Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Ranita Fox said. 

“We’ve changed the route to go through more of the town” so people can socially distance, she said.

Visitors are asked to stay in their cars to watch, Fox said. They can park on the street as long as they are not blocking the parade or traffic. Keep a social distance if you get out of your car.

Jessica Skropanic writes for the Record Searchlight in Redding.

Skye Kinkade contributed to this report.

July 4th fireworks canceled this year

Towns that chose to cancel their annual fireworks and other events include:

Mount Shasta

Anderson

Burney