A lot of towns didn't have fireworks this 4th of July because they're out of money. That's not an option in my town. 4th of July has become the biggest weekend of the year for beach goers. the local merchants clean up and demand fireworks on the 4th. I'm sure even the City makes a profit off it. They were charging $25 a car today for parking at the City beach lots and those lots have capacities measured in the thousands. Then they charged people another $10 or $15 that wanted the convenience and exclusivity of bleacher seats.
They closed Pacific Coast Highway to motor traffic for a few miles along the beach and on Main Street for a few miles inland. We walked down there and it was wall to wall people, might have been a million people there for all I know. There were huge numbers of people on bikes and everybody living downtown was having a beer party. The police have tried to crack down on alcohol in the streets in the past, with riotous and violent results. They were just going with the flow this year and there were no problems. People just want to enjoy the day and for a lot of them, that includes getting snot slinging drunk. Some things never change.
Anyway, the fireworks were great. The view was equally good from anywhere downtown or along the beach for at least a couple miles either side of the pier, where they launched them from. Probably the most extensive display I've ever seen, hot and heavy for maybe 45 minutes. They probably got a volume discount because not a lot of cities had big fireworks shows this year and there was a surplus of supply
I really couldn't care less about fireworks but my wife loves them. I'm happy to indulge her, it's free and only once a year. What kind of an asshole would I be if I didn't?
The surf was huge, eight feet at least.