OCEANSIDE — City Council approved having July fireworks at the March 13 meeting, but did not determine when, where and how.
Councilman Jack Feller requested the city host July fireworks to celebrate Oceanside’s 125th anniversary on July 3.
“We have a small matter of 125 years of being incorporated,” Feller said. “I think it’s a worthy investment.”
It was not determined if the fireworks will be held on July 3 or July 4.
Some considerations were security costs for police and firefighters and the demands on officers and firefighters during already busy days.
Another question was the best location to launch the fireworks.
Feller suggested El Corazon, which is a high point in the city. The benefit is that residents can see the fireworks from many locations and would not have to travel to one site.
City parkland at El Corazon is mostly undeveloped. The El Corazon Senior Center only allows parking for 500 cars.
Mayor Jim Wood anticipated extra officers would be needed along major roadways where cars might pull off to watch the fireworks.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez suggested that fireworks be held at the beach where they were traditionally located before they were discontinued two years ago.
There were concerns that the beach location might trigger possible lawsuits due to the potential environmental impacts of setting off fireworks over water.
Beach crowds and traffic jams were other concerns.
A third location that was suggested was El Camino High School.
The city is already considering opening the high school as a viewing area if the fireworks are set off at El Corazon.
The site would have a limited viewing area because of surrounding trees and houses.
Funding for the fireworks is also undetermined. The cost of fireworks and safety personnel is estimated to be $27,000.
Residents and business owners expressed support for bringing back July fireworks. Many said community donations could be easily collected.
“There is nothing more American than apple pie, Chevrolet and fireworks on the Fourth of July,” David Nydegger, CEO of Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, said.
“With the 125th anniversary celebrations we have going on, the fireworks will enhance that and create more community pride and synergy,” Leslee Gaul, president and CEO of the Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau, said.
City staff will bring back ideas to council on the when, where and how of hosting July fireworks.