Located south of the bustling centers of San Francisco and San Jose, Santa Cruz County is a relaxed seaside community that offers its residents an exceptional quality of life. On any given day in the summer, residents and visitors have the option of swimming in saltwater waves, hiking through incredible redwood forests, or exploring the quaint communities that line the shores of the Pacific. On the 4th of July, each of these communities has their own unique unique traditions. This year, come celebrate the 4th of July in Santa Cruz County. Below, you'll find more information about festivities in a few key communities in the area.
The picturesque community of Aptos is located at the junction of the redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean. Aptos is known for having the world's shortest 4th of July Parade. The parade route measures only two city blocks, a total distance of 0.6 miles. The parade winds its way down Soquel Drive past Aptos Village Park and the main retail corridor in town. Despite the shortness of the route, the parade boasts enough floats, music, balloons, entertainers, and pageantry to last two hours between 10:00 AM and noon. After the parade concludes, attendees can take a stroll across the street to Aptos Village Park where the Party in the Park will be full of food, vendors, live music, and activities for patrons young and old.
Santa Cruz is the home of students who attend the University of California Santa Cruz, local business owners who've invested in this small town's thriving community, and families and individuals who love the incredible natural beauty and recreation opportunities of living along the coast.
On Independence Day, residents of this community can take a step back in time at the Old-Fashioned Independence Day event located at Wilder Ranch. The state park encourages attendees to dress up like they're from the early 1900s. The celebration includes a parade at noon full of folks in historical garb tooting noisemakers and instruments from their seats in decorated wagons. Other activities include flag-raising ceremonies, historic speeches, and live demonstrations. So, if you'll be in Santa Cruz this July 4th, head down to Wilder Ranch, located off of Highway 1 and let the big-band music wash over you as you take in a uniquely historic experience. The event has plenty of activities to offer children as well.
For 4th of July fireworks in Santa Cruz County, you'll need to head five miles inland to the town of Scotts Valley. There, you'll find the only fireworks show in the county. Those hoping to see the show can gather at Skypark Park along Kings Village Road. Fireworks start after dusk and continue until approximately 9:45 PM. Throughout the day, activities include:
- Two live bands
- Petting zoo
In the southern end of Santa Cruz County, you'll find the rapidly-expanding town of Watsonville where handsome Victorian houses and horse-friendly properties can be found. This community celebrates the 4th of July with a Hometown Parade. The event features every kind of automobile from cars new and old, to tractors, to fire engines, and more. Attendees will also find equestrian units, the Watsonville Band, and local non-profits will be in attendance. Each year the parade begins at St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
For more information about the vibrant communities of Santa Cruz County, connect with Lauren Spencer. As a long-time resident and experienced Santa Cruz real estate agent, she can answer any questions you may have about moving to the area.