City settles on scaled-down fireworks show at Pomona College

Put a feather in your cap and call it macaroni! A scaled-down version of Claremont’s beloved fireworks show will once again be a part of the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration.

The city’s Independence Day Committee voted to modify the Pomona College fireworks show using what are called “close proximity” fireworks that will light up the stadium and require very little water.

“This year’s fireworks display will use more shells that explode closer to the ground to achieve a brilliant, rapid-fire display inside the stadium,” explained Human Services Director Anne Turner. “Because the shells are smaller, the fallout zone is very narrow and will be limited to the platform area from where they will be shot.”

Close proximity fireworks displays are used regularly at concert arenas and events that have a smaller display area. The fireworks will be shot from the nearby soccer field with an aerial viewing distance of 75 to 200 feet high.

“It’s going to be a beautiful, sparkly show but it’s going to be different,” Ms. Turner says. “People that usually enjoy the fireworks from their backyard are going to have to buy a ticket this year. These fireworks don’t have the wide expansion that we’re used to in recent years. It’s more of a vintage-type show.”

The gates at Strehle Track will open at 6:30 p.m. to accommodate visitors who want to picnic prior to the show. The Ravelers will take the stage at 6:45 p.m. and play until Claremont High School freshman Xavier Reynoso sings the National Anthem prior to the fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Ticket prices will remain the same as in years past—$8 pre-sale and $10 at the gate. Tickets may be purchased at the Alexander Hughes Community Center, Claremont Chamber of Commerce, The Claremont Club, Vons, Wolfe’s Market and Rio de Ojas beginning June 1. Children 3 and under are free.

Pre-sale tickets will also be available for purchase on July 4 at the festival at Memorial Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Following the Governor’s Emergency Drought Executive Order in April, the city began researching alternative fireworks display options to reduce water and fire risk. The football field at Claremont High School was considered a viable option at one point but was later shut down by the Claremont Unified School District citing concerns of fire risk.

Claremont residents have the Independence Day Committee and city staff to thank for coming up with an alternative that promises to put a smile on Yankee Doodle’s face.

“We’re grateful to the creativity of Independence Day Committee,” says Ms. Turner.

“We’re thrilled with the outcome.”

For more information on the Fourth of July Fireworks Show, visit

 –Angela Bailey


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