Orange County

Huntington and Newport Join List of OC Beaches Closing for Fourth of July

The state announced parking lots at state beaches will be closed for the holiday weekend.

Apu GOMES/Getty Images

Newport Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach made the decision Wednesday to shut down their beaches for the Fourth of July holiday, joining Laguna Beach and all beaches in Los Angeles County.

Whether the beaches are shut down for the whole weekend is still on the table.

Hetty Chang reported for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

Also, fireworks won’t light up the night sky over Surf City USA, Huntington Beach's nickname, for the first time .

The city that usually welcomes more than half a million visitors on July 4 is closing its beaches. This is no usual year.

"Of course, it’s always a difficult decision because our beaches are so important to Californians," said Lyn Semeta, Huntington Beach's mayor. "At the same time, with COVID being on the rise, we have to think about public safety."

Stone Grandison, a surfer, said, "I love surfing. I love people out here, just feeling the water and stuff, but I think its important that we keep everybody safe and just do the right thing."

The surfing can wait, the city decided, along with with the fireworks show.

"We’re still going to have a blast," said Stephanie Prado, a visitor from Texas.

The Prado family was disappointed but doesn’t mind changing plans. 

Prado said she is planning to have a cookout with her family, dance and just have a great time.

Huntington Beach's decision continues a wave of closures, along with the state announcing parking lots at state beaches will be closed for the holiday weekend. Beaches in Laguna are closed, and Newport Beach voted to close its coastline after two lifeguards tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-three others are under quarantine. 

"I think should be closed, don't want everyone exposed to it," Ally Leon, an Orange resident, said. "That would be bad."

Back in Huntington Beach, however, One Fourth of July tradition will continue.

"We’ve had the parade since 1904," said Jill Hardy, Huntington Beach's mayor protem. "We did not want to give up our record...this time, we are bringing the parade to the neighborhoods, rather than having everyone gather on Main Street."

Safe and sane fireworks are allowed in Huntington Beach, but professional fireworks in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point are canceled. 

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