Fireworks Off Queen

Fourth of July fireworks off the stern of the Queen Mary are a Long Beach tradition.

The Fourth of July is one of Long Beach's biggest and best parties, with action all over town. Here's what scheduled for today, Thursday.

The Rock the Fourth Marathon/Half/15K/10K/5K starts as early as 5 a.m. at Marina Vista Park, 5200 E. Eliot St. Entry fees start at $25. Go to www.active.com and search Rock the 4th.

Everyone is invited to a Pancake Breakfast from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at the Shoreline Yacht Club, 386 Shoreline Dr. All-you-eat pancakes, sausage, fruit and beverage is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and younger. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated dinghies in the dinghy parade starting at 2 p.m.

The Los Altos Neighborhood Whaley Park Fourth of July Bike, Stroller and Pet Parade starts at 9 a.m. at San Anseline Avenue and E. Los Santos Drive.

The Great American Fourth of July Kids' Bike Parade starts at 10 a.m. on the beach at Granada Avenue. It's preceded by a kids' patriotic speech contest at 9:40 a.m. and a kids' patriotic costume contest at 9:50 a.m. Those walking or riding in the parade should register at www.justinrudd.com.

Festivities at the Queen Mary begin at 3 p.m. and include the traditional fireworks display after dark and a very special visit from the Cunard Line's ship Queen Elizabeth, which will greet the Queen Mary in a "Royal Rendezvous" before the fireworks show. There will be several locations around the ship offering live music, a Kids Zone, and an air show with WW II-era Marine Corps T-6 Texan airplanes. Tickets start at $29 online ($39 day-of). VIP passes and cabana packages are all available. Go to www.queenmary.com/events/july-fourth/.

The Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos party begins at 4 p.m. with fireworks scheduled at 9 p.m. The King Salmon Band will perform along with the 40th Infantry Division Band, there will be a family fun area and much more. Admission is free. Enter through the Lexington or Orangewood Gates.

A Fourth of July celebration supporting the Long Beach K-9 Officers Association runs from 4 to 7 p.m. at 5931 E. Fairbrook St. It features free food and beverages and live entertainment from The Broughams and Jon Jeffries. Donations will be accepted support of active and retired K-9 officers.

Fuego at the Hotel Maya offers front row viewing for the fireworks, a buffet from 6 to 9 p.m. and live music from Mike Vitale and The Chemicals. The buffet includes ribs, Kielbasa sausages, beef sliders, watermelon salad, grilled vegetables and much more. It's $79 for adults, and $33 for ages 12 and younger. Reservations are suggested for the buffet. Call 562-481-3910 or go to www.facebook.com/fuegolongbeach. Hotel Maya's seaside pool and bar will be open from 9 a.m to 9 p.m. The Fuego at Hotel Maya is at 700 Queensway Dr.

The Red, White and Boom Party runs from 7 to 11 p.m. at The Reef, 880 S. Harbor Scenic Dr. Featuring an excellent view of the fireworks, they'll serve a buffet including a Chef grilling sausages, sliders, hot dogs, barbecue ribs and chicken, potato salad and more. The price is $52 for adults and $25 for children. For reservations, call 562-435-8013.

Kurt comes to the Gazettes with 30 years experience in broadcasting and journalism. He has produced and/or directed hundreds of television programs, including news, sports, entertainment, election coverage, town meetings and telethons.

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