An annual patriotic event is happening at the Queen Mary, leading up to a firework show that shines bright for miles.
It's the All-American 4th of July, and the red, white and blue celebration is taking off this Thursday at 3 p.m.
"When you're here, you can explore the whole ship because we're going to have entertainment pretty much everywhere," Amy Berner, director of entertainment events, said. "We have games for the young ones and music and of course, fireworks."
The event begins with free movement aboard the Queen. Guests are permitted to explore just about every space on the ship, Berner said, so if the guests are hungry, they can head straight for the food, or if the youngsters want to play, there's carnival games, face painting and lawn games on the deck.
Food and drinks are not included in the ticket price, so guests should plan accordingly. Food options include a barbecue buffet in the Grand Salon, featuring live music and dancing.
"The buffet was a huge hit last year, and also was a lot smaller," Berner said. "This year, the buffet will span the entire Grand Salon, so we're have plenty more Fourth of July favorites."
Additionally, there will be a "best dressed" competition with awards given to the guests wearing the most patriotic garb. Prizes include a one night stay aboard the Queen, complimentary brunch and more. All participants must register at the Promenade Deck.
But all of the evening festivities are leading up to a royal rendezvous scheduled for 8:50 p.m. The Queen Elizabeth will be docking in Long Beach, and the two ships will greet each other, signaling the start of the fireworks.
"Having the Queen Elizabeth here to tip her hat to her sister is a lovely moment," Berner said. "The last time the Queen Elizabeth stopped in Long Beach was in 2015, and before that in 2013."
The fireworks show will be 15 minutes long, and then guests will have enough time to grab another drink or two before the festivities end at 10 p.m.
Tickets starts at $49 for adults and $29 for children 11 and younger. VIP tickets start at $119 and includes access to all VIP areas, including premium firework seating. VIP lounges include the Verandah Grill and Britannia Salon and Deck. Youngster 3 and younger are free.
On-site parking is available for $30 per vehicle.
The Queen Mary's All-American 4th of July is happening from 3 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, at 1126 Queens Hwy.
For more information, go to www.queenmary.com.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.