We're just one month away from the Independence Day holiday and this year, the annual fireworks show in Pismo Beach is a go.
It's one of the busiest weekends of the year for the City of Pismo Beach. The 4th of July holiday typically draws in crowds of 80,000 to 100,000 people.
"We surfers like to look back and see how little sand we can see sometimes and a couple of years ago, we had so much that we couldn't see too much sand," said Jonny Ziegler of Pismo Beach.
In 2020, the fireworks show was canceled for the first time in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Not having it last year was pretty detrimental to us," said Christine Lamprecht, owner of Heart's Desire Soap Company.
Lamprecht says her store was hit hard.
"We had at least half as many people as we normally have," she said.
Usually, the patriotic weekend generates about $1.5 million for the local service industry including restaurants, hotels, and gas stations, according to the city.
"We're hoping this year it'll boost the economy and everyone will want to come back," Lamprecht said.
A local historian says the annual fireworks show has been lighting up the sky since 1942.
"The fireworks display will be similar to years past," said Jorge Garcia, City of Pismo Beach Management Services Director. "It'll be about 25 minutes in duration."
If you'd like to watch the show from the pier, tickets are on sale now for Pismo Beach residents. They will then go on sale to the general public on June 15. The cost is $75 and includes dinner.
"We're going from a normal seating area on the pier of about 600 and we're taking that down to about 200 and that's to make sure we're still being conscious, still maintaining social distancing," Garcia said.
It's a long-standing star-spangled tradition that many are looking forward to seeing return.
"After a year like last year, a lot of people are ready to spread their wings and every year we seem to have a little cloud of fog over us but our fingers crossed and hopefully, we get a good one for the City of Pismo to give everybody," Ziegler said.
The cost of the fireworks show is $28,000 and it's paid for through sales tax and tourism dollars.
The fireworks shows in Cayucos and Cambria are also canceled this year.
Overall, Independence Day is a popular day for hotel guests to stay on the Central Coast. According to Visit SLO CAL, on the 4th of July in 2019, San Luis Obispo County hotels were at 97% occupancy. In Pismo Beach alone, hotels were also at 97% occupancy. The days leading up to the holiday, which landed on a Thursday, and a couple of days after that had over 82% occupancy for the city.
Garcia says the city has mostly been getting the word out to local residents about the fireworks show via the Nextdoor app. When tickets are made available to the general public, they'll be posted for sale on the Pismo Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau website.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Cambria would be holding a fireworks celebration this July 4th.