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Chula Vista 4th Fest and my honest opinion on the event

Chula Vista 4th Fest event

Last night was the first time I have ever attended the Chula Vista 4th Fest event, which the city hosted at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete¬†Training Center. I’m a Chula Vista OG, so I remember the days of going to the J St. Marina to catch the fireworks show. Those were amazing, and the whole day was filled with live music, games, and even vendor booths. Since they canceled that back in 2007, it was; we would typically head downtown and catch the Big Bay Boom at the Embarcadero. This year we decided to give it a try and stay local.

I knew the city had been hosting this event at the training center for a few years now. What made me and my family skeptical about it was we only really heard a little feedback from it. I couldn’t even find any photos or videos from the event. One year, the city hired a team to fly drones over the show, and even then, you have yet to see the video from them. We were going in with open minds and hoping for a good performance.

Getting into the Chula Vista 4th Fest

One thing I did hear leading up to the Chula Vista 4th Fest event was the super limited parking at the training center. The gates opened at 7 PM, and you have been get in line early if you want to get a spot. We lived on the west side of Chula Vista and decided to head up at 6 PM to get in line. We arrived at 6:30, and the line to get in was already before Hunte Parkway, about a mile from the front gate. Others were posting on Twitter that the line reached all the way back to Olympic Parkway which is crazy.

It was smooth once the gates opened, and we started making our way in. I want to give a big shout-out to the parking attendants & Chula Vista Police for controlling it. They did a super job. I found a spot close to the front, which was a big plus.

The last time I was at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete¬†Training Center, it was called the Olympic Training Center. I knew they had plenty of open fields, so getting a spot wouldn’t be all that hard, well guess again. They only had the top section, and a little of the lower section opened up for seating. Why they didn’t open up more is beyond me. We were still pretty early, so I managed to find a good spot. However, if you got there later, finding a place on the grass was slim pickings.

The city did mention that they would have food trucks for the Chula Vista 4th Fest event. We decided to get food there and not bring it. That was a mistake. They only had four food trucks, and the lines to each of them were massive. I think there are still people in line to get their food right now. The taco truck had the longest line. There was also a Chick-Fil-A which was also long. Next year I hope they learn their lesson and get more food trucks.

Food at the Chula Vista 4th Fest event
I paid $20 for these tacos at the Chula Vista 4th Fest event

The fireworks show kicked off right at 9 PM, and it was great. I give them a big thumbs-up. The fireworks lasted about 18 minutes, and the crowd let off plenty of oh and ah’s during the performance. There was music playing from one of the local radio stations, but it was not in synch or anything. I think they shot them off at the track and field course, so it was right above us, which is nice.

As expected, getting out was a madhouse. Again, a big thank you to all the police and parking attendants for controlling the traffic. It took us some time to get out of there, but we made it back home.

The fireworks show at Chula Vista 4th Fest event were good
The fireworks show at Chula Vista 4th Fest event were good.

My conclusion and rating on the Chula Vista 4th Fest

If I were to give the Chula Vista 4th Fest event a star rating, I would give it a solid 3 stars out of 5. I’m taking off two stars, one for the traffic and the other for the small setup. This location is not built for hosting a 4th of July show. Let’s credit the city for putting it together; However, they need to move it. The fireworks will likely return to the J St. Marina once the big resort is built. That is just my guess. I can’t see Gaylord building a massive resort and not having fireworks on the 4th of July. That is what I’m hoping for, at least, fingers crossed.

So, did you go to the event? If you did, please let me know what you thought of it and if you will return next year. My wife has plans on going back downtown to watch the fireworks. If we were going to go back, I might go to Mountain Hawk Park and watch them from there.


I have lived in this great community for over 30 years. In that time I have seen so many changes both good and bad. My goal is to promote this city and all of the good that goes on here. There are so many local events, small businesses and community groups making this city even better. You can always find me at the events taking photos. This site is a passion project of mine and I want to use this platform to get the community engaged. Get out and enjoy Chula Vista and make sure to follow me on all the socials for more!