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Fortuna Fireworks Festival is Sunday July, 3rd 2016

Celebrate Independence Day a little early in Friendly Fortuna on Sunday July 3rd from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm. An evening full of low cost Family Fun is scheduled to take place at this year’s eighth annual Fortuna Fireworks Festival. The festival includes a BBQ, Music, Fireworks, Vendors, an apple pie eating contest and tons of kid’s activities.


Fortuna invites the public to come out and celebrate Independence Day without the usual festival price tag. The festival is free to attend. For kids wanting to enjoy the entertainment they must be accompanied by an adult and have a parent or guardian sign a liability waiver in exchange for a $5 wristband that allows unlimited activities on two huge fields from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

Wrist band activities will include 11 bounce houses; a rock climbing wall, Shriners clowns and balloon art, Nature Joe will have a reptile petting zoo with all things creepy & crawly for those more adventurous. We will also have old fashion potato sack races, tug of war and a kid’s ice cream eating contest. There will be a patriotic obstacle course as well as some inflatable body boppers. The Fortuna Fire Department will be hosting their popular kids Firemen style challenges on the grass and doing rides around the park on their mini firetruck. For an additional charge, you can get 3 balls for $1 and have a go at the dunk tank with the Fortuna High Huskies Football taking a dunk for the team. Tah-Dah productions will be there spinning tunes throughout the event, then after dark falls it’s time for a light show that kicks off the biggest out door dance party on the North Coast to entertain the crowd before the fireworks.

The Annual apple pie eating contest will start at 7 pm in front of the main stage. Fortuna businesses, service clubs and community groups will have an opportunity to sign up a representative to go head to head for the title and trophy.  The California Conservation Corps took it last year and will be back to defend their title.

There will be vendors as well as various youth groups selling light up novelties as well as sweet treats like cotton candy, candy apples, fresh made mini donuts, shaved ice, churro’s and popcorn. Hot chocolate, coffee, chips, candy and other snacks will also be available through the end of the Fireworks show for purchase at the Babe Ruth Snack Shack.

A Family BBQ from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm will be put on by the Native Sons of the Golden West. A beer booth serving an all Fortuna Eel River Brewery selection will also be on tap with all proceeds going towards the cost of the event. This year’s menu will include tender seasoned Tri-Tip or barbecued chicken plates with potato salad, watermelon, corn on the cob and a dinner roll and will be available for $10 each. Kids can enjoy a hot dog plate with chips and watermelon for $5. Make your dinner plans now and help support the event.

Fireworks will start at dark. Parking is available on Rohnerville Road just past Newburg Park in the McLean Field. The fireworks festival is requesting a $5 donation to help with the cost of the fireworks, but no one will be turned away if they choose not to donate. Because of the festivities, there will be no general parking in the Newburg Parking lot. Handicap parking is available in both the McLean lot as well as along the fence line behind EPT.

Everyone is encouraged to bring your own chairs or blanket, or sit in the bleachers. Feel free to bring your own legal fireworks, but for everyone’s safety, they must be lit on the pavement, behind the stage in the main parking lot. Please no lighting them in any grass areas due to the large volume of small children. We ask all those who attend the event to please use the provided garbage cans and recycling receptacles and to help by cleaning up any trash they bring to keep the park beautiful. As pets are often alarmed by the noise of fireworks, no dogs are allowed at the event.


The Fortuna Fireworks Festival is only made possible by the generous business community through sponsorships allowing the kids activities to stay incredibly affordable, to pay for the fireworks and all the other costs associated with putting on the event. The all-volunteer organizers mission is to provide the community with a family friendly, affordable event that celebrates our nations independence.

Bear River Casino Hotel has stepped up this year as a major sponsor by donating $10,000 towards increasing the size of the events normal fireworks display. With their generosity and the clear sky in Fortuna, the display will be the most spectacular ever in the events eight-year history. John McGinnis, Bear River Casino Hotel, General Manager said “We originated our fireworks show 8 years ago in the Friendly City of Fortuna and for the past 6 years we have held our amazing display at the County Fairgrounds. We appreciate the great working relationship with everyone in the town of Ferndale and hope many families of Humboldt had a chance to witness and enjoy the show.  This year we have decided it was time to move it back to where it all started. We wanted to help make the Fortuna Fireworks Festival, the folks of Fortuna have created and worked so hard on over these past 8 years, be the best it has ever been. So please join us in the Friendly City as we light up the Eel River Valley skies and celebrate our Countries Independence Day. “We are very excited that Bear River has chosen to help make our fireworks show in Fortuna that much more amazing” says event coordinator Tina Taylor. “The show this year will run just shy of a half hour and compliment the rest of the festival that the Fortuna business community has continued to support over the years.” But even with the addition of the increased firework display, the event comes with a hefty price tag. Donations are still needed to cover the cost of the event. If you are interested in donating please check out our Facebook Page for sponsorship information or simply make checks payable to FFF and mail to PO Box 491 Fortuna, CA 95540. All businesses donating $250 or more can drop off a banner at Wendt Construction that will be placed on the Newburg Park fence as a sponsor the week before the event.

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