Fireworks are legal to sell in the City of Watsonville

  • Fireworks possession and use are prohibited in unincorporated Santa Cruz County.
  • In Watsonville and Capitola city limits, safe and sane fireworks are allowed on private property.
  • No one younger than 18 can discharge fireworks in Watsonville.
  • Fireworks should be discharged on asphalt or concrete to reduce fire risks.
  • Safe and sane fireworks are marked as such or include a State Fire Marshal logo.
  • Set off one at a time.
  • Watch children closely where fireworks are present.


Scotts Valley firework display is popular.There are firework shows in Santa Cruz County.

  • The Beach Boardwalk has a fireworks show in June to celebrate the Boardwalk's birthday.
  • Scotts Valley have a fireworks display around the 4th of July holiday.

  • Fireworks at Seacliff State Beach in October is  sponsored by the Monte Foundation to raise money for schools.

Fireworks are illegal in most of Santa Cruz County. In Watsonville and Capitola, fireworks are allowed on private property. Watsonville is the only place in the county where it is legal to sell fireworks.

There has not been a fireworks display at the beach areas during the 4th of July since the 1970's. Every year, the rumor won't die. Every July the police receive calls, asking when the fireworks will be shown at the beach.

The 4th of July holiday brings visitors to the beaches in Santa Cruz. To prepare, many roads are blocked, extra medical crews will be ready for emergencies. Extra rangers and police will be on hand to take way alcohol and fireworks from beach goers. Fire crews are also on the alert. According to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, from 2007 to 2011, there were 38 incidents of fireworks in Santa Cruz County that were serious enough to call the fire department. There have been fires started in July due to personal fireworks. Possibly the largest firework ignited fire was along Airport Boulevard in Watsonville in 2010.

On July 4, 2014 illegal fireworks set fire to a tree, a power pole and three cars. This caused a power outage in parts of Santa Cruz, and an evacuation of some  families near the fire.

Fireworks are not allowed on public beaches. Police and firefighters  in Santa Cruz have confiscated hundreds of pounds of fireworks over the years. For many pet owners, the 4th of July holiday is the time when many animals get frightened. The loud noise and the smell of smoke scares any animal. It is recommended that pet-owners try to keep the animals inside and to be sure the pets have tags. Many pets run from the home during the 4th of July holiday.

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