SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Hundreds of thousands lined up around the San Diego Bay to take in the largest 4th of July fireworks show on the West Coast.
The long holiday weekend ended with a bang as the 17th annual Big Bay Boom fireworks extravaganza dazzled and delighted the huge crowds.
Four barges located throughout the bay came to life and lit up the night sky with spectacular pyrotechnics set to patriotic music.
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Viewers are encouraged to arrive early and take public transportation.
The Metropolitan Transit System will begin running Green Line trolleys every 7 1/2 minutes from Qualcomm Stadium beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Blue and Orange Lines will run every 15 minutes.
Enhanced service will continue after the show. Green Line trolleys will depart every few minutes toward Qualcomm Stadium and every 15 minutes toward Santee. The last train to Santee will leave the 12th and Imperial Station shortly after midnight.
The final Blue Line train to San Ysidro will leave America Plaza at 11:48 p.m. The last Orange Line trolley to El Cajon will leave America Plaza at 10:51 p.m.
The North County Transit District will delay its final eastbound Sprinter train from Oceanside for an hour, to about 12:30 p.m., to accommodate passengers leaving San Diego on the last Coaster run.
Boaters are asked to arrive at their viewing locations before dark, observe 300-yard safety zones around the barges where the fireworks are launched, use proper signals and navigation lights, keep a lookout for other boats and carry a life jacket for each passenger.
Port officials also reminded mariners that because of construction, only one lane of the Shelter Island boat launch is open, so delays can be expected. Boaters were asked to consider other locations.
Police have issued a traffic advisory for the Big Bay Boom fireworks show.
Traffic is expected to be heaviest between 4 and 11 p.m. for the event, being held at the 155-acre Elite Athletic Training Facility at 2800 Olympic Pkwy.
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Heavy traffic is expected on Olympic Parkway well before the fireworks begin, with people seeking out preferred viewing areas. Visitors should also expect heavy traffic in the Mountain Hawk Park area, where families spend the day picnicking prior to the fireworks display.
The Chula Vista Police Department will have teams of officers assigned to the area for the pyrotechnics event.
Those in or near the fireworks area are being urged by the CVPD to use alternate routes to access portions of Chula Vista impacted most by holiday traffic.
Bayfront festivities will include the 9 p.m. Big Bay Boom fireworks show, which will increase traffic to Southbound Harbor Island Drive, affecting eastbound access to Harbor Drive and creating traffic congestion in surrounding areas.
Eastbound access to Harbor Drive will be blocked from the Terminal 1 roadway from approximately 9:15 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Any traffic exiting from Terminal 1 going eastbound on Harbor Drive will need to first turn right (west) onto Harbor Drive from Terminal Roadway, proceed to the west end of Terminal 1, then make a U-turn to access eastbound Harbor Drive.
All courtesy, commercial and private vehicles will be unable to access Harbor Island, so passengers with reservations at Harbor Island hotels will need to wait until it is re-opened, or walk across Harbor Drive to Harbor Island.
Residents are also warned to take steps to ensure the safety of their pets, as animals are often spooked by loud noises and visuals associated with fireworks and can become injured or lost.
Law enforcement will maintain a strong presence along the bayfront, officials said.
Attendees are encouraged to report suspicious activity to a uniformed officer, call 911 or contact the Harbor Police Department at (619) 686-6272.