The History of LUMINOSITY

Back in 1980 at the age 24, I became president of the Ocean Beach Merchants Association (later the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association). At that time there were no Fourth of July fireworks off of the Ocean Beach Fishing Pier because a lack of sponsorship.

I proposed to the Association’s Board of Directors that we sponsor the fireworks. Not only was this a great way to promote businesses and the community, it was also a way to bring together locals to work for a common goal.

Through grassroots efforts we raised $5,000 to fund the first Ocean Beach Fireworks Festival. A few years after the Street Fair and the Chili Cook-off were added.

In 2019, due to structural damage to the pier, fireworks were no longer an option in Ocean Beach. Plus there was growing pressure to end the fireworks because of environmental issues as well as concern for the welfare of pets and those who suffered from PTSD.

In 2019, I wrote an article suggesting as a community we explore alternatives to replace the fireworks with some type of light show.

In July 2022, I put the plan in motion by proposing LUMINOSITY, a light show to once again
illuminate Ocean Beach.

The response from the community was overwhelmingly positive on social media and in the local press. Co-Chair Tricia Gaut joined the effort and planning began. In September and October a series of community meetings were held.

In October, a steering committee was formed made up of community leaders and experts in their fields. LUMINOSITY then joined with Peninsula Alliance, a 501(c) (3) non-profit who will provide access to donation platforms and banking and accounting services.

In November, with a drone show being the main element to replace the Fourth of July fireworks, requests for bids were sent out to drone operators throughout the world.

In December the LUMINOSITY Steering Committee will sponsor an entry into the Ocean Beach Holiday Parade and will hold its first fundraising event with an After Parade Party.

Beginning in January committees will began meeting. Sponsorship packages will be sent out and further fundraising efforts will begin. The Steering Committee will start Community Outreach with organizations throughout the Peninsula. Requests for proposals will be sent to artists for submissions for art installations.

We are on our way!

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Mike James