Tourists provide business boost in San Francisco this 4th of July

Fourth of July celebrations are underway throughout the Bay Area. Firework fans started showing up in San Francisco's Aquatic Park earlier today, ready to stake out their spot for the big show and enjoy the holiday.

San Francisco's waterfront was awash with red white and blue to celebrate to Fourth of July. Visitors say they're seeing the sights, and spending their tourist dollars in the city. 

"Just went over to Alcatraz this morning went to Pier 39 tried some of the sourdough," said Sean Blumenhein from Colorado Springs, Colorado. "So, that's the plan for the day and see some fireworks tonight hopefully."

Even visitors from outside the country say they wanted to see all that San Francisco has to offer this Fourth of July. "I've been here before and I loved it, so I came back," said Judy Nguyen. "But, yeah, we're from the Toronto area, Canada. I wanted to see the sea lions, but there was none today."

Hotels say they've seen a boost in bookings, and visitors packed into Pier 39.

Michael Rodriguez opened Taco Cantina earlier this year. His restaurant has prime viewing space for fireworks shows. He says the holiday weekend has been a welcome bonus to his business. 

"A lot of tourists, a lot of people coming into town for the long weekend," said Rodriguez." Every time there's a long weekend we get a long flow of people coming in, Saturday, Sunday, Monday as well."

Firework fans started staking out their spots at Aquatic Park early; enjoying the day in anticipation of the big show after nightfall.

Firefighters say even in a dense urban setting like San Francisco illegal fireworks still pose a risk, and they say the routinely respond to people injured by those fireworks. Best advice, leave the shows to the professionals. 

"I've seen in my career somebody else's house get burned down," said Captain Jonathan Baxter from San Francisco's Fire Department. "Someone who didn't want to hear consumer fireworks, didn't want to see consumer fireworks. These are the things we need to think about."

Remember the viewing areas near Fisherman's Wharf and Aquatic Park will be busy throughout the evening, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is recommending people coming into the city to use public transit.