It's the Fourth of July, most of us aren't working, and now we're scratching our heads on the best way to say "Happy Birthday America." We've compiled a list of parades, activities and even some firework for you to see in the Bay Area. Be safe and have fun!
In Alameda, the day begins with the Ralph Appezzato Charity 5k run and walk at 9:45 a.m. at 1417 Park St, which follows the route of the city's famous parade that begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Park Street. The parade runs 3.3-miles, with 170 floats and 2,500 participants. Watch patriotic floats, horses, dogs, dancers, classic cars, Old West wagons, a variety of bands and more. After the parade, head over to Rittler Park, Otis Drive and Grand Street from 12-4 p.m., for a day of old fashioned family fun that includes music, games, jump houses, temporary tattoos and all-American favorites like hot dogs, apple pie and popcorn. An all-inclusive band is $10 for everyone ages five and older.
USS Hornet Museum Independence Day. Live music on the flight deck, interactive games for all ages, prizes and a bounce house for kids. Tours of the famous aircraft carrier will be available throughout the day. Fireworks from other Bay Area events can be viewed on deck. 1-9 p.m., 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3, Alameda. Tickets are $10-$20, 510-521-8448 or www.uss-hornet.org.
Food, entertainment, games, art and crafts, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Pancake breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m., parade is at 9, Aptos Village Park, State Park Drive and Soquel Drive. Free. No fireworks.www.aptoschamber.com.
Family-friendly celebration with live music, car show, food and kids zone starts 5 p.m.; parade is 7 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m.; Second Street, downtown Antioch; $4 donation; www.antiochjuly4th.com.
Fireworks at 9 p.m. at the foot of First Street. www.beniciamainstreet.org.
The Berkeley Marina, 201 University Ave., is putting on a big celebration. It's free of charge and free of alcohol. Get ready for a full day of music, entertainment, games, food and fun, topped off with fireworks after the sky grows dark from 12-10 p.m. Adventure Playground will be open for childhood exploring, and live music will fill the air on the main stage, with groups including Troupe Tangiers and the Allman Step Brothers Band, among others. A second stage in Shorebird Park will show jugglers, magicians and martial arts demonstrations.
Over at Cesar Chavez Park, folks can test their skills with jousting, the slackline stunt show, climbing wall, bungee trampoline and free dragon boat rowing. Food booths will be plentiful, as will arts and crafts activities.Save some energy for the showstopping fireworks display to be set off from the end of Berkeley Pier right before your eyes.
Parade begins 11 a.m., followed by live music and family-friendly amusements, including a petting zoo and fire truck slide and more. The parade begins at northeast end of Streets of Brentwood shopping center, 2565 Sand Creek Road; www.shopstreetsofbrentwood.com.
Fourth of July Jubilee and Parade. The event, which runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Todos Santos Plaza, includes a parade, music, a fair and a 5K walk and run. On July 2-4, there will be fireworks and the presentation of the popular Singing Flag at Dave Brubeck Park, 4363 Concord Blvd., starting at 9:20 p.m. each night. www.concordjuly4th.com.
A pancake breakfast is followed by a flag-raising event, a children's parade and music from the Peelers, 7 a.m. to noon, Quinlan Community Center and Memorial Park. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be free swimming, a barbecue and music from the Groove Kings at Blackberry Farm. www.cupertino.org.
Fourth of July Parade. Things get under way at 9 a.m. at Hartz and Railroad avenues. Bands, gymnasts, marching groups, horses and antique cars. www.kiwanis-srv.org.
Music, food and beverages, a parade, dog show, pancake breakfast and arts and crafts. 8 a.m.-9:45 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. Leo J. Ryan Park, Shell Boulevard and East Hillsdale Boulevard. www.fostercity.org.
At Ardenwood Historic Park, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. America's birthday celebration steps back to 1900 with patriotic music played by a brass band and fiddle music in the farmyard. Games, contests and races will keep the kid in all of us busy. Test your strength with the bucket brigade and tug-of-war while brave souls test their skills at nail driving, egg toss and watermelon seed spitting. Tickets are free for those under the age of four, $5 for ages four through 17, $6 for seniors and $8 for adults.
The city of Fremont is hosting a parade to commemorate the nation's birthday. Thousands of people will watch the star spangled excitement of creative floats, specialty units, marching musical units and guest celebrities! This patriotic parade will start at 10 a.m. sharp at State Street and Capitol Avenue and is expected to take just under two hours to pass spectators along a one-mile route in Fremont's developing Downtown District featuring the Centerville District on Beacon Avenue.
Fireworks will start about 9:30 p.m. at Gilroy High School, 750 W. 10th St. 408-846-0460.
Food, music, entertainment. 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Shoup Park, 400 University Ave.
The City of Milpitas will celebrate the Fourth of July with its annual pool party, concert and fireworks show Wednesday. All events will be at the Milpitas Sports Center Complex and are open to the public.
The "Waving the Red, White and Blue" pool party will cost $2 admission. From 1 to 4 p.m., participants can listen to music, play games and more. A hot dog lunch will be available to benefit Milpitas youth theater programs, sponsored by the Milpitas Police Officers Association. Tickets will be available at the sports center on the day of the event and are on sales now. Admission to the pool will be dictated by the maximum people allowed in at any one time.
The concert and "Red, White and Boom" fireworks show will cost $3 admission (ages 2 and up). From 7 to 10 p.m., residents can enjoy a full evening starting with a concert by The Houserockers followed by a fireworks show. Gates will open at 6 p.m. for the concert and fireworks.
Tickets are available for early purchase at the Milpitas Community Center and Milpitas Sports Center.On July 4, the fireworks tickets will be sold at the Cardoza Park side entrance and the main gate of the sports center starting at 5:30 p.m.
The event begins at 8 a.m. with 5K walk/run at P.A. Walsh School, followed by a parade. A car show will immediately follow the parade. Entertainment and fireworks viewing will be located at Morgan Hill Community Park. Music begins at 6 p.m., fireworks display starts at dark.www.mhfreedomfest.com.
Works by John Williams, Elgar, Frank Wildhorn, Bill Conti, Bach, Randy Newman, Richard Adler and more. 8 p.m. Wed. $24-$35. Shoreline Amphitheatre, One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. (415) 421-8497. www.livenation.com.
Jack London Square. Kids activities, live music, festival food and other entertainment; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jack London Square, Oakland. www.jacklondonsquare.com.
Oakland A's Fireworks Night. On July 3, the A's take on the Boston Red Sox in a 7:05 p.m. game with fireworks at the game's conclusion. Tickets are $10-$200, http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com.
Pardee Home Museum. Museum hosts 1912-themed patriotic picnic with live piano music, picnic food, badminton and croquet and other amusements. Noon-4 p.m., 672 11th Street, Oakland; $5-$15; 510-444-2187, www.pardeehome.org.
Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off. The 31st annual festival takes place at Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive, with live music, children's activities, food vendors, drinks and a chili tasting. Noon to 5 p.m.www.cityofpaloalto.org.
Alameda County Fair. Entertainment, contests and food are on tap at annual fair. On July 4, the entertainment is the annual blues festival. Fireworks on June 29 and July 6. Fair runs through July 8. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. $6-$10, $10 parking. 925-426-7600, www.alamedacountyfair.com.
Annual parade of Westies and Scotties, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., follows Highland Avenue from Park Way to Piedmont Park and a community picnic with live music.
Arts and crafts, food and beverages, kids' activities, carnival, 9 a.m., Broadway and Hamilton streets. Parade begins at 10 a.m. at Marshall and Winslow streets. Fireworks will begin about 9:15 p.m. www.parade.org.
Richmond's Craneway Pavilion Independence Day. On July 3, there will be music from the Oakland East Bay Symphony, food and drink and fireworks at Crane Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way S. Things get under way at 6:30 p.m., with the Symphony performing at 8. www.craneway.com/Events.
The Rose, White and Blue Parade Festival is a revival of the historic Rose Carnival of 1896. An old-fashioned parade at 10 a.m. that winds through the Rose Garden neighborhood. A picnic and music to follow on The Alameda from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. www.rosewhiteblueparade.com
Great America's Independence Week Fireworks. One of the largest displays in the Bay Area is set for June 30 and July 1 at 9:30 p.m. There will be no fireworks July 4. Great America, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. Park admission, $36.99-$46.99; www.cagreatamerica.com.
Fourth of July Celebration at Pier 39 from 2-11 p.m. At 2 p.m. "Mobility," The Air Force Band, takes the stage, 6 p.m. Dance to your favorite 80s band, "Tainted Love," at 9:30 p.m. Look to the sky as The City of San Francisco presents a spectacular fireworks display over San Francisco Bay, followed by a mix of the hottest tracks by DJ Scotty Fox and at 10 p.m. enjoy post-fireworks savings at participating merchants.
Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Treasure Hunt at Golden Gate Bridge at 5 a.m. for everyone of all ages. As part of the 75th Anniversary celebration, Mastermind Treasure Hunts brings you a free fact-finding treasure hunt that explores the history of the making of the bridge from one side to the other. This self-guided scavenger hunt is designed to be played at any time you are visiting the Golden Gate Bridge. Visit mastermindhunts.com to download the Free PDF.
Fourth of July Concert, "Golden Gate Park Band" at Music Concourse Band Shell from 1-3 p.m. The Golden Gate Park Band, under the direction of Michael L. Wirgler will present a concert in Golden Gate Park. Entrance to the concert is at Ninth Ave. and Lincoln Way. Musical fireworks in the afternoon. Special emphasis on the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
There are also many fireworks cruises leaving from Piers 3, and 43 1/2
Marin County Fair. Music, food, animals, rides. Additionally, there will be fireworks each night. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. June 30-July 4. Fairgrounds, Civic Center Drive (off Highway 101), San Rafael. Advance tickets: $14-$16; those 4 and younger get in free. 415-499-6800, www.marinfair.org.
Event will include music from Pride & Joy and a tribute to America's Armed Forces. No fireworks. 4-7:30 p.m., San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd. www.sanramon.ca.gov.
Saratoga's Independence Day celebration will take place 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Kevin Moran Parik, 12415 Scully Ave. There will be speeches from new U.S. citizens, patriotic songs, Operation: Care and Comfort to show support for troops. Although there won't be any fireworks, there will be plenty of entertainment.The McCartysville Volunteer Band, which includes musicians who play woodwinds, brass and percussion, will perform patriotic tunes. Activities include a color guard, singing, American historical characters, the ringing of a replica Liberty Bell and a family parade. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in red, white and blue and decorate bicycles, scooters and pets in the patriotic colors. There will also be historic figures dressed in period clothing walking around. Guests will be able to ask them questions and learn a little about the nation's history.