[Editor's Note: For our extensive list of dozens of events taking place around the Bay Area, click here]
The Fourth of July has always been accompanied by flashy fireworks, barbeques and parades. While this year’s Independence Day falls on a Tuesday, families still have a plethora of events they can attend. Here are some of the top celebrations to attend in the Bay Area this year:
• 4th of July at the Berkeley Marina: Berkeley’s Fourth of July party is an all-day affair. Beginning at noon, attendees will be able to enjoy live music, photo booths and free boat rides from the city’s canoe racing club. There will also be festivities for children with an Adventure Playground, zip line, and petting zoo. A spectacle of fireworks will wrap up the day at 9:35 p.m. by the Berkeley Pier.
• 4th of July Backyard BBQ: If the most exciting part of this American holiday for you is the food, head over to the Backyard BBQ at Jack London Square in Oakland. This is a free event filled with the best barbeque. Last year, over 10,000 turned up for the party and were able to enjoy local vendors and beer gardens. The event runs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., leaving plenty of time to find fireworks for the night.
• Red, White and Blues Festival: The Alameda County Fair will be hosting the annual Red, White and Blues festival for the Fourth of July. Families at the fairgrounds on Tuesday will be able to soak in the sweet soulful tunes of different jazz and blues musicians. Fireworks will also follow around 9:30 p.m. Be sure to buy a ticket early as all sales will desist after 6 p.m.
• Green, Red, White and Blue Celebration: Albany’s celebration will be officially held between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Early birds who arrive between 9 a.m. though can grab a pancake breakfast at the Veteran’s Memorial Building. Once the event has begun, people will have the chance to relive their childhood with classic family fun. Make sure to also check out the Mustache and Beard Contest to see the best hipster looks.
• Redwood City’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration: Redwood City is celebrating their 150th Anniversary this year and has planned a day packed with events. Beginning in the morning, community members can either join a 5K run at 8 a.m. or enjoy a plate of pancakes with the Redwood City Fire Department. Following, attendees can check out Northern California’s largest Independence Day Parade which will be hosted by the appointed Grand Marshal, Kenny Ortega. The day will continue with a street fair and fireworks.
• Foster City’s Fourth of July Celebration and Festival: Foster City will be hosting their own Independence Day party at Leo Ryan Park. The admission will be free for all who attend. Festivities will run from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., concluding with a fireworks show by the lagoon at 9:30 p.m. Along with the usual events, there will also be a Family and Dog Parade. Prizes will be given to families and pets for Most Patriotic, Most Unique, Best group and Best Overall.
• Palo Alto’s Chili Cook-Off: Families will have to push forward their best cooks for Palo Alto’s 36th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Summer Festival. Competitors can win a cash prize if deemed to be the best chili cooker. Of course, those who can’t handle the kitchen heat will still enjoy the day munching away on Independence Day delicacies.
• Fourth of July Pub Crawl: Starting at 4 p.m., beer lovers will be able to check in to Bar None for a pub crawl through San Francisco. Each bar will be holding $3 drink specials until midnight. Those who would rather trade a beer for a bratwurst can also take part in the annual hot dog eating contest. The form to sign up can be found here.
• July 4th Celebration at the Pier: The Fourth of July is built off a foundation of good music and a frenzy of fireworks. Pier 39 will have both to enjoy. Live perfromances will be going throughout the day, including one from the cover band Tainted Love - The Best of the 80s Live! at 5 p.m. Fireworks will be put on by the City and County of San Francisco, guaranteeing a spectacular display.
• Dockside Fireworks Viewing Aboard SS Jeremiah O’Brien: Head to Pier 45 in Fisherman’s Wharf to board a World War II ship and enjoy the fireworks on the water. Tickets can be purchased either online or in person. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m., three hours before the show.
• 4th of July Dinner and Rooftop Fireworks Viewing: For a more reserved Independence Day, book at spot at Scott’s Seafood fireworks viewing party. $80 will get guests a four-course meal and sparkling wine. Such a setup will also make for a romantic evening. Be sure to request either outdoor or window seating when reserving a spot.
• Milpitas 4th of July Celebration: Escape the July heat at the Milpitas Independence Day celebration. Families can make their way over to the sports center for a pool party that will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be free for all who attend, although space is limited. The night will close with the city’s "Red White and Boom" Fireworks and Concert. Attendees will be able to enjoy the music of The House Rockers with a traditional fireworks show.
• San Francisco Symphony: The San Francisco Symphony will be moving to the Shoreline Amphitheatre for the night. Here, conductor Edwin Outwater will weave together a procession of music into the night’s Fourth of July firework spectacular. Some songs that will be performed include “Somebody to Love” and the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back.
• Sausalito 4th of July Festivities: The City of Sausalito will be putting on a handful of patriotic events. Along with a parade in the morning, attendees will also be able to enjoy a picnic accompanied by food, tug-of-war, and an egg toss. A Journey tribute band will also perform prior to the evening’s fireworks.
• Independence Day Wine Train: For a sophisticated Fourth of July Experience, check out Napa Valley’s Wine Train. Those on board will be able to watch the Yountville fireworks. Travelers will also be served a gourmet dinner and wine on their 3.5 hour journey. Tickets are $201 and can be booked by phone.
If you're looking to celebrate the 4th of July outside of the Bay Area, take a trip to Squaw Valley for the rare chance to shred the slopes in July.
Here's a full list of cities where Safe and Sane fireworks are permitted:
- San Bruno
- Union City
- Rohnert Park