Bay Area 4th of July Hot Spots

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fireworks385 01 Bay Area 4th of July Hot Spots

Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Sunday in Independence Day and we all know what that means … Fireworks! We’ve compiled a list of some of the best fireworks displays, picnics, parades, chili cook-offs, and more. There are a ton of great 4th of July celebrations going on through the Bay Area so get out and show your patriotism!

Alameda County Fair Fireworks Show
July 2, 2010 Friday, July 2 – 12:00 am | Cost: $8* | Alameda County Fairgrounds
The Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton runs from June 23rd to July 11th, highlighted by the Fairs’ spectacular fireworks display Friday night July 2, 2010. Best viewing location is from the Grandstand area. Fireworks show to start at approximately 9:30pm.

“The Flag” Variety Show with 150-strong Choir & Fireworks
Friday, July 2 – 4 | Cost: FREE | Dave Brubeck Park, Concord
“The Flag 2010″ is a an annual patriotic salute to America with a cast & choir of over 150 people. this free event is a family-oriented celebration of our country and its people. Through music, dance and drama, our show includes encore audience favorites, movie and TV spoofs, a celebration of our faith, and a salute to the military. The evening culminates in a fireworks show around 9:30pm on July 2, 3 and 4th.

All-you-can-eat Picnic & Fireworks @ Six Flags
Saturday, July 3 – 12:00 pm | Cost: $15.99* | Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo
Start your July 4th weekend with a picnic in the park. From Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is hosting an all-you-can-eat picnic each day of the holiday weekend. Join us from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. in our exclusive picnic groves (located next to Ocean Discovery). Purchase your picnic online here or stop by the Explorer Outpost or Gifts Under the Sea to purchase at the park on the date you would like to attend. Menu Includes: BBQ chicken, Hamburgers, Hot dogs, Baked beans, Potato salad, Corn-on-the-cob, Ice cream novelties, Coca-Cola.
Picnic Prices: Adult – $15.99* Child (ages 3-11) – $10.99* Adult Season Pass holder – $14.99** Child Season Pass holder (ages 3-11) – $9.99
All guests also require park admission in addition to the picnic prices. Park hours will run from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with July 3rd (not July 4th) culminating in a fantastic fireworks show.

Pre-4th of July Fireworks & Celebration
Saturday, July 3 – 4:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Windsor High School, Windsor
A small town celebration with the trimmings. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the Windsor Independence Day celebration. The fireworks start at dusk at Keiser Park. The Windsor Independence Day celebration also features live music, food and family fun. Activities: 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm; Fireworks: 9:30 pm

Oakland East Bay Symphony & Fireworks Celebration
Saturday, July 3 – 5:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Craneway Pavilion, Richmond
The Craneway Pavilion, inside the historic Ford Point Building on the waterfront in Richmond, will host its second annual patriotic celebration for the whole family featuring live music by the Oakland East Bay Symphony, food and fireworks on Saturday, July 3, 2010. Free to the public
Second Annual Target Independence Day Celebration featuring Oakland East Bay Symphony at the Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA. 9:15pm (approx). Grand Finale & Firework Display. Patriotic music accompanying the City of Richmond’s spectacular fireworks display over the water. The Craneway Pavilion is located on 25 waterfront acres and delivers incredible views of the San Francisco skyline featuring floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the entire event space as well as a 20,000 square foot patio, perfect for viewing the City of Richmond’s Firework Display

“Cityhood Celebration” and Fireworks
Saturday, July 3 – 6:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Freedom High School, Oakley
Oakley hosts their 11th anniversary Cityhood Celebration on July 3, 2010. Details for the 2010 event are not posted yet, but the 2009 event featured an early evening carnival with live dance and martial arts performances followed by a fireworks display at dusk. Admission to the event is free. $5 wristbands may be purchased for unlimited games and rides. Age 4 and under is free.

Kings Beach July 3rd Fireworks and Deck Party
Saturday, July 3 – 6:30 pm | Cost: $10 | North Tahoe Event Center, Tahoe
The Kings Beach July 3rd fireworks celebration and deck party is a North Tahoe tradition hosted by the North Tahoe Business Association (NTBA) year after year. The show starts at dusk, approximately 9:30 PM on July 3rd in downtown Kings Beach. The fireworks can be viewed for free from the one-quarter mile of public sandy beach, as well as from other venues along the North Shore and from boats on the water. The deck party is at the North Tahoe Event Center and includes VIP viewing area complete with live music and dancing. Tickets for entry to the event center will be $10 for adults and $5 for kids (ages 3-11). There will be food booths offering casual dining options for $6- $10 and no host bar for all attendees. The doors open to the event at 6:30 for the viewing party. Tickets are on sale now at the NTBA office. For more information about the July 3rd Kings Beach Fireworks and viewing party call (530) 546-9000

July 3rd “Fireworks Over the Bay”
Saturday, July 3 – 9:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Westside Park, Bodega Bay
Enjoy fireworks in Bodega Bay the day before 4th of July on Saturday, July 3rd 2010. Fireworks over the Bay is a free event, but donations are welcome. The Bodega Bay fireworks display is fairly small so I would not recommend driving out there just for this event alone. Make sure to plan a full day in Bodega Bay and cap it off with fireworks display. Bring warm clothes as it can get very chilly at night in Bodega Bay.

Mondavi Winery Fireworks Show
Saturday, July 3 – 9:00 pm | Cost: FREE* | Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville
The Robert Mondavi Winery is hosting a swanky and spendy event on July 3, 2010 with the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans performing, followed by a post-concert fireworks display. Tickets for the concert start at $60, but you can view the fireworks for free from anywhere outside the Winery in Oakville, and possibly from Yountville and St. Helena which are just a few miles away

City Picnic & Fireworks Extravaganza
Sunday, July 4 – All Day | Cost: FREE | Central Park, Santa Clara, CA
Come celebrate Independence Day at a City of Santa Clara traditional event – the All City Picnic. Start the morning with an outdoor pancake breakfast, and relax to live entertainment throughout the day at the Pavilion featuring Crossman Connection and The Hitmen. The picnic will be held in beautiful Central Park from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Bring a picnic lunch or purchase all American foods prepared by local community groups. Families will enjoy the reasonably priced activities available: carnival games and face panting near the softball field, and swimming at the International Swim Center. The fun will continue into the evening. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to the lawn area near Millikin School, where there will be music and a variety of food booths, followed by a patriotic fireworks display at 9:30 pm.

Hometown 4th of July Celebration, Hot Dog Contest & Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – 9:00 am | Cost: FREE | Downtown Martinez
Main Street Martinez will host the 2nd annual downtown Martinez 4th of July Parade & Celebration. Featuring a Pancake Breakfast, Hometown Parade along Main St. and an afternoon of live music, arts & crafts vendors, car show, kids activities, non-profit organization booths and more. Dusk: Fireworks along the waterfront – approximately 9:15p. New this year is a Hot Dog Eating Contest sponsored by Marty O’s Concessions & Catering and Super Dog. $10 to enter. Person who eats the most Hot Dogs wins $250 cash.

Dog Parade, Classic Car Show & July 4th Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – 9:00 am | Cost: FREE | Moraga Commons Park
Enjoy a full day of 4th of July activities in Commons Park including a dog parade, classic car show, bike parade, old fashioned kids games, magic show, evening concert and fireworks on the driving range of Moraga Country Club.

July 4th in Pleasant Hill: Parade, Festival & Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – All Day | Cost: FREE | Pleasant Hill
Pleasant Hill hosts a full day of Fourth of July Fun with events ranging from a traditional patriotic parade through the Downtown Crescent Drive area, Family fun and games in Pleasant Hill Park, a “sprayground” in the afternoon to cool you down, and live music and fireworks in the evening at College Park High School.

4th of July Dog Show, Parade & Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – 10:00 am | Cost: FREE | Leo J. Ryan Park, Foster City
Foster City, Fourth of July Celebration – The event includes food, music, entertainment, crafts, a parade, a dog show, fireworks and more. The parade will start at 11:05 a.m. and will be followed the day’s entertainment. At dusk the fireworks display will begin.

Sausalito 4th of July Parade & Fireworks Celebration
Sunday, July 4 – All Day | Cost: FREE | Gabrielson Park
The tradition continues. The parade through town begins at 10am at the intersection of Second and Main Streets and ends at Dunphy Park. Starting at 12 noon there will be live music all day. Food, dancing and family games help make this an exciting event for the whole family. July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza at the Gabrielson Park- 6:30pm to 9:30pm

Silicon Valley Parade & Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – All Day | Cost: FREE | Downtown Morgan Hill
Welcome to the 117th Morgan Hill July 4th Parade in the heart of Silicon Valley, the largest and best in northern California. Plans for this year’s hometown, very American 4th of July Parade have been underway for several months and, once again, this promises to be the brightest and most exciting one yet. The Morgan Hill July 4, 2010 parade will begin at 10:45 am with the exciting “Cruise the Parade Route” featuring vintage and collector cars. At 11:00 sharp the celebration continues. Fireworks are always the main event of any Fourth of July. How could we celebrate independence without them? Waiting for the sky to darken, (around 9:30 p.m.) the crowd will be entertained, beginning at 7 p.m., by a live band. The Dadz will play throughout the evening. Stage announcements at 8:00 followed by a real treat. If you missed th Patriotic Sign (held on July 3rd at the Britton gym) you’ll have another chance to hear schoolchildren sing your favorite American songs.

4th of July Fireworks & All Day Festival
Marina Sunday, July 4 – All Day | Cost: FREE | Berkeley Marina
It’s a day full of fun starting at noon on the 4th of July, 2010. The south shore of the Berkeley Marina at the bottom of University Ave. is filled with great stuff to do all day. Adventure Playground, always a favorite, is open 11am-8pm. Sign up for an old-fashioned sack race or get your face painted. Try the giant slide or splash in the water at the beach. lots of international food booths. Live entertainment from noon until 9pm on the main stage. There’s art & craft booths, massages, free sailboat rides from 1-4pm, dragon boat rides from 2-6pm, and much more including the grand fireworks off the end of the Berkeley Pier at 9:30pm.

4th of July Spectacular with Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – All Day | Cost: FREE | Suisun City Waterfront District
Celebrate America’s birthday at Solano County’s best Fourth of July celebration with all-day music, craft and food vendors, and a huge fireworks display over the Waterfront. Plus, very special Delta boat cruises and the best collection of independent restaurants in the region. This signature event offers a fun, safe, family celebration of America’s independence.

Picnic in the Park & Waterfront Fireworks Show
Sunday, July 4 – 12:00 pm | Cost: FREE | First Street, Benicia
On July 4th enjoy Picnic In The Park starting at Noon and located at the Benicia City Park on First Street and Military. From Noon to 7pm there are many fun activities for kids including inflatable rides, rock climbing, and face painting. Visit the open-air market, taste American cuisine, and enjoy live entertainment including bands and dancers. The free fireworks show begins around 9 p.m. and takes place at the foot of First Street. Bring a blanket and enjoy the view from the First Street Green at the waterfront.

4th of July Concert, Pool Party, & Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Milpitas Sports Center
Come join us as Milpitas celebrates our country’s Independence Day with a day full of water fun and an evening of ground fireworks. “Red, White & Boom” Fireworks Display at the Sports Center. Come enjoy an evening of music and exciting fireworks. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the celebration Some food will be available for purchase at the event from the Milpitas Parks & Recreation Foundation.

July 4th Festival, Food, and Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – 3:00 pm | Cost: $6 | Scotts Valley
Scotts Valley is getting ready for their annual Fourth of July celebrations. Armed with a packed schedule, the festivities start at 3 p.m. with a parade along Scotts Valley Drive. The festivities continue with food and games at Skypark and end with a fireworks display starting after 9 p.m.

Livermore Old Fashioned 4th of July
Sunday, July 4 – 3:00 pm | Cost: $5 | Robertson Park
Spectacular fireworks, carnival area, hat making booth, live music, food & beverages, and fun for the entire family at the 27th Annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration in Livermore. Prior to the 9:35 p.m. fireworks display, the city will host a festival of live music featuring the Evolution (tribute to Journey), family games, food and more including a “Hat Parade.”

San Francisco 4th of July 2010 Fireworks Show
Fisherman’s Wharf Sunday, July 4 – 3:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Aquatic Park
Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 celebrate 2010 Independence Day with an afternoon filled live music and an evening filled with fireworks. Live music begins at the Pier 39 Entrance Plaza with soft rock from Mustache Harbor (3p-5p) and ’80s tribute party band Tainted Love (6p-9:30p) along with various street performers. At 9:30pm the Fourth of July Fireworks show launches from the foot of Municipal Pier and from barges north of Pier 39. If you can’t make it to Aquatic Park, other good viewing locations are all along the waterfront, Coit Tower, Aquatic Park, the Cannery, Ghirardelli Square.

4th of July Parade & Waterfront Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – 4:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Market Place, Hercules
Come join us for the City of Hercules Annual 4th of July parade, fun and food. The parade starts at 4:00pm, beginning at South Front Street and ending at the Market Hall. Food and games will be at the Market Hall after the parade. Fireworks at dusk over the Hercules Waterfront. Please note that this is a small town festival and fireworks show and parking in the area will be restricted and many streets will be closed.

4th of July Celebration and Fireworks
Sunday, July 4 – 6:30 pm | Cost: FREE | CreekWalk, Vacaville
Experience the hometown feel of an old fashioned 4th of July in Vacaville, half way between the bay area and Sacramento along 80. Bring the family for a fun filled evening of music and fireworks under the stars. Park gates open at 5:00pm; music starts at 6:30pm with live music from Clean Slate (R&B / Soul dance band). Lots of food & craft vendors on site.

Cupertino Fourth of July 2010 Fireworks Show
Sunday, July 4 – 6:45 pm | Cost: FREE | Creekside Park
The City of Cupertino hosts a small town Fourth of July fireworks show with music and games at three different viewing locations in the city and fireworks set off from Cupertino High School at 9:30pm. Come early and bring your picnic to Creekside Park, Hyde Middle School, or Sedgwick Elementary School

4th of July Fireworks in Old Town Pittsburg
Sunday, July 4 – 9:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Pittsburg Marina
Pittsburg celebrates Fourth of July 2010 with a fireworks display on the Marina at dusk. 4th of July Celebration, July 4, 5 p.m. Celebrate Independence Day with Pittsburg by enjoying games, live music featuring the PHDs, food and more. Fireworks will start at dusk. Free.

4th of July Fireworks Salute
Sunday, July 4 – 9:15 pm | Cost: FREE | Gilroy High School, Gilroy
The City of Gilroy will have their Annual 4th of July Fireworks Display at Gilroy High School on Tenth Street.

Kiwanis July 4th Parade
Sunday, July 4 – 1:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Danville
The Kiwanis Danville July 4th Parade attracts over 40,000 attendees including local community residents as well as friends and family from areas far beyond Danville. The 2010 theme is “Honoring the Heroes” and the parade starts at 11:00am and runs from the corner of Hartz Avenue and Railroad Avenue, continues down Hartz and San Ramon Valley Boulevard and ends at the corner of San Ramon Valley Boulevard and Sycamore Valley Road.

29th Annual Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off
Sunday, July 4, 2010 – 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Mitchell Park – Palo Alto
The tradition continues as we celebrate Independence Day at the Palo Alto Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off. Attracting thousands of sun and chili lovers, the festival embraces everything wonderful about summer. Taste an array of red-hot chili delicacies prepared by teams of chefs battling for the chili championship. Live music by the band Blues at 11, line dancing, children’s activities, food vendors, and more will take place from 12 – 5pm. Chili tasting starts at 1:30pm. Admission is free. Tasting kits will be sold for a nominal fee.

Dog Parade of Westies & Scotties
Sunday, July 4 – 12:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Piedmont Park
Each Fourth of July, Piedmont hosts a small town parade with a contingent of westies and scotties and their people marching, skipping and sashaying from Highland Avenue and Park Way all the way to Piedmont Park where the parade ends a giant community picnic begins.

4th of July Small Town Parade
Sunday, July 4 – 12:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Downtown Half Moon Bay
Fourth of July 2010 begins in Half Moon Bay with an old fashioned fourth of july parade down main street at Noon.

1910 Pardee Patriotic Picnic and Stereopticon Ice Cream Social
Sunday, July 4 – 12:00 pm | Cost: $10* | Pardee Home Museum, Oakland
This IS your grandmother’s picnic. This historic Pardee Home Museum in downtown Oakland hosts a costumed patriotic picnic and stereopticon Ice Cream social. Admission to this 1910-themed event includes live entertainment, including ragtime music and popular songs of the era.

Family Fun on the 4th of July
Sunday, July 4 – 12:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Jack London Square, Oakland
No fireworks display over Jack London Square for 2010, but the city is still hosting a fun daytime event for families with food, a petting zoo,magicians, Kinetic Art’s Youth Circus Troupe, Stilt Walking, farmers and artisan markets, live music and more.

Costumed Old-Fashioned 4th of July & Free Popsicles
Sunday, July 4 – 2:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Kevin Moran Park, Saratoga
If you’re looking for a reason to wear that Uncle Sam costume you’ve got in your closet, then Saratoga’s 2010 Independence Day Observance is the place for you. Being held at Kevin Moran Park, the event will feature a Color Guard presentation of the flag, patriotic tunes and free popsicles.

Great Vallejo Ducky Derby: watch 10,000 rubber ducks race
Sunday, July 4 – 3:00 pm | Cost: FREE* | Vallejo Ferry Terminal Building
The Great Vallejo Ducky Derby is a rubber duck race on the 4th of July at Vallejo’s Waterfront. Approximately, 10,000 rubber ducks will be released in the Mare Island Strait near the Vallejo Ferry Terminal Building in a frantic race to the finish line. Free to watch, $5 to “adopt” a duck and a chance to win a prize like free car washes for a year, $2,500 cash or a new Scion.

Buddha Gate Monastery on July 4th
Sunday, July 4 – 6:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Buddha Gate Monastery
Join Buddha Gate Monastery on July 4th 2010 for relaxation, fun, serenity, and enlightenment from 6:00 p to 8:30p with a Veggie potluck and a mountain pilgrimage. Last year there were martial arts demos and watching of the fireworks from the gazebo, but we’re unclear if they’ll do that again for 2010.
Tel: (925)934-2411. There might be a slight pitch to have you make an offering or to join in for enlightenment, but regardless this should be a unique way to celebrate.

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