After nearly a century in the Bay Area, we’re no longer surprised by our community’s profound ability to celebrate. Whether it’s a national holiday, a community festival or a one-time extravaganza, we sure know how to make every event one for the record books.
In 2017, San Francisco, East Bay, Peninsula, South Bay, North Bay and Wine Country are taking it up a notch with 34 outstanding Fourth of July events — fireworks included! Whether you’re looking for something in your hometown or you want to experience a new ‘hood this holiday, there’s something on our list for everyone.
Peruse our list to find out where you can find the Bay Area’s one-of-a-kind experiences, free family-friendly festivals, and unforgettable parades.
Photo courtesy of PIER 39
This year’s PIER 39 Fourth of July celebration is part of their 39-week birthday bash. Celebrate their 39th birthday with a patriotic party as you rock out to live music in the Entrance Plaza. Following that, look towards the sky for The City & County of San Francisco’s spectacular fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. It’s the perfect chance to take advantage of PIER 39’s amazing 180-degree bay views!
Make memories with the whole family this Independence Day aboard Blue & Gold Fleet’s 4th of July Cruise. After a quick sail around the San Francisco Bay with views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz Island and the city skyline, you’ll settle into front row seats for the city’s fireworks show.
Red and White Fleet is celebrating with a brief cruise along San Francisco’s illuminated skyline in the early evening. After taking in views of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, they’ll position near the location of the fireworks to ensure the best possible views for all guests aboard!
View the city’s amazing fireworks display in the most patriotic way — aboard the Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien! Your ticket includes hot dogs, popcorn, soft drinks and the best view of the waterside show.
Hornblower has three options for patriotic cruises this July 4th. There’s a daytime Beer and Lunch Cruise around San Francisco from 12 – 2 p.m. You can also embark on the Premier 4th of July Fireworks Dinner Cruise for a four hour adventure and dinner. Or, opt for the 4th of July Fireworks Buffet Dinner Cruise on the San Francisco Belle.
Boarding in Alameda, Commodore Cruises invites your family and friends aboard Commodore’s Grand Dame of the San Francisco Bay, the Cabernet Sauvignon, to enjoy dinner, dancing and first class seats to SF’s fireworks show. A DJ will provide dining and dancing music while the show explodes over the water!
Join the City of Alameda for the Mayor’s annual Fourth of July parade this year! Dress in your patriotic best, grab a seat along the route and celebrate the city’s most creative floats.
The annual celebration on the USS Hornet comes complete with live music, food, classic cars and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Admission includes access to the ship and all festivities onboard, but food and drink are available for purchase from one of many vendors on the hangar and flight decks. Get tickets in advance for a discount!
This festive day will fill the Oakland waterfront with activities and entertainment for parents and children. Admission is free and the event will also feature tasty treats, music and more! There will not be any fireworks hosted by the square.
One of the region’s biggest Fourth of July parties is hosted at Berkeley Marina every year. Dance to live music from noon until 9:30 p.m., grab dinner from a local food truck or vendor, meet an animal at the petting zoo, slide down giant slides, get your face painted, or splash in the water at the beach. There’s plenty to enjoy!
There are two options for patriotic Hornblower Cruises out of Berkeley. Choose between a buffet dinner cruise or a cocktail cruise with delicious hors d’oeuvres. Live music, DJ entertainment and dancing make this a memorable Independence Day celebration.
The Alameda County Fair runs from June 16 – July 9 and it’s the place to be this summer. But if you can’t make it any other night, be sure to show up for the Fireworks Spectacular on July 4th! Following a Salute to Hometown Heroes Video, non-stop, razzle-dazzle fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. set to music performed by the Oakland Symphony. Be sure to get to the park before 6 p.m. or you won’t be admitted.
Kicking off at 10 a.m., the annual Fremont parade brings in over 60,000 spectators each year! Learn more about the 2017 National Anthem singer, the Parade Grand Marshall, the judges, and see the parade route on their website here.
Walk-in viewing is free at this City of Livermore and Livermore Downtown celebration. Bring the whole family for kid-friendly activities, restaurant and shopping specials, and an opportunity to gather with the community. A fireworks display will be launched from the top of the Parking Structure on Railroad Avenue at 9:30 p.m.!
Starting at noon, Half Moon Bay’s beloved Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July Parade takes over Main Street on the 4th, transforming the charming downtown into a pulsating Coastsider take on a mini-Mardi Gras celebration. Don’t miss the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast in the City Hall parking lot hosted by The Half Moon Bay Lions Club! Then join in the fun with whimsical floats, Pooches on Parade, community organizations and more.
Join the City of Foster City and the Lions Club of Foster City for an exciting 12-hour event on Independence Day at Leo Ryan Park! You and your family won’t want to miss the games, food, entertainment, dog parade and fireworks.
First things first, a people’s parade kicks off at 11:45 a.m. on Chestnut Street next to Wells Fargo Bank where kids are encouraged to decorate their bike or wagon and participate! When the parade ends at Burgess Park, the celebration continues with inflatable jump houses, giant slides, games, crafts, face painting, rock walls and more. Enjoy live music performed by the Pop Fiction and an assortment of local food.
Pacifica Parks Beaches & Recreation Department presents the 43rd Annual 4th of July Celebration at Frontierland Park this year. The party will be complete with face painting, free games, food, crafts and live music!
For its 150th anniversary year, Redwood City is celebrating Fourth of July with the largest Independence Day parade in Northern California! Attend the annual festival all day, see Battle of the Bands, join the Parade Run 5k, eat a pancake breakfast, and watch the fireworks spectacular at 9:30 p.m.
Inside the San Mateo County History Museum from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., you can hand-crank homemade vanilla ice cream, and make traditional Independence Day crafts. Enjoy half-price museum admission and view vintage films of the San Francisco Peninsula from the Museum’s archives. Activities coincide with the famous Redwood City Independence Day parade!
Palo Alto celebrates July 4th each year with one of the most patriotic foods — chili! Their 36th Annual Chili Cookoff kicks off at noon on Tuesday in Mitchell Park. Purchase your $5 ticket online and come by for chili tastings, food trucks and family fun.
Led by conductor Edwin Outwater, the San Francisco Symphony will fill Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater on the night of July 4th. Buy tickets in advance to experience an awe-inspiring, firework-filled evening!
Starting at noon on July 4th, Central Park will be filled with carnival games, food trucks, free public swimming at the swim center, jump houses, and more! Bring lawn chairs, blankets and stick around for the fireworks once night falls.
Join the Rotary Club of San Jose in celebrating Independence Day at Discovery Meadow with a free, safe and professional fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
Celebrating ten years in 2017, the Rose, White and Blue 4th of July Parade winds through the charming and historic streets of the Rose Garden and Shasta/Hanchett Neighborhoods, ending at the festival along The Alameda. Until 3 p.m. you can participate in community activities, support local businesses, and get food to-go from local restaurants!
The Cupertino Independence Day celebration kicks off with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m., a children’s carnival at 9 a.m. and events throughout the day which will culminate in a 9:30 p.m. fireworks show.
Morgan Hill’s epic Freedom Fest is a full day of events surrounding the 4th of July — including Patriotic Sing, Downtown Family Street Dance, Freedom Run, a parade, Car Cruise n’ Show, and a spectacular firework and live entertainment show. Check the website for exact times so you don’t miss anything!
Photo courtesy of Marin County Fair
The Marin County Fair is celebrating the community from June 30 – July 4 with fireworks every single night at 9:30 p.m. In the fair’s biggest, most elaborate fireworks display yet, the skies will be filled with fireworks over the picturesque lagoon. Buy tickets online and get full details for Marin County Fair on the website.
Patriotic festivities kick off at 9 a.m.(with the parade beginning at 10:30 a.m.) at Corte Madera Town Park and continue until 5 p.m. You’ll find carnival food from local vendors, live entertainment on the Main Stage, carnival games, bounce houses, and plenty of arts and crafts!
This three-part event held on July 4 begins with a parade of floats, bands, classic cars, local officials, and organizations. It continues with a party at Dunphy Park — complete with food and entertainment, tug of war, an egg toss, live music and dancing — then concludes with Sausalito’s legendary fireworks display accompanied by more live music and entertainment.
Kicking off at 10 a.m., the Novato parade boasts over 100 entries and is one of the largest in the Bay Area! Famous for its contingent of vintage military vehicles from the Joe Garbarino World War II Military Vehicle Museum, you can also see classic cars and color guards, festive floats and music bands, fancy cowgirls on golden palominos, and decorated basset hounds.
This Sonoma Parade begins at 10 a.m. and winds through the town’s historic Plaza. After the parade, enjoy an old-fashioned festival with food, drink and game booths hosted by Sonoma’s charitable organizations — and all proceeds benefit the nonprofit community! The 4th of July festival concludes around 5 p.m. with a spectacular fireworks show above General Vallejo’s field. This year’s theme is Honoring Our Local Heroes so get ready to wave your flags!
This year, view the Yountville fireworks from the comfort of the Napa Valley Wine Train. Starting at $201 per person, you’ll enjoy a multiple course gourmet dinner, wine tastings and a 3.5 hour trip through picturesque Napa.
Don your red, white and blue, wave your American flag, and bring along the whole family for a Fourth of July parade you won’t want to end! Then follow the procession to the county fairgrounds for a day full of carnival rides, games, fun, picnics and fireworks.
Happy Fourth of July!
Have a fun and safe holiday! Let us know how you celebrate in the Bay Area.