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Celebrate July 4th in the Bay Area

The rockets red glare
The rockets red glare
Kyle Braget Photography

It’s that time of year when millions of Americans get in their cars and drive 50 miles or more to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. There are a plethora of fun activities and celebrations for July 4th closer to home so you can have more fun and not be stuck in traffic. Whether you are interested in parades, fireworks, eating, drinking, or live music, here are some to consider:

Fireworks shows:

Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39 in San Francisco: Enjoy music, activities and food starting at noon with fireworks starting at 9:30 p.m. There are also fireworks cruises available.

Berkeley Marina: Enjoy food, music, and activities with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Marin County Fair: Enjoy fireworks every night at 9:30 From July 2- 6, 2014. This is the 73rd Annual Fair with rides, music, entertainment, livestock and more.

Napa County Fair, Calistoga: Enjoy art, music, activities and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Downtown Napa: Celebrations include a parade at 10 a.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Alameda County Fair: Enjoy festivities all day and fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Bring hats, sunglasses and water, it’s been hot this week.

Sonoma County Fair: Enjoy plenty of activities, food and entertainment at the fair with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Sonoma: Enjoy Old Fashion July 4th celebrations including parade, music, food and fireworks display in the Sonoma Plaza.

Angel Island Fireworks: Great viewing from Tiburon or take a ferry to Angel Island.


Sausalito Parade starts at 10 a.m. beginning at Second and Main and ending at Dunphy Park with all day festivities in Gabrielson Park including music, dancing, food and fun.

Novato Parade begins at 10 a.m. with classic cars, floats, and music on Grant Avenue between Reichert and 7th Avenue.

Calistoga Parade at 11 a.m. through town, then join the festivities at the Napa County Fair.

Napa Parade at 10 a.m. in downtown Napa.

Sonoma Parade at 10 a.m. followed by food and entertainment in the Plaza.

Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade begins at 10 a.m. at Lincoln Avenue and Park Street.

Eating & Drinking

Canela Bistro & Wine Bar, San Francisco: A delicious BBQ inspired menu highlights traditional tapas and regionally
inspired dishes for $45.00. Diners can choose from a tantalizing menu of Spanish favorite dishes including Gazpacho, Marinated Shrimp Pincho Skewers en Adobo, Baby Pork Ribs with Piquillo Pepper Salsa Barbacoa, Grilled Corn in the Husk with Miel de Cana Butter and more. A la Carte or $45 Prix Fixe Menu includes: gazpacho or salad, 1 meat, 2 sides, and 1 dessert. Special menu items are available a la carte as well. Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling Canela directly at

A16, San Francisco: For those headed to Chrissy Field to watch the fireworks, start the night at A16 in the Marina for Chef Rocky Maselli’s delicious dinner service. Guests can enjoy summer favorites like Lucky Dog Ranch Beef Shortribs with red wine, red onions, arugula and black pepper; Tomales Bay Clams with tomato, white wine, chiles, and grilled bread; or Wood Fired Dry Creek Peach Crostata with buttermilk sorbet.

Off the Grid, Picnic at the Presidio, San Francisco: Wind down the holiday weekend picnic style at the weekly gathering on the Main Post Lawn in the Presidio. Choose from two 4th of July packages designed for groups. Adults can toast with patriotic drink kits while kids enjoy some bubbly fun. Each $100 package includes a specialty alcoholic punch kit, beer basket, Off the Grid blanket and a bubble activity kit. To book:

East Bay

A16 Rockridge, Oakland: Chef Rocky Maselli has crafted a 4th of July menu as fun as it is festive to celebrate the holiday in the East Bay. Standout dishes from the special menu include a 4505 Bacon Hotdog Pizza with mozzarella, basil, and corn, House Made Fennel Sausage Corndog with Cherry Mostarda and Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Spicy Chicken Wings Agrodolce with cucumber and yogurt. The restaurant will be open from 2 pm to 8 pm.

Bocanova, Oakland (Jack London Square): Bocanova is taking the age-old tradition of a 4th of July BBQ and doing it Argentine style for this month’s Rick’s Supper Club. Join Chef Rick and kick-off the holiday weekend with a menu featuring delicious summer vegetables, juicy meats and an array of complementary wines. The five-course, pre-fixe dinner is $72 per person, including wines and excluding tax or gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 510-444-1233.

And if you are still looking for things to do after July 4th, go to Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, one of San Francisco’s best street festivals on Fillmore Street July 5-6, 2014. Enjoy live music, food, art, and more.

About the Author: Karla writes about global destinations, food, wine, horse racing and exotic car events. Discover more from over 400 travel articles of places to explore.

©Karla Erovick 2014 article

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