By Tianna Nguy, Communications Intern
From fireworks on the pier in San Francisco to parades along the Peninsula, the Bay Area will be celebrating the Fourth of July with plenty of community events. You can participate in chili tastings at the chili cook-off, festival barbecues with a variety of American favorites, parades with families and even pets in the afternoon, and fantastic fireworks in the evening. So, if you’re not going to be around your own BBQ grill this Fourth of July, here are a few places you can go to enjoy the holiday activities. Take SamTrans or Caltrain to the events to avoid parking and traffic, but be sure to check the train and bus schedules. Both Caltrain and SamTrans, with the exception of Route 397, will be operating on a Sunday schedule this Tuesday for the Fourth of July holiday. Route 397 operates on a regular schedule year-round.
Pier 39 San Francisco Fireworks: Looking for a waterfront view of fireworks to celebrate Fourth of July? Witness the skies fill with red, white, and blue sparkles on Pier 39’s Celebration at the Pier with the whole day leading up to fantastic fireworks. During the day there will be fun for the whole family! Live music will be provided on the Entrance Plaza Stage from 1:30 p.m. and throughout the day until fireworks at 9:30 p.m. with the Pier’s 180-degree bay view. If you’re coming north from the Peninsula, take the train the San Francisco Caltrain Station at 4th & King Street, and then hop on Muni E towards Embarcadero & Stockton to get you to the pier.
Foster City Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks
Foster City Fourth of July festival is held by the City of Foster City and the Lions Club of Foster City at an exciting all-day event starting with a 9 a.m. pancake breakfast and will go on all day with a barbeque, entertainment, activities, and a family and dog parade will start at 11:05 a.m. Fireworks will be displayed on the Peninsula at 9:30 p.m. SamTrans Route 251 will drop you off right at the event site.
Redwood City’s 79th Annual Fourth of July Celebration and Parade
Redwood City’s 79th annual Fourth of July parade will take place in the heart of Downtown Redwood City. The entire community will be celebrating this Fourth of July tradition bright and early with a pancake breakfast, a 5K parade run, and throughout the day there will be a festival with carnival games, arts and crafts, food and beverages, concerts, and other family activities. Fireworks will be launched from the Port of Redwood City around 9:30 p.m. You can visit the website to find the schedule and more information. Take SamTrans ECR route or ride Caltrain to the Redwood City Station and a brief 5 minute walk towards Broadway and Hamilton will get you right to the square.
Fourth of July Parade & Celebration in Menlo Park
Menlo Park will be celebrating Fourth of July at Burgess Park with a parade starting at 11:45 a.m., and the celebration will have live music, activities and more. Food and drink will be available for purchase at one of the many community vendors and food trucks from Off the Grid’s lineup. Come decked out in your red, white, and blue and spend the day with the Menlo Park community. If you’re going to be taking Caltrain, get off at the Menlo Park Station, take the SamTrans 296 and head towards Ravenswood Avenue & Pine Street, turn left onto Laurel Street, and you’ll be there in no time.
Palo Alto Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off
Spice up your Independence Day at the Palo Alto Chili Cook-off. Located at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, contestants will face-off on making the best chili in four categories: open, corporate, restaurant, and best overall chili. Buy yourself a ticket for some chili tastings, dance to live music from Radio City All-Stars Band, activities for the kids, arts and crafts, and if you’re craving for more than just chili, there will be food trucks and vendors of all sorts such as Paddywagon Sliders, Smoked out BBQ, Island Sno, and more! You can ride Caltrain to the San Antonio Station and hop onto VTA Bus 35 to get to the cook-off.
Fourth of July & San Francisco Symphony: Have a different experience at the Fireworks Spectacular Summer of Love: A Legacy of Love featuring the San Francisco Symphony as they play alongside the fantastic view of red, white, and blue fireworks.
Music will be led by conductor Edwin Outwater and the San Francisco Symphony at the Shoreline Amphitheater.
Santa Clara Fourth of July All-City Picnic & Fireworks Extravaganza
In Santa Clara’s Central Park from noon to 10 p.m. will have live entertainment, carnival games, arts and crafts, food from the local community food groups and food trucks all before a fantastic fireworks extravaganza at 9:30 p.m., so be sure to bring your lawn chairs or blankets to sit on the grass and enjoy the show at Santa Clara’s All-City Picnic & Fireworks Extravaganza. Take the Caltrain to Santa Clara Station and ride VTA Bus 81 to White Drive and down Hayward Drive to Santa Clara’s Central Park.
San Jose Giants Baseball & Post-Game Fireworks
What better way to celebrate Independence Day than a baseball game? Watch the San Jose Giants play against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. After the game, there will be fireworks. Tickets to the game start at $12, but it’s free to watch from outside the stadium. Take Caltrain to the San Jose Diridon Station, hop onto the VTA 68 to Monterey and Alma, a walk towards the Municipal Stadium, and you’ll be surrounded by baseball fans alike.
San Jose Parade in Alameda: Rose, White, and Blue Parade in San Jose are filled with history as they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary of the parade. Live music, arts and craft booths, antique cars, and a picnic on the Alameda will follow after the parade. Parade starts at 10 a.m. at the Lincoln High School parking. The picnic will take place near the end of the route. From the San Jose Diridon Station, take VTA 22 from The Alameda & Bush to Naglee and a quick walk to the picnic on The Alameda.