It's time to fire up the barbecues and crack open a cold one in support of good ol' 'Murica. Here's your yearly rundown of the best Fourth of July events the Bay Area has to offer.
Although the fair runs from June 17-July 5, the annual ode to deep-fried foods and dizzying carnival rides goes all out on the fourth: the fair hosts a "Fireworks Spectacular" set to music by the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Cap off a day of ferris wheel rides and hot dogs with old fashioned patriotism. // July 4, 9:30 pm, Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave.
For America's birthday, Wine Country puts on a grand family-fun event complete with a parade and carnival. This year's theme is "Celebrating Through the Decades," honored with floats featuring everyone from 1920s flappers to 1960s moon landers. The carnival features food, drinks, and game booths, with proceeds benefiting Sonoma's non-profit community. // July 4t, 10 am-5 pm, Sonoma Plaza, First Street East to First Street West, Sonoma.
Jack London Square's free, all-day festival brings together the Oakland community for food, drinks, and all sorts of eclectic performances: families can ring in the fourth while watching an Uncle Sam stilt walker, hula hoopers, magicians, clowns, and the like. Local performers such as the Kinetic Arts Circus Spire Youth Troupe, Oaktown Jazz, and Dance-A-Vision are also set to attend. // July 4, 11 am-4 pm, Jack London Square, Broadway and Embarcadero, Oakland.
In addition to live performances by WJM and Tainted Love, Pier 39's July 4th festival features special guests: sharks! In partnership with Discovery Channel's Shark Week, Pier 39's July 4th celebration takes on a unique twist, with attendees encouraged to stop by the Aquarium of the Bay for the Shark Lab, shark presentations, and a selfie scavenger hunt. Come 9:30 pm, Pier 39 also offers a spectacular viewing place for the City of San Francisco fireworks show over the Bay. // July 4, 12 pm-10 pm, Pier 39, 2 Beach Street.
The 4th of July celebration at the Berkeley Marina has it all: there's food and drinks, of course, but you can also expect live pony rides, a petting zoo, carnival rides, and dragon boat rides. A full day of splashing around at the beach and listening to live entertainment culminates in a fireworks show over the Berkeley Pier at 9:35 pm // July 4th, 12 pm-10 pm, Berkeley Marina, 201 University Ave.
For the kids-less set, the Napa Valley Wine Train offers a change of pace for a unique Independence Day experience. The train departs at 5:50 pm, and serves a gourmet, romantic dinner before stopping to view the Yountville fireworks. // July 4th, 5:50 pm-10 pm, 1275 McKinstrey St., Napa. Click here for reservations.
Trek across the Golden Gate to Sausalito's all-day extravaganza featuring a parade, a picnic, and fireworks. The parade of floats, classic cars, and local officials rolls in to Dunphy Park for a picnic with live music and dancing. The night ends in Gabrielson Park, with more live music and fireworks off Spinnaker Point. // July 4th, 10 am-9:30 pm, Second and Main St., Sausalito.