Bay Area Best Bets for the 4th of July

Fourth of July Celebrations

There's a bevy of Fourth of July celebrations with music around the San Francisco Bay Area this summer. Some firework displays, such as the Sixth Annual Target Independence Day Celebration with the Oakland East Bay Symphony (on July 3) on the Richmond waterfront, will feature live patriotic music to accompany the sparkling lights over the water. So whether by land or sea (or the BART tunnel), grab your blanket, sunscreen, and picnic basket and head for your favorite place to enjoy the festivities. Happy Fourth of July!

EAST BAY

WHAT: TARGET INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION FEATURING OAKLAND EAST BAY SYMPHONY
WHEN: July 3, doors open 6:30 p.m., fireworks start 9:15 p.m.
WHERE: Craneway Pavillion on the Richmond Waterfront
COST: Free

Inside the historic Ford Point Building on the Richmond waterfront, the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Music Director Michael Morgan; the Craneway Pavilion and the City of Richmond team up to host a patriotic, family-friendly celebration featuring live music, food, an instrument petting zoo, and fireworks.

6:30 p.m.: Doors open. Live music begins featuring performances by Oaktown Jazz Workshops, Hilltop Community Church Choir and other local groups.

8:00 p.m.: Oakland East Bay Symphony concert. Enjoy patriotic, spirited works to celebrate America's Independence Day, including John Philip Sousa marches, film music by John Williams, a Disney medley, the Suite from the popular Netflix series House of Cards by composer and East Bay native Jeff Beal; music from The Sound of Music, and more, with plenty of audience sing-along opportunities.

9:15 p.m.: The grand finale featuring patriotic music accompanying the City of Richmond's spectacular fireworks display over the water.

WHAT: WALNUT CREEK CONCERT BAND AND ICE CREAM SOCIAL
WHEN: July 4, 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (concert 6 p.m.-p.m.)
WHERE: Walnut Creek Civic Park Gazebo
COST: Free

The City of Walnut Creek continues to mark its centennial in style with its annual Fourth of July celebration. The fabulous Walnut Creek Concert Band performs on the gazebo steps from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Walnut Creek's mayor, and its former mayors, will take turns serving up complimentary root beer floats before and after the concert of patriotic music. Merrymakers are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic dinner — the floats will be free.

WHAT: OAKLAND MUNICIPAL BAND
WHEN: July 4, 1-3 p.m.
WHERE: Edoff Memorial Bandstand, Lakeside Park in Oakland
COST: Free

Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and the family to Lake Merritt this Fourth of July to enjoy a concert of patriotic tunes by the 35-member band led by conductor Troy Davis. It's also the opening concert of the the band's 103rd season. Additional concerts will be July 13, 20, 27, and August 3.

PENINSULA/MOUNTAIN VIEW

WHAT: THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY at SHORELINE
WHEN: July 4 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View
COST: $47.35-$24 (there is a $10 charge per car to park) The San Francisco Symphony lights up the Shoreline Amphitheatre stage with a program that's a little bit Broadway, a little bit Hollywood and a tad Disney. Edwin Outwater conducts the orchestra in musical favorites including a musical accompaniment to the fireworks display. Pianist Makoto Ozone and vocalist Eden Espinosa round out the program.

SAN FRANCISCO

WHAT: SAN FRANCISCO FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION PIER 39
WHEN: July 4, starts at Noon; fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Pier 39 entrance plaza
COST: Free

Pier 39 celebrates Independence Day with fun for the whole family featuring musical entertainment and activities in its entrance plaza. From Noon-3 p.m. Mobility from the USAF Band of the Golden West plays on the entrance plaza stage, where from 5-8 p.m. Tainted Love will cast its musical spell. At 9:30 p.m., the City of San Francisco hosts a fireworks display over the San Francisco Bay.

WHAT: SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE'S OIL & WATER
WHEN: July 4, 2 p.m. (music starts at 1:30 p.m.)
WHERE: Dolores Park, 18th and Dolores streets, S.F.
COST: Free

In two one-act musicals, Crude Intentions and Deal With the Devil, the satirical troupe skewers the corporate greed and squishy politics that, they say, leads to environmental destruction while delivering its trademark slapstick, melodrama, corny jokes, and witty ditties. The troupe's accomplished and energetic band kicks off the pre-show and provides musical accompaniment during the performance.

MARIN

WHAT: FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS AND MUSIC ON ANGEL ISLAND
WHEN: July 4, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Angel Island State Park.
COST: Free. Round-trip ferry boat ride $24 for adults, $16.50 for ages 5-11.

Watch area fireworks from one of the San Francisco Bay's best viewing spots--Angel Island. If you're not traveling on your own boat, board a ferry from Tiburon or San Francisco to get there. Bring a picnic or purchase food and drink from the island’s café or cantina. There will be live music from 6-7:30 p.m. Shuttles will take you to and from the island’s top view area, Battery Ledyard.

WHAT: SAUSALITO FOURTH OF JULY PARADE
WHEN: July 4, 
10 a.m.-noon (parade); noon- 5 p.m. (music/picnic/games); 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m
. (fireworks)
WHERE: Sausalito: parade starts at Second and Main strees; music/food/games at Dunphy Park; fireworks at Gabrielson Park
COST: Free. (For table seating: $100 residents ($110 non-residents) at Gabrielson Park fireworks celebration.

This three-part, July 4 celebration begins with a parade (10 a.m.-noon) features floats, bands, clowns, classic cars, local officials and organizations. It starts at Second and Main streets and ends at Dunphy Park, noon-5 p.m. Local non-profits will sell food, and there will be live music, dancing, food, and old-fashioned family games, such as tug-of-war and an egg toss.

The finale: From 6-9:30 p.m., at Gabrielson Park (next to the ferry pier in downtown Sausalito), fireworks begin at 9:20 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for sale, and there will be live music by Livewire. To reserve a table for six people for $100 call the City of Sausalito at (415) 289-4152. There will also be lawn seating. Fireworks will be set off promptly at 9:20 p.m. from a barge in the bay near Gabrielson Park. This year's fireworks will be set to music, and you can listen in on Radio Sausalito at 1610 AM or on Comcast Cable TV Ch. 30.

WHAT: MARIN COUNTY FAIR (fireworks nightly)
WHEN: July 3-7, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
WHERE: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael

Attend the fair on the Fourth of July and see puppet shows, Chinese acrobats, take family photos with Star Wars characters, and animals, see exhibits, play contests and eat food galore. The Pointer Sisters, the Wailers and Eddie Money are among the concert headliners during the five-day event. Fireworks at 9:30 pm nightly. All concerts, performances and carnival rides are included with the admission price.

Journalist Molly Colin writes about the arts and cultural trends.