SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA 4th of July: Fireworks, Parades, Celebrations

San Jose 4th of July Fireworks

Here are the South Bay and SF Peninsula 4th of July fireworks, parades, activities and events, most of them free. Popular picks in the San Francisco Bay Area include the Palo Alto Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off, San Jose Rose, White and Blue Parade and Picnic, Redwood City: Independence Day Parade & Festival, and Morgan Hill Freedom Fest. But several others make the short list of fun on the Fourth.

great americaCalifornia’s Great America: Get a Ticket Deal, save 40%, play all day, and enjoy Fireworks Spectacular on July 4th (and all Fridays & Saturdays through Sept. 6, 2015).



Aptos: 4th of July World’s Shortest Parade – July 4, 2015, 7am-4pm at Aptos Village Park, (Soquel Dr. & State Park Drive, Aptos, CA. After the parade, head to Aptos Village Park for festivities including live music by local band “Extra Large,” games, arts & crafts ($5 donation for adults requested). *Follow the link for any updates before you head out.

7am-10pm: Pancake Breakfast in the parking lot of Burger at 7941 Soquel Drive
10am-12pm: Parade, corner of Soquel & State Park Drive to Bay View Hotel
12pm-4pm: Party in the Park

Cupertino: 4th of July Parade, Celebration & Concert – July 4, 2015. Pancake Breakfast, Flag Raising, Children’s Parade, Concert in the Park, swimming. NOTE: Cupertino 2015 fireworks canceled due to drought. Parade travels through Memorial Park and ends at the Amphitheater just in time for the concert. Free swimming at Blackberry Farm, food trucks.

7am-11am: Pancake Breakfast (Adult $7; Child $4) Quinlan Community Center
9:30am: Flag Raising at Memorial Park, Veteran’s Memorial
10am: Children’s Parade at Memorial Park, Softball Field
10:30am-12pm: Live Music (Rock n Roll, R&B dance hits)
10am-4pm: Free Swimming at Blackberry Farm (first come)

Los Gatos: 4th of July Celebration – July 4, 2015, 11am-4:30pm at Oak Meadow Park (233 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos, CA) at. Hometown picnic & games, BBQ, Yankee Doodle Dancing, and live music by the San Jose Wind Symphony.

11am-1:30pm: Hometown Picnic & Games, Oak Meadow Park
11am-1:30pm: Red, White & Blue BBQ, Oak Meadow Park
1:30pm-3:30pm: Strike up the Band, San Jose Wind Symphony concert, Flag Raising, Mayor’s Welcome
3:30pm-4:30pm: Yankee Doodle Dancing, Oak Meadow Park Bandstand

Milpitas: Red, White & Boom Concert & Fireworks – July 4, 2015, 6pm-10pm at the Milpitas Sports Center Complex, 1325 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA).  FIREWORKS at approximately 9pm. Admission fee not confirmed.

Morgan Hill: Freedom Fest – July 4, 2015. at the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center. Bring a blanket and enjoy an afternoon and evening of live music and the most spectacular fireworks display ever produced in Morgan Hill. Car show with 100 cars from the Car Cruise ‘n Show will be on the grass at the entrance. FIREWORKS launched from the middle of the south fields. The Concert and picnic are on the north fields with great views of the show. Food available for purchase. Freedom Fest is free. Parking is available for a $10.

July 3, 2015:
6pm: Patriotic Sing, Downtown Amphitheater, Dunne & Monterey.
7pm-10pm: Family Music Fest, Downtown Morgan Hill, Monterey Rd between 1 and 4 St.

July 4, 2015:
6:30-8:15: Freedom Run/1 Mile Walk / 5K Walk/Run
9am: Downtown Morgan Hill Entertainment
10am: Parade
1pm: Car Show (Immediately after the parade)
2pm: Car Show Awards Ceremony
4pm: Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center Doors open
9:30pm or dusk: Fireworks Extravaganza

Palo Alto: Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off – July 4, 2015. 12-5pm at Mitchell Park (600 E Meadow Dr., Palo Alto, CA). Chili tasting, ice cream, live music, dancing, children’s activities, festival food and fun. Chili and Ice Cream Tasting starts at 1:30pm. Free.

Santa Clara: 4th of July All-City Picnic & Fireworks Extravaganza – July 4, 2015. 12pm-9:30pm at Central Park. Live entertainment, food trucks, carnival games, face painting, swimming, food, and more. FIREWORKS at 9:30pm.

San Jose: Rose, White and Blue Parade and Picnic – July 4, 2015. Parade starts at 10am, traveling through the Rose Garden neighborhood, ending on the grand avenue of the The Alameda. Following the parade is the Picnic on The Alameda, featuring food and drinks, arts & crafts, classic cars, and live music.


Foster City 4th of July fireworks

Redwood City: Independence Day Parade & Festival – July 4, 2015, 8:45-5pm at Downtown Redwood City & The Port. Parade, 5K Fun Run, Carnival, Concerts, FIREWORKS and more. Festival features food, arts, crafts, entertainment, and a kids’ area. FIREWORKS launched from the Port of Redwood City at approx. 9:30pm.

TBA: Pancake Breakfast
8:45am: Parade Run 5K – 8:45am (see website for checkin info)
10am: July 4th 2015 Parade
9am-5pm: Festival
Concert on the Square
Concert at the Port
9:30pm: Fireworks

Foster City: Fourth of July Celebration – July 4, 2015, 9am-9:45pm at Leo Ryan Park. Carnival Rides, Concerts, Family and Dog Parade, starting from The VIBE Teen Center, heading down Shell Blvd to Leo Ryan Park, ending at the Amphitheater. (Registration is free for families and dogs). Pancake breakfast, Lion’s Club Barbeque, and FIREWORKS.

9am-11am: Pancake Breakfast, Rotary Club, Leo Ryan Park, Meadow
11:05am: Combined Family and Dog Parade
11:15am: Opening ceremonies begin at the Amphitheater
10am-9pm: Carnival rides at the Recreation Center parking lot
12pm: Live Music & Entertainment at Amphitheater
1:30pm-2:30pm: Family Games
11:30am-9pm: Lion’s Club Barbeque, Leo Ryan Park
9:30pm: Fireworks over the Lagoon at Leo Ryan Park

Half Moon Bay: Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade – July 4, 2015. Parade starts at 12pm on Main St in Half Moon Bay, CA. No word yet on fireworks this year. Lions Club Annual Pancake Breakfast 8am-noon at Mac Dutra Park (Kelly Ave. & Main St) includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee.

Menlo Park: 4th of July Parade and Celebration – July 4, 2015, 11:45am-2:30pm at Burgess Park (701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA). Parade starts at 11:45am and runs down Santa Cruz Ave to Burgess Park. Celebration starts at noon and features live music, games, food, and more. Parking available at Burgess Park parking lots or in the downtown plazas. Free event, but some activities require a wristband ($7).

Pacifica: 4th of July Celebration – July 4, 2015, 11am – 4pm at Frontierland Park (Yosemite Dr & Humbolt Ct, Pacifica, CA, in the Park Pacifica district). Crafts, games, live music, entertainment, and more. Free. Also, Rocket Run 5-Mile run, 8:45-10am, at the Pacifica Community Center (540 Crespi Dr.Pacifica, CA).

San Mateo: Old Fashioned 4th of July for Children and Adults — July 4, 2015, 10am-4pm, inside San Mateo County History Museum. Children are invited to hand-craft homemade vanilla ice cream and take a taste. They will also make traditional Independence Day crafts to take home. Beginning at 1 pm, adults can view vintage films of the San Francisco Peninsula from the Museum’s archives. Museum admission will be half-price that day: $3 for adults, $2 for seniors/students. Free for kids five and under. Activities will take place to coincide with the famous Redwood City Independence Day parade.


Note: I post these as a courtesy only. Make sure you check the event websites for any updates before you head out. Know of a  event that belongs on this list? Please let us know in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

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  1. Julia Del Coro says

    When my siblings and I were growing up in Palo Alto, our parents used to take us to see fireworks that were displayed over the bay. There was a huge parking area near the marshes and everybody reclined on the hoods of their cars or on folding chairs. The show was fantastic! The huge display seemed to fill the entire sky right above us. I don’t know which city hosted them. Has this tradition ended?

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