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South Bay & Peninsula Fourth of July Celebrations 2016

The Best Places to See Fireworks & Enjoy Other July 4th Activities

Cities in the South Bay and on the Peninsula will feature a number of fun Fourth of July activities in 2016. They range from the Old Fashioned 4th of July in Half Moon Bay to the annual SF Symphony performance with fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View.

Other fun events this year include the Fireworks Fun Run in Santa Cruz, the Chili Cook-Off in Palo Alto, and the family-friendly activities at Blackberry Farm in Cupertino.


Aptos will once again host the "World's Shortest Parade" this Independence Day on Monday, July 4. Activities begin bright and early with a Pancake Breakfast from 7am to 10am. The parade will then take place from 10am to 12 noon. Later on in the day, enjoy food from local vendors, music, and other activities at Aptos Village Park from 4pm onward.


This year's celebration in Carmel-by-the-Sea is on Monday, July 4. It's a traditional, family-friendly event at Devendorf Park on Ocean Avenue across from Carmel Plaza. From noon to 4pm, enjoy entertainment by "Cheeky Spanks" and fun games for the entire family.

They will also provide hot dogs, cold drinks, chips, ice cream, watermelon, and cookies. The festival and food are free, but get there early as quantities are limited.


This year's festivities begin with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Rotary Club at 7am. Then, the parade on Main Street will start promptly at 10am and will include fun homemade floats and a variety of other entries. It usually lasts around two and a half to three hours.


Here are all the fun events planned for July 4, 2016 in Cupertino:

  • 7am - 11am: Pancake Breakfast, $7 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under, $1 for orange juice
  • 9:30am: Flag Raising at Memorial Park, Veteran's Memorial
  • 10am: Children's Parade starting at Memorial Park, Softball Field
  • 10:30am - 12:00pm: Concert in the Park at the Memorial Park Amphitheater

These are the afternoon events at Blackberry Farm:

  • 10am - 4pm: Free swimming
  • 12 to 2pm: Food Trucks
  • 5pm: Park Closes


This Independence Day in Gilroy, enjoy the annual fireworks show at Gilroy High School, beginning around 9:15pm.

Los Gatos

The Los Gatos hometown Fourth of July event is on Monday, July 4 from 11am to 4:30pm at Oak Meadow Park, 233 Blossom Hill Road. There is a shuttle to the event leaving every 15 minutes from Calvary church on Fisher Avenue. This year's events include games, a picnic lunch, and music from the San Jose Wind Symphony.

Menlo Park

The Menlo Park annual parade and celebration is Monday, July 4. The parade starts at 11:45am at Chestnut Street and Santa Cruz Avenue, and makes its way through the streets of Menlo Park to Burgess Park.

At Burgess Park, the whole family can enjoy music, games, and food until around 2:30pm.


The "Red, White & Boom" celebration in Milpitas is on Monday, July 4th at the Milpitas Sports Center Complex (1325 E. Calaveras Blvd). This afternoon event starts at 1pm at the "Waving the Red, White & Blue" Pool Party. Until 4pm that afternoon, you can enjoy music, games, and fun for $2 per person. Food is also available for purchase.

The "Red, White & Boom" Concert & Fireworks Show starts at 7pm with the gates opening at 6pm. After the concert is the fireworks show at 9:15pm. Admission is $3 per person (2 years and older).


This year, the city of Monterey will once again hold their 4th of July Parade. On Monday, July 4 watch as dozens of floats, musical units, and guest celebrities make their way through downtown Monterey.

The parade starts at 10am and lasts for about an hour. After the parade, head over to the Admission Free Big Little Backyard Bar-B-Que and Entertainment Extravaganza on the grounds of City Hall on Pacific Street. From 11am to 4:30pm, enjoy kids activities such as free carnival booths, games, face painting and jumpy houses. You will also find great food on sale all day long (or bring your own picnic lunch).

The day wraps up with a free Patriotic Concert at the Golden Gate Theater. Doors open at 6pm.

Mountain View

The place to be in Mountain View on the Fourth of July is the Shoreline Amphitheater. This annual concert by the SF Symphony with an amazing fireworks display is the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day.

Music starts at 8pm (doors open at 5pm) with the fireworks starting shortly after dark. The entire program lasts about two hours. Tickets on sale at up to 50% off on Goldstar.

Pacific Grove

On Monday, July 4, head to Caledonia Park (behind the Post Office) in Pacific Grove for their annual Fourth of July celebration. Festivities last from 11am to 3pm and include live entertainment and an old-fashioned, down-home BBQ.


Head to Pacifica on Monday, July 4 for the annual celebration at Frontierland Park. From 11am to 4pm, enjoy fun events such as live music, face painting, free games, food, crafts and more. Admission is free.

You can also start your day out at this year's 4th of July Rocket Run Race. This 5-Mile morning run starts at 9am at the Community Center (540 Crespi Dr.).

Palo Alto

The 35th Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off is Monday, July 4 at Mitchell Park (600 East Meadow Drive) in Palo Alto. This yearly Independence Day event lasts from 12 noon to 5pm. The Chili and Ice Cream Tasting starts at 1:30pm.

In addition to chili, you can also listen to live music, enjoy food from other food vendors, get your kids involved in a number of activities, and more.

Redwood City

Redwood City will once again host their large Fourth of July Parade. It starts at 10am in downtown Redwood City on Broadway, Marshall, Main and other downtown streets. This year's theme is "The Best of the West."

This year's festival takes place on the streets near the San Mateo County History Museum. You will find food, beverages, arts and crafts, and more. The Battle of the Bands competition starts at 1pm on Hamilton Street. There is also a kids area and informational booths.

The annual fireworks display will be launched from the Port of Redwood City. Music starts at 7pm. Food trucks will be on hand all night long. The fireworks will start around 9:30pm.

San Jose

This year's Rose, White and Blue Parade is set for Monday, July 4. The parade begins at 10am, winding through the Rose Garden and ending on the grand avenue known as The Alameda.

On The Alameda, you can enjoy a picnic featuring local food and drink, along with live music, an antique and classic car show, and dozens of arts and crafts booths.

The fun continues with a fireworks display downtown starting at dark. The display is at Discover Meadow, courtesy of the Rotary Club of San Jose and Symphony Silicon Valley, starting at around 9:30pm. Get there early for a great seat and to listen to music starting at 5:30pm.

San Mateo

Enjoy Fourth of July in the Park in San Mateo this holiday. This free event is at the Martin Luther King Park and Pool (Mount Diablo Avenue & N. Fremont Street). It features music, free swimming, family fun and more.

All activities are between 11am and 2pm.

Santa Cruz

The 2016 Santa Cruz Firecracker Run is on Monday, July 4. Heading into its 31st year, this family friendly event features a 10k, 5k and kid's 1k.

Registration starts at 7am, with the kids 1k run at 8am. The 10k race is at 8:30am and the 5k run starts at 8:40am. There is a pancake breakfast after the race, which is included with the entry fee.


Saratoga will once again host its All-American Celebration on July 3 and 4, 2016. The event includes streets closed for a downtown party, fireworks shot off from behind the Congress Park carousel, live music, a car show, and a BBQ and Dessert Fest along Broadway.

Scotts Valley

This year, Scotts Valley is hosting both a parade and fireworks celebration. On Monday, July 4, head over to Scotts Valley Drive for the annual parade at 3pm.

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