Bay Area 4th of July 2023: Fireworks, Festivals, Parades, & More

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: June 5, 2023

Bay Area 4th of July activities include fireworks, festivals, and parades. You will find a variety of things to do in San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, and along the Peninsula. 

Read on for ideas on the best places to have fun and a list of where you can see fireworks to celebrate America's birthday.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

San Francisco Events: Waterfront Festival & Fireworks 

Fireworks over the SF Bay.

The biggest Bay Area 4th of July activities are along the northern waterfront in San Francisco. On July 4, you will find a variety of things to do in Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and venues all around the district.

You can listen to live music, enjoy family friendly activities, take a cruise, and save with food and drink specials all day long. The event ends with a large fireworks display over the water. It starts at around 9:30 pm and lasts for about 30 minutes.

The event draws hundreds of thousands of people, so make sure you arrive early for the best spot!

More: Find out more about the fireworks show and what else there is to do in San Francisco this Fourth of July holiday

East Bay Fireworks

Several cities in the East Bay will host Bay Area 4th of July celebrations. The biggest are in Berkeley, Oakland, and Pleasant Hill.

  • Antioch: Fireworks in downtown Antioch over the San Joaquin River, start at after dusk
  • Concord: Mt. Diablo High School at around 9 p.m.
  • Moraga: Fireworks at Moraga Commons Park start at around 9:30 pm
  • Pleasant Hill: Viewing party at College Park High School fields, suggested donation of $4 per person, fields open at 6:30 p.m., fireworks around 8:45 p.m.
  • Richmond: 3rd of July fireworks and celebration at Marina Bay Park

Additional Fourth of July Activities in the East Bay

Antioch: This year's Antioch celebration offers a fun evening of events with a parade which starts at 4 p.m. Other fun things to do include live music, entertainment, local food trucks and family-friendly games. The fireworks start at around dusk p.m. Most events will be at the riverfront in downtown Antioch.

Benicia (7/3): Torchlight Parade starts at 6:30 pm in downtown along First Street, you'll find dancers, floats and other entertainment.

Concord: This year's events include a 5k run at 8 am followed by a parade at 10 am. The day ends with fireworks at 9 pm.

Danville: This year's annual parade in Danville is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The route starts at Hartz and Railroad Avenues and ends at San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Sycamore Valley Road. The parade includes over 150 entries, including bands and floats, and attracts more than 40,000 attendees each year. This year's theme is "Celebrating our Educators."

El Cerrito: Their annual worldOne Festival is on Monday, July 4 from 11 am to 5 pm. It includes food, a classic car show, and entertainment. It's at Cerrito Vista Park.

Fairfield: The annual Independence Day Parade in Fairfield starts at 10 am and travels down Texas Street from Taylor to Union. All activities last until around 12 p.m.

Fremont: This years parade is on July 4th and the theme is "Happiness Is..." The live parade starts at 10 am sharp. It starts near the Fremont Main Library on Paseo Padre Parkway. It ends at Capitol Avenue and Liberty Street. 

Martinez: This year's Fourth of July celebrations in Martinez will take place on July 4. The annual parade starts at 10 a.m. from Court and Main Streets and makes its way to Alhambra Avenue and Main Street. 

Moraga: You will find communities activities throughout the day including a parade, family friendly events, and fireworks. It starts with the dog parade at 11 am and ends with fireworks at 9:30 pm.

Pleasant Hill: The Annual July 4th Celebration in Pleasant Hill includes a firecracker run (7:45 am), downtown parade (9:30 am), party in the park (10:30 am to 1:30 am), and fireworks display (~8:45 pm).

Richmond: This city of Richmond celebrates early again this year on July 3rd. Head down to Marina Bay Park from 5 pm to 10 pm to enjoy live blues music, food vendors, and the interactive Fun Zone for kids. Fireworks begin around 9:15 pm with a display that last around 20 minutes.

San Pablo: Fourth of July activities include live entertainment, kids games, and food & drinks. All events start at 5 pm at the San Pablo Community Center. Admission is free, but there is a cost for the games and activities. It ends with a new aerial drone light show and ends 10 pm.

San Ramon: The celebration features music from The Boys of Summer. You will also find beer, wine, food, water, and other treats for sale. It starts at 5 pm at the San Ramon Central Park Amphitheater.

South Bay & Peninsula Fireworks

The South Bay and Peninsula areas will also have a variety of Bay Area 4th of July activities. You will find the World's Shortest Parade in Aptos, Red, White & Boom in Milpitas, and a Fourth of July celebration with the SF Symphony at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View.

  • California Great America: Start at around 9 pm
  • Cupertino: Start around 9:30 pm above the Hyde Middle School, viewing sites include Creekside Park, Sedgwick Elementary, and Miller Avenue (between Bollinger & Phil)
  • Gilroy: Gilroy High School at 9:30 pm, view them in nearby neighborhoods or at Christmas Hill Park
  • Morgan Hill: Fireworks on the Green, you can buy parking passes in advance to skip the line when you arrive, you can also purchase beer, wine, and cider (outside alcohol is not permitted), gates open at 3 pm, live music at 5 pm, and fireworks at dark.
  • Milpitas: Milpitas Sports Center Complex at 9:15 pm
  • Redwood City: Port of Redwood City at 9:30 pm
  • San Jose: Fireworks in Discovery Meadow at 9:30 pm

Additional Bay Area 4th of July Events in the South Bay & Peninsula 

Aptos: They will once again host the "World's Shortest Parade" this Independence Day. It starts at 10 am and ends around 2 pm.

Carmel-By-The-Sea: This year's celebration is a traditional, family-friendly event at Devendorf Park on Ocean Avenue across from Carmel Plaza. From 10 am to 3:30 pm, enjoy entertainment including the Monterey County Pops! 

Cupertino: This all day event includes a parade, a pancake breakfast, and fireworks. The day starts with a pancake breakfast at the Quinlan Community Center (7:30 am to 11 am), flag raising at Memorial Park (9:30 am), concert (10:30 am) and fireworks (9:30 pm).

Los Gatos: 4th of July Symphony in the Park at Oak Meadow Park, runs from 11 am to 3:30 pm

Milpitas: The "Red, White & Boom" celebration in Milpitas is at the Milpitas Sports Center Complex (1325 E. Calaveras Blvd). The evening event includes food trucks, a kids area, and other activities. Pre-sale ticket holders can enter at 5 pm and 6 pm for general admission. Fireworks close out the evening. 

Morgan Hill: The annual Freedom Fest kicks off at year on July 3 with the popular Family Music Fest, an evening filled with live music and dancing, food and drinks. Everything starts at 6 pm and ends around 10 pm. The Freedom Festival continues all day on the 4th too. This year's parade starts at 10 am. It ends fireworks at dark. The Freedom Fest also includes a 5K run and a car cruise. This event started in 1876 and continues to be one of the best in the Bay Area. 

Mountain View: The place to be in Mountain View on Thursday, 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. Doors open at 5 pm with games and events and then the music starts at 8 pm with the fireworks starting shortly after dark. The entire program lasts about two hours.

Pacific Grove: Head to downtown Pacific Grove for their annual Fourth of July celebration. Festivities last from 11 am to 3 pm at Jewell Park and include live entertainment and with food available from local restaurants. They will read the Declaration of Independence which will be followed the singing of the National Anthem. You can then enjoy other entertainment and kids activities.

Palo Alto: This free event is at Mitchell Park from 11 am to 3 pm. You can enjoy live music, food trucks, and entertainment for the kids. Bring along chairs or something to sit on during the festival.

Redwood City: Redwood City will once again host the largest Fourth of July Parade in Northern California. It starts at 10 am in downtown Redwood City on Broadway, Marshall, Main and other downtown streets. This year's festival takes place on the streets near the San Mateo County History Museum from 9 am to 5 pm. You will find food, beverages, arts and crafts, and more. The Battle of the Bands competition starts at 1 pm on Hamilton Street. The day ends with fireworks at 9:30 pm.

Saratoga: Annual, old fashioned Fourth of July with patriotic music, the Color Guard presenting the flag, and actors in costume as American historical characters. There is a family-friendly parade and a chance to write letters to our troops. Runs from 9:30 am to 11 am.

San Jose: This year's Rose, White and Blue Parade is begins at 9:45 am, 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 until 3 pm. The fun continues with a fireworks display downtown starting at dark.

North Bay & Wine Country Fireworks

If you plan to be in the North Bay or Wine Country during this annual holiday, you will also find plenty of things to do.

You will find a full day of activities in American Canyon, the Napa County Fair and Fireworks event in Calistoga, and the Marin County Fair in San Rafael.

  • American Canyon: Free fireworks in the park after dark
  • Healdsburg: Healdsburg High School Football Field at around 9 pm 
  • Rohnert Park: Transcendence Theatre Company & the Santa Rosa Symphony performance at Weill Hall and Lawn at 7:30 p.m. with fireworks around 9:15 p.m.
  • San Rafael: Marin County Fair at 9:30 p.m.
  • Sebastopol: Fireworks on July 3rd at Analy High School and Football Field, fireworks at 9:40 pm
  • Sonoma: Fireworks over General Vallejo's field, starts at dusk, will last for around 45 minutes.
  • Windsor (7/3): Keiser Park at 9:30 pm

Additional Bay Area 4th of July Festivals & Activities in the North Bay

American Canyon: Enjoy a parade, concert in the park, and fireworks. Runs from 3 pm to 10 pm at Community Park 2 at 20 Benton Way.

Calistoga: The annual parade runs from 11 am to 12 pm and the them this year is "American Icons." It's followed by live performances from 12:30 pm to 10 pm.

Healdsburg: This year's Annual July 4th Community Celebration, Kids' Parade and Duck Dash will be in Healdsburg historic town square. Activities start at 10:00 am with face painting, free food/drinks, a foot race around the plaza and the annual parade that starts at 11 am. Events wrap up around 1:00 p.m. 

Napa: Annual 4th of July Parade runs through downtown Napa. It starts at Second and School Streets and finishes at 3rd and Seminary Street.

Novato: The Novato Fourth of July Parade is in the Old Town District on Grant Avenue between Reichert and 7th Avenue, and has over 100 entries making it one of the largest in the San Francisco Bay Area. It starts at 10 am.

Rohnert Park: This year's festivities at Rohnert Park's Weill Hall and Lawn begin with a kids zone starting at 4:30 pm, complete with carnival games, bounce houses, food, music, and more. Then, at 7:30 pm, the Santa Rosa Symphony takes the stage along with the Transcendence Theatre Company. It ends with a fireworks spectacular.

San Rafael: One of the largest North Bay Celebrations is in San Rafael at the Marin County Fair. From June 30 - July 4, catch live music and fireworks each night at 9:30 p.m., more than 35 hands-on games for the entire family during the day and so much more.

Sonoma: Sonoma's Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade and Celebration includes festivities at the plaza, including food, games, and informational booths from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual parade starts at 10 a.m. at 1st Street East and Spain Street. 

SF Bay Area Fourth of July: Fireworks, Festivals, and More

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