Editor’s note: Due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, the majority of the Bay Area’s 4th of July events have been cancelled for 2020. We will update this guide as we learn of new events taking place this year. We hope to see you back here next year, perusing our guide for the best July 4th festivities. 

While 2020 might not be the July 4th that we are used to, there are still some fun ways we can celebrate with our families. A number of local events have gone virtual this year and we look forward to celebrating with our favorite in-person events in 2021!

Virtual Fourth of July Events

Concord's Virtual Neighborhood Parade
For the first time ever, Concord's 4th of July Parade is going virtual! Catch all of the events from Concord's Facebook page. Sat. Event details

Independence Day Party with CAMP and Kroger
It’s a red, white and blue-berry Independence Day party and you’re all invited! Join CAMP and Kroger for an hour of creativity and fun. They'll guide you through DIY tie-dye, participate in an interactive magic show and dance! Fri. Event details

July 4th Oration—The Struggle for Justice Continues
Using the 1852 address by Douglass as a framework, the Oration examines issues of liberty, citizenship, civic engagement and social responsibility from the historical perspective in light of contemporary injustice. Amidst contemporary crises, Frederick Douglass’s address rings out from history, reminding us we must learn from the past to create the future all Americans deserve. Sat. Event details

July 4th with the National Archives
Join the National Archives for its first-ever virtual July 4th celebration! For 50 years, the Archives has celebrated the founding of the United States that includes a traditional reading ceremony of the Declaration of Independence on the Museum steps. This year, the National Archives will lift the words of the Declaration of Independence off of its well-worn parchment paper and bring them to homes across the country online, while providing a host of educational activities for the whole family. Sat. Event details

California Center for the Arts Virtual 4th of July Festival
Since this year's fireworks celebration is cancelled, California Center for the Arts will be bringing you a virtual festival with events kicking off at 3 p.m. From crafts with the kiddos to Broadway stars singing your favorite songs to their annual tradition of Marine Band there will be something for everyone! Sat. Event details

4 on the 4th
Join the City of Auburn for their virtual 4 on the 4th program created to get people outside and active. To participate, simple walk, run, bike, hike or swim four miles on the 4th. Then email a record of your activity to receive a finisher certificate from the City of Auburn a few weeks later via snail mail. Sat. Event details.

The following events have been canceled for 2020. Come back next year to enjoy our July 4th guide!

photo: Hornblower Cruises

San Francisco

Hornblower Cruises
Get out on the water and see San Francisco's amazing fireworks from a whole different vantage point. Hornblower offers three evening cruises that include fireworks viewing—the premier fireworks dinner cruise, buffet dinner cruise and the San Francisco Belle cruise. You'll avoid all the crowds and have the best viewing spot in the bay!

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: hornblower.com

Fourth of July Celebration at The PIER
Witness the skies sparkle red, white and blue as PIER 39 celebrates Independence Day with a day of fun for the whole family! Start your day with live entertainment on the Entrance Plaza Stage featuring Mustache Harbor – Yacht Rock Explosion from 3-6 p.m.! At approximately 9:30 p.m., look to the sky for the City & County of San Francisco’s spectacular fireworks display.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: pier39.com

East Bay

4th of July at the Berkeley Marina
The line-up at the Berkeley Marina’s July 4th fete has it all: pony rides, giant slides, water bubble ball rides, carousels, face painting, and of course, access to the only playground around where the kids can use hammers, nails, saws and paint to transform the place any way they want (the whimsical Adventure Playground is open until 8 p.m.). Moms and dads can have a few wishes of their own granted and sneak in a quickie massage while the little ones are being tossed around on the Tilt-a-Whirl. This event also boasts its very own fireworks display at 9:30 p.m., so it’s a 4th of July one-stop shop. 

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: anotherbullwinkelshow.com

The 4th Aboard the USS Hornet
How about ringing in the fourth strapped into a flight simulator aboard an aircraft carrier? The USS Hornet hosts an Independence Day party that trades the typical parade for tours of Sick Bay, Captain’s Quarters and the Torpedo Room (and don’t forget that flight simulator). But this being a party, there will also be live music, plenty to eat and drink, inflatable slides and a jump house sure to please any little sailor. Once the sun goes down, watch the fireworks from across the Bay on the flight deck.

2020 Update: Event canceled

Alameda Mayor’s 4th of July Parade
If streamer-wrapped bikes and wagons sound like child’s play, maybe the Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade is more your speed. Billed as “one of the largest and longest” Independence Day parades in the nation, the event boasts more than 2,500 participants including dance troupes, antique cars and equestrians. Little ones can hone their counting skills trying to keep track of the 140 floats as they roll by.

2020 Update: Event canceled

photo: Kate Loweth


Redwood City 4th of July Parade, Festival and Fireworks
Among those cities vying for the “biggest and best” honor, Redwood City stakes claim to the “largest Independence Day parade in Northern California.” Parade participants come from all over the state to wow the judges and spectators and to compete for cash prizes. The festival that follows features craft booths, plenty to eat and drink and a kids’ area with clowns, face-painting and a magic show. Start the morning off with pancakes at the fire house.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: redwoodcity.org

Fourth of July at Shoreline
Celebrate the Fourth of July with a festive outdoor performance perfect for summer! Led by conductor Edwin Outwater, the SF Symphony fills the night air with the exhilarating music of Star Wars, chart-topping pop performed by renowned Broadway vocalist Capathia Jenkins and American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis, selections from famous film scores, a salute to our Armed Forces, and more—culminating in a grand finale of amazing fireworks.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: sfsymphony.org

Menlo Park's 4th of July Celebration
Professional dancers and enormous floats need not apply: At the Menlo Park parade, the spotlight is on the kids. Get decked out in your finest red, white and blue and come rolling over in decorated wagons, bikes and trikes. At the end of the parade route at Burgess Park, the festivities will continue with carnival games, rocks walls, jump houses, crafts, laser tag, face painting and more.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: menlopark.org

photo: Kate Loweth

South Bay

4th of July at Roaring Camp
Bring out the entire family and friends for a fun-filled day of games, live music and an all-American barbecue. See why the west was wild aboard our Redwood Forest Steam Train as you witness shootouts between famed lawmen and notorious outlaws during our Great Train Robbery.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: roaringcamp.com

Rotary Club Centennial Fireworks
The Rotary Club of San Jose invites you, your family and your friends to Discovery Meadow in downtown San Jose to celebrate our nation's independence! The fireworks show will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m., after dusk.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: rotaryfireworks.org

Old-Fashioned Independence Day
Take a step back in time and attend this 1900s style Independence Day celebration. In addition to costumes and living history demonstrations, the day includes a family parade at noon, games, children’s crafts, live music, food vendors, historic speeches and a flag-raising.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: parks.ca.gov

photo: Marin County Fair


Marin County Fair
Head to the Marin County Fair to enjoy festive fun for the whole family. Admission includes 28 free carnival rides along with the concerts, exhibits, puppet theater and nightly fireworks.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: marinfair.org

Corte Madera Fourth of July Parade & Festival
The Corte Madera-Larkspur 4th of July parade and celebration is big on small-town charm (think firetrucks, marching bands and local politicians doling out candy and other goodies). Follow the route along Magnolia Street in Larkspur and continuing along Tamalpais Avenue to Corte Madera Town Center and let the kids enjoy the jumpy house, crafts and musical entertainment.

2020 Update: Event canceled

Sausalito Fourth of July Celebration
Sausalito is one of the few communities that hosts not only a parade but also its own fireworks, and the crowds are far tamer than in SF. This waterfront parade and party starts at the intersection of Second and Main streets and ends at Dunphy Park, where live bands will be presiding over the all-day festivities with a killer view. Come with your game face on: the competition will be fierce at the epic tug-of-war and egg toss battles, kicking off at noon.

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: oursausalito.com

Red, White & Boom!
Enjoy a fantastic lineup of local bands and great food from the many local vendors who will be serving up their specialties. For the kids they’ll have jumpy houses, face painters and more. The evening fireworks show will be synced to music from KZST 100.1 FM

2020 Update: Event canceled
Online: srboom.com


—Kate Loweth, Erin Feher & Sonia Gandiaga

featured photo: Zuza Gałczyńska via Unsplash


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