Gearing up for Independence Day and want to be sure that fireworks are a part of your experience this July Fourth? Given that even fireworks labeled “safe and sane” can cause bodily harm and pose a dangerous fire hazard (not to mention a potential public nuisance), most municipalities in the Bay Area prohibit their sale and use except by professional fireworks shows that have been issued a permit. With heavy rains contributing to an abundant grass crop in 2017, the potential for damage caused by illegal use of fireworks is even greater this year. Fortunately, there are plenty of spectacular public fireworks shows to enjoy in the Bay Area, even for those who prefer not to venture far from home. Here are a few great options to consider:
Foster City Fourth of July Festival, 650 Shell Boulevard/Hillsdale: Considered to be one of the best fireworks exhibits on the Peninsula, this free event lets you get a close view of fireworks displayed over the Lagoon at Leo Ryan Park. Although parking is available for $10, be aware that this is a popular event that draws large crowds so you should plan to arrive early. Daytime festivities begin with a pancake breakfast from 9-11 a.m., followed by a Family and Dog Parade at 11:05 a.m. starting at the VIBE Teen Center on Shell Boulevard. Activities continue with live music, games, food and arts vendors, a barbeque from the Lions Club and more. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30-9:45 p.m. Find details at http://bit.ly/4thofJulyFestivalFosterCity.
Angel Island: If you prefer to stay away from unwieldy crowds and are looking for a unique way to view San Francisco’s fireworks, you might consider purchasing tickets for the Angel Island Fourth of July Experience. Ticket prices of $73 adults/$52 kids include a ferry ride to Angel Island and back, live music, a hot beverage and a round-trip tram ride from the cove to the viewing area at Battery Ledyard. For $20 per person, you can also purchase a dinner of fried chicken, potato salad, biscuit and brownie. For details and to purchase tickets before they sell out, visit http://bit.ly/AngelslandFourthofJuly.
Coit Tower, San Francisco: With panoramic views of the city, this 210-foot white tower located on the top of Telegraph Hill is a choice spot to view multiple fireworks displays on July Fourth. Parking at the top is limited, so if you prefer not to hike up the stairs, you can purchase tickets in the gift shop downstairs that will take you in an elevator to the viewing area. For more information on this historic landmark, visit http://bit.ly/CoitTowerJulyFourth.
Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View: Each year, the San Francisco Symphony’s performance culminating in a magnificent fireworks display continues to draw appreciative audiences to this open-air venue. For more information on the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular at Shoreline, visit http://bit.ly/4thofJulyFireworksSpectacular. And to ensure you get a good deal, compare prices on Goldstar, a go-to site for discounted tickets for the performing arts.
Shoreline Lake, 3160 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View: For an alternate way to view the Shoreline Amphitheatre fireworks without all the hoopla, you can nab a spot along Shoreline Lake or even reserve a boat to experience the fireworks from the water. To book a boat for July Fourth, call the boathouse at 650.965.7474 or visit http://bit.ly/ShorelineLakeBoatRentals. For general information about Shoreline Lake, go to www.shorelinelake.com.
San Francisco Fourth of July Waterfront Celebration: If large crowds won’t deter you, the Waterfront Festival at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf offers a full day of fun for the whole family including live music from WJM and popular ‘80s cover band Tainted Love. Fireworks begin over the San Francisco Bay at 9:30 p.m. Just be prepared that fog can be a factor and you should plan to dress warmly. Find details at https://www.pier39.com/fourth-of-july/.
Alameda County Fair, Pleasanton: For those who prefer to celebrate in the East Bay, the 2017 Alameda County Fair & Fireworks Show set to music performed live by the Oakland Symphony promises to be a spectacular event. Prior to the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. there will a Salute to Hometown Heroes. What’s more, July Fourth is “First Responders Night” with free entrance for police and firefighters showing valid identification. Gates and parking lots will close on July 4 at 6 p.m. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/AlamedaCountyFair4thofJuly.
Looking for a dazzling fireworks exhibition or July Fourth event right in your community? Find a comprehensive list of July Fourth weekend activities and official fireworks displays organized alphabetically by community at http://bit.ly/FourthofJulyAroundtheBayArea. And we would be remiss if we didn’t add a reminder to exercise extra caution in your car this holiday weekend when so many are on the roads. Also, keep in mind that loud noises caused by fireworks often upset animals. It’s best to put your pets safely inside before it gets dark, and make sure that they don’t have a way to slip out since frightened animals can get very clever in finding escape routes.
For more July Fourth safety tips and to download a free first aid app from the Red Cross, go to http://bit.ly/JulyFourthSafetyTipsRedCross. Finally, we wish to thank our Law Enforcement, Fire and EMT Family for everything they do to keep us safe this holiday weekend, and every day!