It’s that time of year to celebrate the birthday of our great nation, along with barbeques, parties and fireworks displays. The San Francisco Bay Area has lots of festivities including parades, picnics, and live music. Here are some of my favorite activities:
Marin County Fair: Even if you don’t typically like fairs, make an exception for this one, where you can enjoy live music, rides, food, livestock and fireworks shows every evening, set around a beautiful lake. Taste good food at this green fair, with activities for all ages. This year’s musical performers include Los Lobos, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Temptations, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. They offer a fireworks show each night during the fair. From June 30 – July 4, 2012 from 11a.m. to 11 p.m.
Napa County Fair & Fireworks: Held in the charming town of Calistoga, experience a small town fair from June 29 – July 4, 2012. People love the non-stop fun and entertainment, abundance of food and wine, art and other attractions. Among the headliners is country music star and three-time Grammy-nominee Joe Nichols. Also, Monday, July 2 from 6-8 p.m., Calistoga Winegrowers presents Twice as Good Blues, a tasting of select red and white wines while people relax to great blues music.
Alameda County Fair: Come share in the 100 Year Anniversary celebrations, held at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton from June 20 – July 8, 2012. Experience the thrill of rides, food, exhibits, horse racing, concerts and more. Fireworks shows will be held on June 22, 29, and July 6, 2012 at approximately 9:30 p.m.
San Francisco: Fireworks display near Pier 39 at 9:30 p.m. Best viewing locations are Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Aquatic Park, Coit Tower, or Angel Island.
Angel Island via Ferry: View San Francisco fireworks for the first time on Angel Island. Boats leave San Francisco at 5:40 p.m. and arrive back at 11 p.m. Boats leave from Sausalito at 6 p.m. and return at 11:20 p.m. Enjoy live music, dancing, food and drinks at the local cafes. Visitors should be equipped with flashlights or headlamps, blankets and portable seats. Round-trip tickets from Pier 41: $22 for adults; $14.50 for ages 5-11.
San Francisco Fireworks Cruises Bay Cruises: Red & White departs 7:45 pm and 8:15 p.m. Boats cruise along the waterfront, stop to watch the San Francisco fireworks and return by10:30 p.m. Departure from Pier 43 ½, San Francisco 94133. Tickets: $66 (includes one free beverage). Blue & Gold departs 8:00, 8:15 and 8:30 p.m. Boats stop in the bay for the San Francisco fireworks show. No outside beverages or alcohol allowed; drinks and snacks available on board for purchase. The 8:15 p.m. cruise is non-alcoholic. Departure from Pier 41, San Francisco 94133, at 8:00 and 8:15 p.m.; departs from Tiburon at 8:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary.
Sausalito: Come watch a parade at 10 a.m. with classic cars and floats, along with music and food. More activities are held at Dunphy Park during the day. Gather at Gabrielson Park for live music and a fireworks show over the bay in the evening.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to wear red, white and blue in honor of America’s birthday!
About the Author: Karla is the author of several travel columns covering wine, food, horse racing, and exotic car events, as well as undiscovered travel locations. Discover more from over 300 travel articles of places to explore.
©Karla Erovick 2012 article
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