Observe Independence Day with a pet parade, chili cook-off….and fireworks galore!!

Barbecues, parades, pool parties, fireworks… here comes 4th of July! Of course, the biggest problem with celebrating Independence Day is deciding which of the many amazing local festivities to partake in. There’s a lot happening all over the Peninsula this year, so we listed them out for you all in one place.

Take a look…

(Image via PaloAltochilicookoff.com)


Pace yourself for all the 4th festivities with a hefty morning meal via Half Moon Bay’s Pancake Breakfast. The local Lions Club chapter will be dishing up hot flapjacks from 8 a.m. until noon at the City Hall parking lot (501 Main Street) in downtown HMB.

Or stop by Palo Alto’s 38th Annual Chili Cook-off. For just $5 you can sample all the different recipes while enjoying the Palo Alto Summer Fest in Mitchell Park (with music and lots of fun for the kids). Festivities will begin at noon and go until 5p.m.

Got a sweet tooth? The San Mateo County Historical Museum is hosting an ice cream making party. What better way to cool down than homemade vanilla ice cream scoops on a hot summer day? Admissions will be half-off for the holiday: $3 adults, $2 seniors & students, and (as always) free for children 5 and under.

(Image via RWC’s Parade.org)

Plan for a Parade

Redwood City has a jam-packed schedule planned for the holiday! Starting at 7:30 a.m., the Redwood City Fire Department will host a pancake breakfast to help you carbo-load for the 5k parade run at 8 a.m., followed by the largest Independence Day parade in Northern California (beginning at 10 a.m.). After the parade there will be carnival games and a battle of the bands on Hamilton Street (featuring the Stanford Marching Band!). The festivities will culminate with a bang when fireworks begin at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Want to be a part of a parade? Decorate your bike, wagon or scooter in patriotic colors and join in on Menlo Park’s Red, White, and Blue Parade! After the parade, keep the holiday spirits high with a celebration in Burgess Park from noon-2:30 pm where there will be live music, carnival games, face painting and climbing walls.

Los Altos Hills’ parade will kick off at Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. and then conclude at Gardner Bullis School where there will be refreshments and watermelon treats!

(Image via FosterCity.org)

Foster City has a lengthy list of events at J. Ryan Park, including a dog parade followed by family games, live music and grand fireworks! Foster City will be celebrating all day long with events starting at 9 a.m. and going until 9:45 p.m.!

Want to celebrate America’s birthday like a true wild westerner? Check out Woodside’s Junior Rodeo and Parade starting at 7:30 a.m. at Mounted Patrol Grounds, include roping, women’s barrel racing, and bull riding. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for children ages 5 to 18 and free for children under the age of 5.

Half Moon Bay’s Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July Parade will take over Main Street in a mini Mardi Gras style celebration! Watch the parade packed with whimsical floats, youth groups and marching bands starting at noon and going until 3 p.m.

Join the Pacifica’s Parks, Beaches and Recreation Department for their 4th of July Celebration packed full with crafts, games, music and more at Frontierland Park running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Image via FosterCityFun.com)

And the true 4th of July attraction: FIREWORKS!!

Foster City is known for having one of the best fireworks shows on the peninsula! The sky will be exploding with color from 9:00 p.m to 9:45 p.m. over the Lagoon at Leon Ryan Park. Get a spot early.

Mountain View will be hosting Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular from 5–10 p.m. at Shoreline Amphitheater. Not only will there be fireworks but children’s musician Andy Z and the San Francisco Symphony will be performing, as well. The theme of the performances will be: To the Moon and Back, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Tickets range from $25-$75.

Redwood City will be setting off their annual fireworks display over the port starting at 9:30p.m. Get there early to enjoy their unique and decorative chalk art festival.

On July 3rd, San Mateo will have their Locals Only Highlands Firework Show. Starting at 9:30 p.m. at Highlands Elementary School, the fireworks will go off over the super scenic setting of Crystal Springs Reservoir.

Getting Home Safe

Last but not least, GJEL is offering a free cab rides (Or Uber or Lyft) this Independence Day between Thursday, July 4 from 5p.m. to Friday July 5 until 10a.m. Enjoy the 4th…and stay safe too!

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Sahale Greenwood Profile Photo

Sahale Greenwood

I am a journalist and photographer with a passion for people and the outdoors. I recently won the Justin T. McCarthy Award for Excellence in Journalism 2021 upon my graduation from Santa Clara University.

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