From San Jose to San Francisco, the Bay Area plans to go out with a bang for this Thursday for the Fourth of July, with fireworks, live music, parades and more.
Palo Alto's 32nd Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook Off at Mitchell Park begins at noon on Thursday with live music, jump houses, face painting and more. Chili tasting will start at 1:30 p.m. and will continue until the event closes around 5 p.m.
Mountain View will host the San Francisco Symphony for its annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at the Shoreline Amphitheater. The symphony starts 8 p.m., with lawn and seat tickets still available for purchase at the box office and online at Shoreline Tickets. Fireworks officially begin at 9:30, but in past years organizers have waited until it's fully dark to start the show. Biking is recommended as leaving the venue can be crowded.
Menlo Park is marking Independence Day starting at 11:45 a.m. with a parade that begins in the parking lot behind Wells Fargo, on the corner Santa Cruz Avenue and Chestnut Street, and ends at Burgess Park. There will be music, face painting, a rock wall, laser tag and more at the park, with the festivities ending around 2:30 p.m. A $7 wristband is required for some activities and will be sold on the day of. They can also be purchased in advance at the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium at 600 Alma St., Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Redwood City will be celebrating downtown on the Fourth, pulling out all the stops with a parade, music and carnival. The festival and a car show begins at 9 a.m. and the parade starts at 10 a.m. The city's fireworks show off the Port of Redwood City begins around 9:30 p.m.
In Santa Clara, Great America will extend Independence Day celebrations to the weekend, with fireworks shows on July 5 and 6. In addition, Great America is offering free admission and discounted guest passes for veterans July 4-7.
Foster City will host its annual Fourth of July celebration at Leo Ryan Park. Join in at 9 a.m. for a people and dog parade and stay the day for live music, local art, family games and food. A fireworks show is slated to start at 9:30 p.m.
San Jose's outdoor shopping center, Santana Row, is hosting a Summer Block Party on the Fourth from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The block party will feature music, sidewalk sales, discounts and events within stores and a barbecue in Park Valencia with mini beef and vegetarian sliders from The Counter.
The city of San Jose will also hold its annual Rose, White and Blue Parade and Festival, which begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday. The parade will wind through the Municipal Rose Garden, a 5.5-acre garden at the intersection of Naglee and Dana Avenues, and end on a historic city street, The Alameda. The parade features floats, dancers, live bands, antique cars and more. The celebrations will continue with a picnic at The Alameda, featuring live music and food and drink from local restaurants until 3 p.m.
Although Half Moon Bay will not have a fireworks show this year, community service group the Lion's Club will still host its annual Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast in Mac Dutra Park from 8 a.m. to noon. Immediately after, the city will follow with its annual parade through downtown.
In San Francisco, one can celebrate the Fourth of July at Pier 39, where there will be music, food and activities all day, starting at noon. And to cap the night off, a fireworks show is set to begin around 9:30 p.m. off the pier. The show can be seen from any high place on the east and north sides of the city.