Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - June 25, 2010

Fetes for the Fourth

Fewer fireworks — but plenty of chili — planned for this year's area Independence Day events

by Rebecca Wallace

The Midpeninsula skies will be quieter this Fourth of July. Redwood City has canceled its long-held fireworks show, citing growing costs, and Stanford Lively Arts is not bringing back its annual Independence Day fireworks and concert, which were called off last year due to campus construction.

Still, it takes more than a recession to keep Palo Alto's Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off down, and Redwood City's huge Fourth of July parade and festival is still on, along with several other area events.

Here's a sampling of Fourth festivities:

From noon to 5 p.m. on the Fourth, the 29th annual Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off happens at Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive, Palo Alto. Twenty-some teams compete in the cook-off, with chili tasting beginning at 1:30 p.m. and an awards ceremony at 3:45. The band Blues at Eleven plays, and Hedy McAdams leads line dancing. Go to http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/recreation or call 650-463-4921.

Redwood City's parade and festival also take place on July 4. The 72nd annual parade starts at 10 a.m. at Brewster Avenue and Winslow Street and travels around downtown Redwood City until about 12:30 p.m., with floats and marching bands. The festival begins at 9 a.m., with arts and crafts booths, food and drink, a pancake breakfast, a battle of the bands and other activities. Go to http://parade.org .

Fireworks are planned at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View as part of the annual San Francisco Symphony performance starting at 8 p.m. on July 4. The program includes music by Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, John Williams, Stephen Schwartz, John Adams and John Philip Sousa. Tickets are $24-$29.50. Go to http://sfsymphony.org .

Menlo Park hosts its annual parade and celebration from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the Fourth, with carnival games, jump houses, crafts, live music, laser tag and other events at Burgess Park, Burgess Drive and Alma Street. Admission is free, with a $6 wristband required for some activities. Call 650-330-2200 or go to http://menlopark.org .

Before Menlo Park's parade, Kepler's Books is hosting an Independence Day Story Time at 10:30 a.m. at 1010 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Two kids' books with historical themes will be read: "John, Paul, George & Ben" by Lane Smith and "Imogene's Last Stand" by Nancy Carpenter and Candace Fleming, with red, white and blue cupcakes served. Go to http://keplers.com or call 650-324-4321.

The wind band Ye Olde Towne Band plays with The Unicorns at a Fourth celebration in Los Altos' Shoup Park, 400 University Ave. The free event, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., also features picnic lunches for sale, balloon art and speeches by the mayors of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. Call 650-949-5908 or go to http://losaltoscf.org and click on "Events."

The Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County hosts its 60th annual Woodside Junior Rodeo starting at 8 a.m. on July 4 at 521 Kings Mountain Road in Woodside. Events include team roping and a pig scramble for younger kids. Admission is $20 general and $10 for kids ages 6 to 17. A dinner and dance will also be held on July 3. For details, call 650-851-8300.

Other July 4 fireworks shows can be found a bit farther afield. Options include:

Foster City hosts a 9:30 p.m. fireworks show over the lagoon at Leo J. Ryan Park at 650 Shell Blvd. This follows a pancake breakfast, family parade, barbecue and performances by several bands. Details are at http://fostercity.org .

Santa Clara is also planning a 9:30 p.m. fireworks display, after a picnic and celebration at Central Park, 909 Kiely Blvd. Activities throughout the day include a pancake breakfast, dance performances, a noon flag dedication, live music and carnival games. Go to http://santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx .

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