By Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Falling on hump day, this 2018 Independence Day holiday is a bit awkward. A one-day holiday landing smack in the middle of the week is certainly tricky and that’s what we’ve got on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Back in the 1970s, when Congress shifted most national holidays to being observed on a Monday, lawmakers did not tamper with the fourth of July. The San Francisco Bay Area is putting a brave face on the midweek circumstance to show how much can be done with a day off that’s nowhere near the weekend.
San Francisco Symphony With Fireworks
One Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
On July 4, 2018 at 8 p.m., the annual concert gets underway. It’s a festive outdoor event of hero-themed favorites that are perfect for summer, performed by the San Francisco Symphony led by conductor Edwin Outwater. There’s “Star Wars” music, military-themed favorites and top of the pops hits performed by Broadway vocalist Capathia Jenkins. On the program, classics like Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” Overture and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The grand finale is an impressive fireworks display. Heads up on traffic, as the venue is big, with a capacity of 22,500, including 16,000 general admission on the lawn.
Calistoga’s Star-Spangled Social
Napa County Fair Association
1435 N. Oak St.
Calistoga, CA 94515
Come to Calistoga for the annual event that brings together a parade, a carnival and a fireworks display and actually falls on the Fourth of July. For more than a century, Calistoga has been celebrating Independence Day with a bang. Festivities begin downtown at 11 a.m. with the annual parade, a procession of floats, dancing horses and a marching band. Spectators dressed in patriotic gear of red, white and blue join in to make the short trek to the Napa County Fairgrounds where the gates open at 12 p.m. for live music, picnicking, giant backyard games and plenty of carnival rides. As the evening dark falls, all festival goers have front row seats to the best fireworks in the Napa County sky. Admission is $15 in advance ($20 at-the-door) and children under age 5 are free.
Embarcadero and Pier 39
Vallejo Chamber of Commerce
425A Virginia St.
Another Bullwinkel Show Event
201 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Berkeley is going for all-day fun at the Marina starting at 12 p.m and running until 10 p.m. The onstage entertainment has something for everyone. There’s an Allman Brothers tribute band; a demonstration of disciplined kicks, punches, and sparring martial arts skills; a comedy show that delivers juggling, pantomime, and magic, too. Stick around for belly dancing, jazz funk, R&B, an Afro-Cuban drumming circle and more. In addition to all kinds of food stalls and truck, there are live pony rides, carnival rides, an inflatable bounce area, mini-train rides, a giant wavy slide, balloon animal making and walk-on-water bubble balls. Kids can get a henna tattoo or a face painting. At 9:35 p.m. the fireworks spectacular begins at the end of Berkeley Pier. Organizers say the best viewing is along Frontage Drive south of the pier or from the HS Lordship parking lot.