American Flag (credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

The 4th of July action is at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf right along the Embarcadero and the waterfront. The day starts with a picnics and parades, continues with concerts and closes out with booms and bangs as the sky lights up. Pier 39 is the best place to see the fireworks reflected over San Francisco Bay, but there are more in Berkeley, Sausalito, Oakland and beyond. All that eye candy will produce crowds, especially this year when the holiday falls on a Saturday.

Pier 39, San Francisco
Beach Street & The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 705-5500
Date: July 4, 2015 starting at 12 p.m.

At noon, free live musical entertainment begins with a show from WJM Band. It’s pure energy onstage from this incredibly talented trio of fifth graders called William, Jerry and Max, who have made a name for themselves performing in support of charitable events. The Tainted Love concert is at 5 p.m. Find a place at Pier 39 or elsewhere along the waterfront. Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. Everyone will have one thought in mind: please, no fog.

420 Litho St.
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 289-4100
Date: July 4, 2015

The hometown parade has floats, musical bands, clowns, classic cars, acrobats, flowers and balloons starting at 10 a.m., from the corner of Second and Main streets, passing through downtown Sausalito. It winds up with a family-fun festival with games, tug-of-war, dancing, food and drink in Dunphy Park with live music from noon. From 6:30 p.m., picnics are spread out at Gabrielson Park for more music and views of the fireworks display over Richardson Bay from barges off Spinnaker Point beginning at dark.

Oakland Athletics Coliseum
7000 Coliseum Way
Oakland, CA 94621
(866) 800-1275
Date: July 3, 2015, game starts at 6:05 p.m.

Get an early dose of fireworks over the field — from on the field — when the Oakland A’s meet the Seattle Mariners on Friday night of the Independence Day Weekend. After the game, fans are invited to sit on the outfield grass to enjoy the colorful fireworks display set to music.

Shoreline Amphitheatre
1 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 967-3000
Date: July 4, 2015 at 8 p.m.

In the 29th annual extravaganza, the San Francisco Symphony celebrates Independence Day at the indoor/outdoor amphitheatre. This year’s program is American film music, with a special tribute to “The Sound of Music” on its 50th anniversary. Conducted by Edwin Outwater, the symphony concludes the evening with a fireworks show.

Alameda Parade
Park St. at Lincoln Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 263-9399
Date: July 4, 2015 at 10 a.m.

The Mayor’s Parade attracts more than 60,000 spectators plus television crews to view the nation’s longest Independence Day procession of 170 floats and 2,500 participants covering 3.3 miles. Classic cars, antique fire trucks, floats, equestrians, dance troops, marching bands and all sorts of patriotic music step out for one of the best of the East Bay’s homegrown events, founded for the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. No fireworks.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on