The San Francisco Bay Area is a bit unusual when it comes to fireworks. Simply put, the powers that be don’t like them. In many counties, you can’t legally by the “safe and sane” fireworks any more that most of us grew up with. Combining that with the economic slow down that has forced many cities to cut back on displays, fireworks are not too easy to find. The areas that do shoot them off often do it on days other than the 4th of July, such as the 2nd. Most displays start about 9:00 pm or so. However, there are some places to go to still see come great fireworks in the Bay Area and some of those are listed below.
The Berkeley Marina – Yes, Berkeley has a 4th fireworks show on the 4th at their Marina festival beginning at 9 pm. The festival is dedicated to Bullwinkle Moose, but for Berkeley this is pretty good. The Marina is located at 201 University Avenue and the festival runs all day.
Commodore Events is hosting a 4th dinner and party on a cruise ship along with fireworks to complete the evening. The ship boards at the Mariner’s Square in Alameda. Prior tickets are required.
The USS Hornet, located at the dock of the former Naval Air Station in Alameda is having a 4th of July party that will end with fireworks about 9:15 pm with patriotic music. This show depends on the weather, however, which has been strange and rainy here in sunny California. Of course, today it was almost 100 here in the Bay Area, so things are looking up.
The city of Concord has a full day planned with a local festival and a full fireworks display at 9 pm. The fireworks should be shot off by the waterfront, and they are usually quite spectacular, having seen several shows when family members lived close to this event.
Pleasant Hill also has a full schedule of events including a festival, 5k run, a parade and fireworks in the evening around 9 pm. This is another fireworks display over the water.
The City of San Ramon also has a day ending fireworks display at San Ramon Central Park set to music. This event features games during the day including the use of hamster balls. So, if you want to roll around in a see through ball with your fireworks, this is the place to go.
Benicia’s City Park also will be hosting a firework’s display. This display includes a salute to the first capital of the Bear Republic, Benicia.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo with have fireworks at day’s end on both July 3rd and July 4th. If you need to be at home to defend the homestead from your neighbors on the 4th , this is a choice for you. While waiting for the fireworks, you can spend the day with the dolphins, seals and butterflys.
Likewise, Great America in Santa Clara with also be hosting firework displays every Saturday during July. Over the 4th, this means the fireworks will shoot off on July 2nd. If you miss the 2nd, however, you can still see them on any weekend in July. Of course, the July 2nd show is supposed to be a little special….
Milpitas will shoot off fireworks from the Sports Center Football field along with a concert. Go team!
Sausilito also has a fireworks show on the 4th at the Gabrielson Park.
Speaking of teams, the San Jose Giants will also have a firework’s show after the July 4th game or July 5th. Two shots at the same show! If you like it, come on back the next day.
The Oakland A’s will celebrate the 4th on the 2nd with a firework’s show in their rickety old stadium. This show will be dedicated to those folks in the military and some local heroes.
Lastly, a number of country fairs will be blasting off with fireworks. You can find displays at the Napa, Sonoma, Solano or Alameda Country fairs. For some reason, the Alameda county fair fireworks will be on July 1st instead of the 4th.
Oh, did we forget San Francisco? San Francisco has its own show at the waterfront every year along with music and a festival. It actually happens on the fourth and is large enough to be seen for miles around. Most folks go to Chrissy Field to watch the show. You can also take a Blue and Gold fleet ship out to the bay to see the show.
The World Champion San Francisco Giants will host a firework display on July 3rd at AT&T Park before they leave on a road trip. You can easily see the fireworks from the harbor around the park.
Well, that should give you some great choices for fireworks. Remember fireworks can be late and noisy for kids, so a nap for all parties is not amiss. My older son still brings ear plugs to firework shows. Not a bad idea if you don’t really like the explosions.