4th of July in San Francisco

San Francisco and the Bay Area commemorate the Fourth of July with picnics, live music, kid-friendly activities and fireworks shows. It is the only city in the country that hosts simultaneous pyrotechnic displays.

Traditional annual events include the Marin County Fair, the Alameda Parade and the activities on the USS Hornet, a Second World War aircraft carrier. The Marin County Fair has animal and horticultural displays, live music, contests and a carnival. The award-winning Alameda parade is one of the longest in the nation. It consists of marching bands, floats, horses, dancers and colorful cars. The procession covers a route that is over three miles long. After the parade, visitors can enjoy music, games, arts and handicrafts at the Jumpin’ and Jivin’ Jubilee. The USS Hornet is the venue for games, live bands and historical exhibits. One of the Bay Area baseball teams is usually in town over the holiday so that celebrants can enjoy America’s favorite pastime. The daytime activities are the prelude to the fireworks displays that illuminate the sky over San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

The pyrotechnics are launched from barges located just off Pier 39 and from the foot of the Aquatic Pier. The best views of the displays are from Coit Tower, the Fisherman’s Wharf waterfront, Ghiradelli Square and the Cannery. Other vantage points include Treasure Island and the Marin Headlands (or on a San Francisco Bay cruise). Located north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the headlands provide a magnificent bird’s eye perspective of the colorful displays.