Things to do on the 4th of July | News | Mountain View Online |


Things to do on the 4th of July

Fewer fireworks -- but still plenty to do -- planned for this year's area Independence Day events

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 down the fireworks show at Shoreline Amphitheatre, 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:

■ 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

■ Shoreline Park is hosting fun activities for the whole family. For the first time this year, the Friends of Rengstorff House are hosting a Victorian Fashion Promenade. The meet-and-greet begins at 1 p.m. at the house, with the stroll beginning at 2 p.m. Other events at the house continue until 5 p.m., including "The Vaudeville Follies" marionettes show, patriotic storytelling for kids by the South Bay Storytellers, and All-American Jazz in the Rengstorff House Gardens by musician Benny Torres. Guests can also enjoy boat rides on a Victorian era skipper on the Shoreline lake. In addition to their annual Santa Maria BBQ, Michaels at Shoreline will be serving red, white and blue pancakes. The Lakeside Cafe offers picnic baskets for pre-order by calling (650) 965-1745.

■ 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 and click on "Events."

■ 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 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

■ 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

■ 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 or call 650-324-4321.

■ 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:

■ Santa Clara is 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

■ 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

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3 people like this
Posted by Noah
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 30, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Does anyone know, can you watch the fireworks from Shoreline park?

3 people like this
Posted by Chewbacca
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2010 at 8:56 am

You can watch from Shoreline Park but there is a large barrier on the golf course around the launch area. Best to bike in, if you drive you will be there for hours after the show.

3 people like this
Posted by Fireworks Enjoyer
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm

You can watch the Shoreline fireworks from Moffet road, on the bridge over route 101. Excellent view.

3 people like this
Posted by Greg Davis
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

The fireworks viewing list above mentions Santa Clara as a place to see them tonight.
According to Santa Clara’s site the fireworks have been canceled there this year.
Due to the City giving all its money to the billionaires that own the 49ers.
Mountain View seems to be about the only place to on the peninsula to see fire works tonight.

3 people like this
Posted by Bela
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm

The "worst of American pop" symphony show @Shoreline starts at 830, any idea when the fireworks will be on?

3 people like this
Posted by Bela
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Whoops, 8pm

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