By Jane Knoerle
Local communities will celebrate the Fourth of July with old-fashioned family activities, ranging from a pig scramble at the Woodside Junior Rodeo to Menlo Park's annual parade and festival. The day will climax with Redwood City's fireworks display, which can been seen from high points all around the Peninsula.
All the events listed below will be held on Thursday, July Fourth, unless otherwise noted.
Everyone is invited to join in the Menlo Park Fourth of July parade, starting at 11:45 a.m. in the Wells Fargo parking lot at the intersection of Santa Cruz Avenue and Chestnut Street.
Kids and their families are asked to dress in red, white and blue and bring decorated tricycles and bikes, wagons, pets and floats to join the parade down Santa Cruz Avenue.
The festival, from noon to 2:30 p.m., at Burgess Park, will feature carnival games, jump houses, a rock wall, crafts, face painting and laser tag. Family games will include a tug-of-war and potato-sack race. The House Rockers band will entertain from center stage.
Vendors offering food and drink will include the Menlo Park Host Lions Club selling hot dogs, and Round Table pizza.
Wrist bands, required for some activities, will be sold for $7 each at the festival and parade and, in advance, at the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium, 600 Alma St. in Menlo Park.
Also in Menlo Park, the Little House Activity Center, located at 800 Middle Ave., will hold an Independence Day celebration from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3. Guests will be served hamburgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, baked beans and apple pie for $6. Jump for Joy will provide live music. For information, call 326-2025, ext. 222.
The 63rd Woodside Junior Rodeo, sponsored by the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County, will be held at the Mounted Patrol grounds, 521 Kings Mountain Road in Woodside. Gates open at 8 a.m.
The full day of events include cowboys and cowgirls taking part in team roping, barrel racing, and even a pig scramble for the younger kids. The main events start at noon with the presentation of the colors by the Mounted Patrol Color Guard. The rodeo queen and her court of princesses will be on hand.
Family entertainment will include pony rides, a petting zoo, and a mechanical bull. Food and beverages will be available.
Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for kids, and free for those 5 and under.
The Mounted Patrol will also hold a dinner-dance, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Mounted Patrol grounds. For tickets, call 851-8300.
Redwood City festivities begin at 7:30 a.m. with the annual pancake breakfast hosted by the city's fire department at Station 9, 755 Marshall St.
The annual parade run, a 5K event that benefits the Redwood City Education Foundation, starts at 8:45 a.m. at Brewster Avenue and Arguello Street.
Visit paraderun.org for more information.
Now in its 75th year, the annual July Fourth parade starts at 10 a.m at Marshall Street, at the corner of Winslow Street, and ends near Alden Street.
The Independence Day festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Broadway downtown area. The festival includes arts and crafts booths, food and drink for sale, and kids' activities.
The Woodside Terrace A.M. Kiwanis Club will once again hold its annual carnival in the county government lot, corner of Veterans Boulevard and Middlefield Road. The carnival will feature family-oriented rides that parents and children can enjoy together, such as the Ferris wheel, fun house, and Berry-Go-Round.
The 103-year-old county courthouse in Redwood City will be the setting for a child-oriented old-fashioned Fourth of July presented by the San Mateo County History Museum. Kids will be invited to hand-crank vanilla ice cream and then take a taste. They will also make traditional crafts, to take home with them. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Museum admission will be half price for the day: $2.50 for adults, $1.50 for seniors and students, and free for kids 5 and under. The museum is located at 2200 Broadway in Redwood City.
Thousands are expected to attend Palo Alto's 32nd annual chili cook-off from noon to 5 p.m. at Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive in Palo Alto. There will be live music, dancing, food vendors, face painting and other kids' activities.
Admission is free with a small fee for chili-tasting kits. Tasting starts at 1:30 p.m.
Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View will be the setting for a performance by the San Francisco Symphony at 8 p.m. The program will include music by John Williams, such as the Olympic fanfare and theme, as well as music from the films "Chariots of Fire," "Ben Hur" and "Damn Yankees." The performance will be followed by a fireworks display.
Visit tinyurl.com/music-704 to buy tickets at Livenation.com.