Celebrating the Fourth with parades, festivals, rodeo


By Tiffany Lam | Special to the Almanac

Those looking for a way to celebrate Independence Day need look no further than local communities, where lots of activities, including parades, festivals, fireworks, and even a rodeo, will be held.

Menlo Park

Locals are invited to decorate bikes, wagons, golf carts and floats and parade down Santa Cruz Avenue to Burgess Park on July Fourth. The parade begins at 11:45 a.m. at the parking lot behind Wells Fargo bank on Chestnut Street at Santa Cruz Avenue.

At the park, there will be music, food, games, jump houses, crafts, face painting, rock walls, laser tag, and more until 2:30 p.m. Musical group Mustache Harbor will perform.

The event is free. For some activities, a $7 wristband is required, and can be purchased in advance at the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call the Community Services Department at 330-2220.


More than 100 young people from around California will test their skills July Fourth at the Junior Rodeo on the Mounted Patrol Grounds at 521 Kings Mountain Road in Woodside.

Events will include roping, women's barrel racing and bull riding. For the family, there are pony rides, a pig scramble and a petting zoo. Food and beverages will be sold.

Gates open at 8 a.m. and the main event begins at noon. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for children, and free for kids 6 and under.

A pre-rodeo dinner and dance will be held at the Mounted Patrol Grounds at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 3.

Go to mpsmc.org/rodeo or call 851-8300 for more informtion.

Canada College in Woodside is opening its parking lots for the public to view fireworks displays on the Peninsula. The free viewing begins at 6:30 p.m. in the upper parking lots on the campus at 4200 Farm Hill Blvd.

The main entrances on Farm Hill Boulevard and Canada Road will allow cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Barbecuing, cooking, alcohol and fireworks are not allowed.

Redwood City

"Through the Eyes of a Child" is the theme of the 76th annual Independence Day Parade in downtown Redwood City.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Winslow and Marshall streets in downtown Redwood City.

After the parade, there is the 28th annual Independence Day Festival with booths located throughout the downtown area. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival has arts and crafts booths, food and beverages, and other entertainment.

Go to parade.org for more information.

The San Mateo County History Museum at 2200 Broadway in Redwood City is hosting an old-fashioned Fourth of July event, where children can hand-crank homemade vanilla ice cream and make traditional Independence Day crafts.

The event takes place July Fourth from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is an admission fee of $2.50 for adults and $1.50 for students and seniors. For more information, call 299-0104.

Palo Alto

The city of Palo Alto will hold its 33rd annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off to celebrate Independence Day. Chefs will make a variety of chili dishes for the competition from noon to 5 p.m.

There will be music, more food and kids activities. The event is free and takes place at Mitchell Park on 600 E. Meadow Drive in Palo Alto.

Go to tinyurl.com/Chili-704 or call Ali Williams at 648-3829 for more information.

Mountain View

The San Francisco Symphony will give its annual concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View at 8 p.m. on July Fourth. There will be music from the movies and American symphonic favorites leading up to a fireworks show.

Limited areas of the golf course and driving range will be open for the public to view the fireworks.

Shoreline has limited parking space that fills early in the day. One access point will be available from Garcia Avenue, where city staff and volunteers will guide the public to safe viewing locations. Both the Stevens Creek Trail and Permanente Creek Trail hours will be extended on July Fourth.

Click here or call 967-4040 for more information and tickets.


Like this comment
Posted by cmon
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I think it is time for MP to have a real parade. The current format is cute but clearly is focused on families with youg kids. We need a more inclusive parade that encourages more of the town to turn out, set up chairs, and enjoy. Our approach is getting old and is pretty clunky

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