There should be no problem finding a way to celebrate the Fourth of July in local communities. As usual at this time of year, there will be parades, festivals, the Woodside rodeo, a concert by the San Francisco Symphony and fireworks. All events are on July Fourth unless otherwise noted.
A holiday tradition, the Woodside Junior Rodeo, hosted by the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County, will take place at the Mounted Patrol Grounds at 521 Kings Mountain Road in Woodside.
More than 100 young men and women from all over California are expected to participate. Events will include roping, women's barrel racing, pig scrambles, and bull riding for older participants.
Gates open at 8 a.m. Call 851-8300 for more information.
Menlo Park is again holding its Fourth of July Parade & Celebration, this year sponsored by Facebook.
Kids are encouraged to bring decorated bikes, tricycles and wagons and join the parade. Assemble in the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot on Chestnut Street near Santa Cruz Avenue.
The parade departs promptly at 11:45 a.m., marches down Santa Cruz Avenue and winds up at Burgess Park in the Menlo Park Civic Center, where the July Fourth festival will be held until 2:30 p.m. There will be jumpies, games, crafts, face-painting, rock walls, laser tag and live music by Mustache Harbor.
Some activities require wristbands. Buy wristbands in advance for $7 at the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium in the Menlo Park Civic Center.
The Little House Activity Center in Menlo Park will celebrate two days early, on Thursday, July 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its newly renovated courtyard. St. Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band will entertain and there will be a large spread of food, including barbecued chicken, macaroni salad, watermelon and lemonade iced tea.
Tickets are $7. To RSVP, contact Kamilah at 326-2025, ext. 222. Little House is at 800 Middle Ave.
Redwood City holds its 77th annual Independence Day Parade and Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
Go to tinyurl.com/route704 to see the route of the parade, which steps off at 10 a.m.
Following the parade, the 29th annual Independence Day Festival will offer arts and crafts booths, food and beverages, a kids' area and information booths.
The 16th edition of Battle of the Bands, featuring the UC Davis California Aggie Marching Band battling the Stanford University Marching Band, will occur at 1 p.m. on Hamilton Street.
Visit parade.org for more information.
Also, in Redwood City, the San Mateo County History Museum at 2200 Broadway is hosting its Old Fashioned Fourth of July event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be activities for children such as the opportunity to hand-crank ice cream and construct traditional Independence Day crafts. In addition, adults can watch vintage films of the Peninsula from the museum's archives at 1 p.m.
Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and students, and free for children 5 and under.
Palo Alto's 34th annual Chili Cook Off & Summer Festival will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow Drive. There will be live entertainment, music, activities for children and, of course, the chili competition.
Go to cityofpaloalto.org/chili for more information.
The San Francisco Symphony will hold its annual Fourth of July concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre at 8 p.m.
The event will celebrate American film music, including a special tribute to "The Sound of Music" to honor the 50th anniversary of that film. Edwin Outwater will conduct the orchestra. The event will end with a fireworks show.
Go to livenation.com and search for San Francisco Symphony to buy tickets.