Midpeninsula celebrates Independence Day


Locals can explore numerous Fourth of July festivities this week, including the traditional parade sponsored by the city of Menlo Park, a rodeo in Woodside, an art festival in Redwood City, and a concert in Mountain View. And yes, there will be some fireworks.

Check out our guide to some of the most popular local events and activities below.


Fourth of July parade and celebration

11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Burgess Park, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park;

Menlo Park's annual Fourth of July parade will begin at 11:45 a.m. at Santa Cruz Avenue and Chestnut Street and make its way to Burgess Park at Alma Street and Burgess Drive. Attendees are invited to decorate bikes and wagons, but no motor vehicles are allowed. In addition to the parade, the celebration also will include live music from the local band Hella Good, climbing walls, bouncy castles, arts and crafts stations, mini golf and more. The event is free but $10 wristbands are required for some activities.


Junior Rodeo and Parade

7:30 a.m. at Mounted Patrol Grounds, 521 Kings Mountain Road;

The Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County hosts this annual family-friendly tradition, where more than 100 people will participate in events including roping, women's barrel racing, and bull riding at the Mounted Patrol Grounds in Woodside. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for children ages 5 to 18 and free for children under the age of 5.


Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular

5-10 p.m. at Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View;

Local children's musician Andy Z will be partnering with the San Francisco Symphony to give a family-friendly performance at the Shoreline Amphitheatre for the 33rd annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. He will perform at 5 p.m., followed by the symphony's performance.

"I write and perform my own songs," the Redwood City native said. "I'm going to be mixing them into some traditional American songs like 'This Land is Your Land.'"

While this is Andy Z's first time performing for the Fourth of July at Shoreline, he has been performing at Foster City's annual Fourth of July celebration for the past decade.

The San Francisco Symphony's performance will begin at 8 p.m. This year's theme is "To the moon and back," celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The symphony will be led by conductor Edwin Outwater with performances from vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Constantine Maroulis. The genres range from classical to pop, and include chart-topping hits as well as songs from movie scores and soundtracks.

The fireworks show will begin at the end of the concert, starting around 9:50 p.m. Tickets to the concert are $15-30, plus a $20 parking fee.


Chili Cook-off and Summer Festival

Noon to 5 p.m. at Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive, Palo Alto;

The city of Palo Alto is hosting the 38th annual Chili Cook-off at Mitchell Park Community Center. The competition, which is sanctioned by the International Chili Society, will begin at noon on July 4. Tickets are $5 and include five tastings and a ballot for the people's choice award. The chili-tasting will begin at 1:30 p.m., and ballots must be submitted by 3:15 p.m. Judges will present awards for first, second and third place, as well as for categories such as "best spirit" and "best decorated booth." There will be an array of food trucks and booths for those who are not fans of chili. Arts and crafts, bouncy houses and lawn games will provide added entertainment for kids.


Chalk Full of Fun on the Square Festival

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St.;

Sponsored by University Art, the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission and the Peninsula Celebration Association, the fifth annual chalk-art festival will be held at the Courthouse Square in downtown Redwood City on July 3 and 4. Artist teams will be assigned a section of concrete ranging from 9 to 144 square feet depending on skill level and experience. Participants are provided with materials, including chalk, shade, lunch, snacks and water. The finished designs range from simple shapes to pop culture references to intricate designs and optical illusions.


9:30 p.m., Port of Redwood City

The annual fireworks display over the Port of Redwood City will light up the sky beginning at around 9:30 p.m.

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2 people like this
Posted by Eric Mills
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2019 at 6:07 pm

BOYCOTT ANIMAL CRUELTY! Nearly EVERY animal welfare organization in the country condemns rodeos due to their inherent cruelty. The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) outlawed rodeos back in 1934.

Yet the Woodside Jr. Rodeo continues, with civic support, and the usual abusive rodeo events, plus the nonsensical "pig scrambles," in which terrified piglets are chased, jumped on and dragged by mobs os screaming children.

Parents and promoters alike should be cited for both animal abuse and child endangerment.

Should be noted that California Education Code 60042 mandates that "compassion and kindness to animals" be taught in the public schools, K-12. These "scrambles" would seem to be a violation of that mandate, not to mention a terrible message to send to impressionable young children about the proper treatment of animals. Woodside is better than this. Aren't you? A county ordinance is in order to fix this.

Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 5, 2019 at 2:32 pm

I would like to hear people's favorite portions of the July 4 event.

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Race Results Are In

Thank you for joining us at the 35th annual Moonlight Run & Walk! All proceeds benefit the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday fund, supporting local nonprofits serving children and families.

Click for Race Results