4th of July – San Mateo Highlands
Parade & Festival
Fourth of July is the biggest holiday of the year at the San Mateo Highlands, a nice little neighborhood near Highways 280 & 92, in San Mateo, CA. See map below. This event started way back in 1960. It is FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD ONLY and is attended by almost all the neighbors, their children who return for it every year, and their children’s children. A footrace, parade, and festival at the neighborhood recreation center are held July 4th.
Highlands Parade, Festival, and Footrace
The 4k footrace around the neighborhood starts at 8:30 am. The parade begins at 10:00 am followed after prizes are awarded at 11:00 am by midway activities such as midway games, BBQ, family swim race events, raffle tickets, and dunking of several well-known locals who can take a joke.
The parade is only a few blocks long but still lasts a while and is quite entertaining for children. Besides local kids doing their thing on tricycles, in bands, on floats, etc., there are several San Mateo politicos such as county supervisors slowly riding by in convertibles. Many fire engines and police cars, complete with sirens, drive by as well. Plenty of candy is thrown to the children sitting on the curb. It’s a great time to wander around and talk with neighbors you haven’t seen for a while.
The San Mateo Highlands Neighborhood
The neighborhood consists of over 700 Eichler homes built in the late 1950s. They are sought out by enthusiasts of “California Modern” architecture for their Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design. Every year the Eichler Home Tour given by the PTA, showing beautifully remodeled modern interiors of approximately 10 local homes, is usually sold out early. The neighborhood also enjoys beautiful views and great access to the ocean (Half Moon Bay in 15 minutes), San Francisco (30 minutes) and Silicon Valley.
This is an unusually tight-knit community. Most neighbors have done a renovation and thus enjoy discussing with each one their common challenges. A highly regarded elementary school, an active community recreation center (with a large beautiful swimming pool, new day-care center, and many activities), and a very nice little community church are additional focal points. Regularly walking the neighborhood, often with a dog or two who want to stop for greetings, is another common recreation in which many neighbors regularly participate.
Because of its natural beauty, coolish temperatures, and terrific access (to work throughout the Bay area, the ocean, and San Francisco) many early owners stayed permanently and eventually retired here … and later their children purchased homes in the Highlands as well. This is true even for retirees who have lived all over the world and could easily afford to live most anywhere. It all helps make for an unusually stable, sophisticated, eclectic, and friendly mix of people.
- Crystal Springs Shopping Center – description and map of nearby shopping
- Foster City Fireworks & Fair – A larger event actually held on July 4th.
- San Mateo – description and map of things to do in San Mateo
- Back from Highlands 4th of July to San Mateo Things To Do
- Back from Highlands 4th of July to Best SF Bay Area Events
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