4th of July – San Mateo Highlands
Parade & Festival

San Mateo Highlands Neighborhood Parade - 4th of July

San Mateo Highlands Neighborhood Parade – 4th of July

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.

For one of the biggest & best Fireworks & 4th of July Festival on the Peninsula, that is open to everyone, be sure to check out Foster City Events.

Highlands Parade, Festival, and Footrace

A footrace, “big” parade, and festival are held on the morning of July 4th, at Highlands Recreation Center, 1851 Lexington Ave, San Mateo. See map below.

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

Eichler Highlands brochure published in 1950s

Cover of one of the original sales brochures (late 1950s)

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.

San Mateo Highlands Neighborhood

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