Best 4th of July Fireworks & Festivals SF Bay Area 2021
Insider tips on what to do around the San Francisco Bay area this 4th of July weekend. Note: July 4th is on Sunday. Below are some of the best 4th of July festivals and fireworks we’ve personally enjoyed. Also, see here and here for more general guides to festivities around the entire Bay area.
Admission is free to most of the events listed below but expect parking problems whichever one you select. They are all good (except for the horrible crowds) and thus very popular.
San Francisco Fourth of July Waterfront Celebration
Fireworks begin over San Francisco Bay at 9:30 pm, Sunday July 4, 2021, and continue for about 20-30 minutes. The fireworks barges will be located in SF Bay just north of Aquatic Park and Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf. Marina Green, Ghirardelli Square and Crissy Field, are also favorite places to watch the action. Get there early, due to the crowds, otherwise you will miss the show.
When living on Russian Hill we went to these SF fireworks for many years. Since then it has become even more crowded. For example, a few years ago friends got stuck in the traffic leaving Fisherman’s Wharf until 3 am in the morning. The message is “plan a good escape route” if you want to watch the fireworks on SF Bay.
While the fireworks are usually great the actual explosions tend to be further away then at smaller events. Another potential problem is fog. You can never tell when it will set in. By the way, it can also get cold so bring a jacket.
More Festivals & Events in San Francisco proper
You might try the free concert at Stern Grove starting noon on Sunday July 4th, 2021; it’s free but advance reservations are required. The SF Warriors are also having a free block party at Chase Center from 11 am-4 pm on Saturday & Sunday. Also check out other regular weekly events shown on our Events Page.
This Foster City festival opens at 9 am, Sunday, July 4th, 2021 with a pancake breakfast and goes on until 4:30 pm. There will be a dog contest at 11:00 am as usual plus a few other events. Unfortunately, there will be NO fireworks display for 2021.
Foster City usually has one of the best fireworks displays on the Peninsula but, unfortunately, there will be NO fireworks display in Foster City for 2021. Please check back next next year.
Thursday, July 4, 2021, 10 am – 6 pm. There will be NO fireworks viewing this year but it’s still a good time to visit this unique museum. 707 W. Hornet Ave, Alameda, CA 94501. See more ship details and more July 4th event information.
Downtown Half Moon Bay Parade
This big “small town” parade features an array of floats, marching bands, equine groups, classic cars, decorated trikes and bikes, nonprofits, youth sports teams, dance and theater troupes and local dignitaries. This parade runs along Main Street in downtown Half Moon. It starts at 12 noon at the south end of Main Street and finishes about 1 pm near the north end of downtown at Mill Street. The related Community Street Festival at Main & Kelly, Half Moon Bay, runs from 11 am-4 pm. See more details.
There are many other good events on the 4th of July weekend but we find ourselves returning to those listed above. They are certainly some of the best.
- Best SF Bay Area Events & Festivals
- Foster City 4th of July Festival & Fireworks (not in 2021) – one of the best on the Peninsula.
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