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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What to do on July 4th in San Francisco Bay Area

With July 4th on a Saturday this year, it's much easier to plan for some fun festivities. Here are some ideas:

Palo Alto Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off - with live music, line dancing, food vendors and kids' activities, you can plan an afternoon of fun. Free admission, and a nominal fee for "tasting kits" for the cook-off. Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive.

Fireworks: They're all over the place! For a list of Bay Area fireworks locations, check this CBS website.

Pier 39 in San Francisco has activities starting at 1:00 p.m. Live music: Big Bang Beat from 1- 4 pm and Tainted Love from 6 - 9:30 pm. Then tune your radio to KISS-FM for the simulcast fireworks-to-music.

Children's Fairyland: Not a traditional July 4th day, but Children's Fairyland in Oakland has some fun puppet shows, crafts, acrobatics and juggling events during the day.

Fillmore Jazz Festival: good for the little ones who can't stay up for fireworks! This event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is free. And it's the largest free Jazz festival on the west coast. So there! It's 8 blocks of crafts, music and food.

The San Jose America Festival has it's 18th annual event that day (with 2 more days of other festivals in the same meadow location). With multicultural food, crafts, music, rides and games (in Kidland), make a day of it in downtown San Jose. And stay for the fireworks.

In the North Bay, check out the Marin County Fair, with traditional offerings like animals, carnival rides, a petting zoo, and more. Fireworks start at 9:30.

Gilroy Gardens is offering an Independence Day BBQ on July 4th ($9-15 plus admission ticket). The all-you-can-eat meal features patriotic offerings like hot dogs and watermelon. Get a $10 off admission coupon here at Bay Area on the Cheap.

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