A Root’n Toot’n 4th of July!

July 3, 2009

We know COWs like to have a good time, and what better reason to celebrate than our nation’s birth? There are a lot of activities around our area

First of all, of course, is the annual Woodside Junior Rodeo, now in its 59th year of bringing a taste of the Old West to our Town and showcasing youthful equestrian talent. Presented each year by the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County, the festivities include a dinner and dance at 6 p.m. on the night of July 3rd and the Rodeo itself on the Fourth.

The Rodeo will again be held at the Mounted Patrol headquarters at 521 Kings Mountain Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids under 18 are $7, adults are $15, and children under 6 are free. The “famous” Pig Scramble is held in the afternoon and the petting zoo is open all day. The main Rodeo activities – roping, bull riding, barrel racing, and more – really kick off after noon with the presentation of the Colors. For more information call (650) 851-8300, or to check out some exciting pictures from previous Rodeos see here.

We know many people like to start their patriotic juices flowing with a parade, and there’s no better opportunity for that than the annual Redwood City Fourth of July parade! Redwood City’s “Family Fourth” is now celebrating its 71st year of family fun with the biggest Independence Day parade in Northern California. The internationally famous parades theme this year is “All Things Musical” and features 200 entrants divided into five divisions, including marching bands, antique vehicles, youth and community groups, veterans groups, Shriners, lots of horse riders, and even a calliope! To see this year’s entrants, check here – you’ll even see the Mounted Patrol and Woodside stables represented!

The parade gets started at 10 a.m. at Winslow and Brewster. Get there early to find a good spot. Be aware that the Redwood City Police begin shutting down the parade route to cars around 8:30 a.m. The parade winds down a little before noon, after which you’re encouraged to enjoy the festival in the surrounding streets, including food booths and arts and crafts booths, the Marshall Law Band from 1-5 p.m., and a kid’s area with face painters, a bounce house, and a magician! A Battle of the Bands between the UC Davis Aggies and the Stanford Marching Band kicks off at 1:30 in the San Mateo Credit Union parking lot. At the Courthouse Square, the Redwood City will be hosting a car show and two bands, High N Tight and Stealing 3rd.

If you’re in San Jose and wanting to see a parade, we can recommend the Rose, White and Blue parade in the Rose Garden area of San Jose. While it’s only in it’s second year, the parade is sure to grow. Check it out from 10 to 3.

Since baseball is our national pastime, perhaps you’d like to take in a game. This year you’re in luck! The San Francisco Giants are playing the Houston Astros at home in AT&T Park in San Francisco at 1 o’clock. Or, if you prefer supporting the little guy, you could always go and see the San Jose Giants minor league team playing the Modesto Nuts at the San Jose Municipal Stadium at 9:30.

Some other quick ideas for the Fourth:

Enjoy a picnic in the park in Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park from 8-5. Bring a picnic and enjoy the antics of juggler and stiltwalker Lerum from 12-2.

Take the kids out for a beautiful day on the ocean with the Farallon Islands Whale Watch trip, leaving San Francisco at 8 am and coming back at 4 pm. The trip is lead by a naturalist and actually stops at the southern Farallon Island for lunch!

The Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco features such musicians as Wayne de la Cruz and the Jazzstronauts, on Fillmore between Jackson and Eddy from 10 to 6.

Or you could celebrate the Fourth onboard an actual aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet, which is marking our Independence Day with live music.

The Alameda County Fair is going on over at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton, from 10 to 9.

Pier 39 hosts its annual bash – the Waterfront Celebration runs from 1-9, featuring bands and the usual Pier 39 activities, but also providing a great view of San Francisco’s annual fireworks display.

Fireworks are many people’s favorite part of the 4th. Most Bay Area towns and cities, including Woodside, ban private fireworks displays. Given the fire danger, especially in our Town, that’s a very GOOD thing! However, some Bay Area cities do let you shoot off your own “safe and sane” fireworks, including Pacifica and San Bruno.

If you prefer to let the professionals handle the explosives, San Francisco, Foster City, Redwood City, Oakland, Vallejo, Berkeley, Santa Clara, San Rafael, and Santa Rosa all have fireworks displays this year – most starting fifteen or thirty minutes after nine. Two unique ways of seeing fireworks displays this year are the Red and White Fleet’s Fireworks Cruise on San Francisco Bay, and the Fireworks Spectacular at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, featuring the San Francisco Symphony!

Enjoy a safe Fourth!

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