8 Ways to Celebrate the Fourth in the Bay Area

Carly Salzberg | July 4, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

The Bay Area is hosting all kinds of Fourth of July parties this year—and what price is more American than free (or at least really cheap)? Here's eight of our favorite events:

Spend Fourth of July Celebrating at the Pier

What: Pier 39 will celebrate Independence Day all evening with activities and patriotic music for the whole family.
Where: Ask the tourists to show you where Pier 39 is.
When: Live music starts at noon, and at five the '80s band Tainted Love plays, followed by the city’s 9:30 pm fireworks show.
Why let the tourists have all the fun?

Gaze at the Golden Gate Fireworks

What: Head to Crissy Field, the Marina Green, or Aquatic Park—where you can camp out under the foggy San Francisco night sky with a cozy wool blanket to see San Francisco’s annual fireworks show illuminate the city.
Where: Anywhere along the city's north waterfront, really.
9:30 pm or when the sun has fully set.
Cost: Free.
Why: After the fireworks, you can head to the Marina Safeway to meet that special someone.

Punk Music and BBQ Block Party

What: Is there a more appropriate way to celebrate Independence day than free BBQ in the Tenderloin while headbanging to some punk rock? No. No there is not.
Where: The Hemlock Tavern at 1131 Polk Street.
1pm is grub. 5 pm is bands.
Cost: Cover is $12.
Why: Even if it's not technically free, come on, it's still punk rock and bbq.

SF Mime Troupe

What: Do you enjoy live musical performances by strangely dressed satire groups? Of course you do! Indulge in a little agit-prop with San Francisco's beloved Mime Troupe.
Where: Dolores Park between 19th and Dolores Street.
When: The actors will be taking the stage at 1:30 pm.
Cost: Free (but donations are accepted).
Why: Because nothing's more patriotic than dissent.

Watch The Parkside’s Patriotic Ride Showdown

What: The 11th annual party featuring tricycle racing, arm wrestling, and beer shotgunning. It's a winner.
Where: The Parkside at 1600 17th Street, SF.
When: Doors open at 1pm.
Cost: Free.
Why: The liquor’s cheap, the food's good, and they'll let you bring your dog.

Albany Memorial Park Celebration

What: A mustache competition, a watermelon eating contest, a diaper derby, a reptile vivarium, and free ice cream.
Where: 325 Portland Avenue at Memorial Park in Albany.
When: 1:55 pm.
Cost: Free.
A mustache competition!

Journey to North Bay for the Sausalito’s Fourth of July Parade

What: If you want to slip away from the crowds, head to Sausalito for floats, bands, clowns, classic cars, acrobats, flowers, balloon and plenty of activities for all ages.
Where: The parade begins at the intersection of Second and Main Street and ends at Dunphy Park.
When: Starts at 10am with events all day.
Cost: Free.
Why: Once you're up there, you're almost in wine country.

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