We are so lucky to live here in Sonoma County. Celebrating Independence Day, the story of our fortune doesn’t change. There are so many celebrations to choose from, it’s hard to know which to attend. I’ve created a list of all the various parades and fireworks shows going on around Sonoma County that I know of. If I have missed any, please be sure to add them in the comments.
Note: You’ll notice several fireworks shows charge admission for their events. While I understand the desire to beat the crowds or save a bit of money by parking off site and enjoying the show from afar, I want to mention the huge cost that goes into holding these events. Not only that, many of the proceeds from these events go towards supporting local non-profits in our area. If you can, I encourage you to pack up your family and support the show by attending. If you can’t attend but still want to enjoy the show, consider looking into how you can contribute towards your favorite fireworks celebration so they can continue to run every year. Thanks for helping our community!
Red, White and BOOM!
Monday, July 4th – Event starts at 4pm, fireworks start at 9:30pm
This event is clearly the biggest of all the Independence Day celebrations. Held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, the gates open at 4pm for a ton of family-centered activities. Food and beverages will be served through various vendors, though picnic lunches are also encouraged. Kids can enjoy a bunch of fun games and activities. Live music will have you on your feet, dancing the evening away. And at 9:30pm the fireworks show begins in a display that can be seen all over Santa Rosa and beyond. Profits from the 2011 Santa Rosa Red, White and BOOM will benefit the Youth Benevolent Fund
Admission: $7 ages 13 and up, $3 ages 6-12, FREE ages 0-5
Old Time Independence Day Celebration on the Green
Sunday, July 3rd – Event starts at 5pm
Vendors line the streets of Windsor’s Town Green for this packed family pre-fireworks event. Food and drink are aplenty, jump houses are bumping for the kiddos, and the Edwin Brothers will be rocking the Green with some live music from 6-9pm. Many bring blankets and low chairs to watch the fireworks launched from nearby Windsor High School once the show starts.
Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular
Sunday, July 3rd – Events starts at 4pm, fireworks start at 9:30pm
Remember Ashkon, the YouTube sensation that created the Giant’s “Don’t Stop Believing” Anthem that went viral? He’ll be entertaining the masses at this year’s event at Keiser Park in Windsor. Along with him will be local favorites Pride & Joy, as well as JD Bauman & the Old Boot Band. Dance to the live music, enjoy food and drink, and take part in tons of family activities. In fact, Sonoma County Fair is featuring the “Traveling Fair” to celebrate the fair’s 75th anniversary! The party starts at 4pm in the newly renovated park, though no parking is available at Keiser Park. Those who will be driving to the event are encouraged to use the parking lot at Windsor High School (8695 Windsor Rd).
Admission: $3 donation, kids 12 and under FREE
For the parents:
Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves Zindependence Weekend Event
Saturday July 2nd to Sunday, July 3rd – 11:00a to 4:30p both days
Sip the day away in this pre-4th celebration in the only way Wine Country folk can – with some fantastic Zinfandels to pair scrumptious morsels with (or savor on its own). Bella Vineyards (9711 West Dry Creek Road) is celebrating the almighty Zin, deemed “America’s Grape”, at their annual celebration. Picnic on their lawn, explore Bella’s barn and wine caves, and savor the melded flavors at five tasting stations – including a chocolate pairing for all you cocoa addicts! No reservations required.
Admission: $15, or FREE for Bella Wine Club members and four of their guests
And for the family:
21st Annual American Legion Fireworks Show
Monday, July 4th – fireworks start at approx 9:30pm
The local veterans of the American Legion – Sotoyome Post 111 are sponsoring the Healdsburg fireworks show for the 21st year in a row. Cuddle up with the kids on low chairs or a blanket at the athletic field of Healdsburg High School (1024 Prince Ave) to watch the spectacular 40 minute show, or avoid the crowd on one of the numerous side roads (you’ll want to stake out your place early).
Admission: FREE, but donation is gladly welcomed (send check to American Legion Veterans, P.O. Box 208, Healdsburg, CA 95448)
Cloverdale Lion’s “Pyrospectacular”
Monday, July 4th – Fireworks start at 9pm
Bundle up the kids, grab the picnic blankets, and head out to the annual fireworks show at the football field of Cloverdale High (509 N. Cloverdale Blvd). The event is hosted by the Lion’s Club, funded by the TNT fireworks sales in the weeks before the event.
Admission: Donation, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
4th of July Fireworks Festival
Monday, July 4th – Events starts at 4pm, fireworks start at dusk (9-ish)
Get to the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds (175 Fairgrounds Dr) early to take part in Petaluma’s zesty event. The grounds will be teeming with food and drink from local merchants, as well as some sugary sweet morsels for dessert. Groove to live music by Clean Slate and Rock Skool, and let the kids enjoy entertainment like face painting and balloons. At dusk, camp out on the grounds with your blankets and low chairs to enjoy the show in the sky!
Admission: $2, kid under 6 FREE
Rancho Adobe Firefighters Association Pancake Breakfast
Saturday June 2nd – breakfast will be served from 7-11am
Grab the family and support your local firemen with a hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and sausage. Held at the Rancho Adobe Fire Dept #2 on the corner of Old Redwood Hwy and Main Street (11000 Main St), the breakfast is one of their biggest fundraisers. Call (707) 795-6011 for more information.
Breakfast: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 & under.
Penngrove Parade and BBQ
Sunday, July 3rd – Parade starts at 11am, followed by BBQ and festivities
Head out to Penngrove Park for some good old-fashioned BBQ as well as the town’s traditional parade! Touted the “Biggest Little Parade”, Main Street is filled with those who come back year after year to enjoy the annual parade that highlights the community’s youth, local programs, and, of course, all things patriotic. For a peek at what’s in store, you’ll want to check out P360’s blog Above the Brim for their take on last year’s parade. This will be the parade’s 36th year. After the parade, enjoy the fantastic BBQ at Penngrove Park. Pit beef, chicken or combo plate $12, BBQ beef sandwich $6, hot dogs, oysters. Bring an apple pie to the park for their Old Fashion American Apple Pie Contest, dance to live music performed by Charlie Baker, and have at the many craft booths and games. Proceeds benefit the Penngrove Social Firemen’s Community Clubhouse and the park. No dogs or coolers.
Sonoma’s 4th of July Parade and Plaza Celebration
Monday, July 4th – 9am – 5pm, parade starts at 10am
A tradition among Sonoma families, this is an event that is looked forward to all year long. This year’s theme is “Our Local Heroes” with floats that honor past and present locals of Sonoma who have inspired and led others in their life. Food and carnival games will be in the Plaza, surrounded by the tunes of live music by the Bautista Band and The Joe Chaplain Band. For more info, visit the article in the Sonoma Towns section.
Doggie Festival and Pawtriotic Day
Saturday July 2nd – 9am
Kunde Family Estates is inviting the whole family in their annual Doggie Festival at their winery (9825 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood). And of course, your furry friends are invited. Bring the dogs for a short hike, a doggy parade, doggy portraits, vendors, art, and more. Plus, take part in some of the finest BBQ as well as an Eco-Tour and Wine Tasting. Pre-registration is required at www.kunde.com. Call (707) 282-1534 for more information.
Kenwood’s July 4th Hometown Parade
Monday July 4th
Eat – 7:00 am, Pancake Breakfast at Kenwood Community Church (9637 Channing Row, Kenwood)
Run – 7:30 am, 3k-10k Kenwood Footrace, http://www.empirerunners.org
Watch – 10:00 am, Kenwood Hometown Parade Plaza Park
Wake up early and join your neighbors for a Pancake Breakfast provided by Kenwood Community Church. Better fuel up good, too, because the Kenwood Footrace starts at 7:30am, winding through the backroads of Kenwood. Of course, if you haven’t registered for the race by June 30th, watching this fun event is just as fun. Stick around after the race and you’ll catch this year’s Kenwood Parade, themed “Old Fashioned Kenwood 4th of July”, made up of animals and kids, bikes and vintage cars, music, Uncle Sam, and more.
Sebastopol Kiwanis July 3 Fireworks and Music Extravaganza!
Sunday July 3rd – event starts at 5:30pm, fireworks start at dusk
Some of the most delicious food venues will be setting up camp at Analy High School (6950 Analy Ave, Sebastopol) this July 3rd for the Sebastopol’s Independence Day celebration. Screamin’ Mimi’s, Martha’s Mexico, Mary’s Pizza….and more! The Analy Choir will perform songs as well as a Flag Ceremony. And you will enjoy live music by the Bija Children’s Choir, Harvest Band, and Blue Moon. No pets, alcohol, or personal fireworks will be allowed. Blankets and low chairs are recommended, though bleacher seating is available.
Admission: Adults $8, Youth 6-11 $4, 5 & under FREE
4th of July Concert – Ives Park Sebastopol
Monday, July 4th – event starts at 11am
Start the 4th of July out right with a free outdoor concert performed by the Sebastopol Community Band in Ives Park (S High St & Willow St, Sebastopol). Patriotic favorites will be performed under the direction of Nathan Riebli. For more information, contact (707) 889-0515
Monte Rio Events
Saturday July 2nd, all day events
Big Rocky Games will be from 11am-4pm on both July 2nd and July 3rd, different events each day! There will be inner tube races, rock skipping, a swim race, an ice cream eating contest, and more. FREE for everyone! The Monte Rio Volunteer Fireman’s Association BBQ will run from noon – 5pm on Saturday at the firehouse (corner of Main St & Starrett Hill Rd. And the Water Carnival boat parade and Water Curtain start at dusk, followed by fireworks!
Sunday July 3rd, all day events
Come to the Plaza (Main St, just as you enter Guerneville) 10am-6pm for their annual Downtown Crafts Fair. At nearby Larks Drugs (16251 Main St, Guerneville), the Russian River Rotary will be holding their BBQ from 12-7pm, complete with live music and activities for kids. Wrap up the block party with the Fireworks on the River, starting at dusk.
Bodega Bay Events
Saturday July 2nd, all day events
The Bodega Bay Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast will be held at the Bodega Bay Grange (1370 Bodega Ave, across from Candy & Kites) from 7:30-11:30am. I even heard a solid rumor that along with the usual favorites, they’ll also be serving mimosas! Adults are $8, kids are $5. After breakfast, stick around for the Flea Market at the Grange, starting at noon and going till 8pm. And at 9:30pm, enjoy a spectacular show of Fireworks over Bodega Bay. They can be seen from a lot of places near the coast (around the Tides Wharf area is best) or you can join the party going on over at Westside Regional Park (2400 Westshore Rd). Be sure to dress warm! And throughout the whole day, take part in the raffle contest. Visit participating stores (list can be seen at bodegabayca.org), receive at least 5 stamps, and enter to win a gift package of more than $1000 treats from local businesses.