Sick and tired of the same old Fourth of July celebrations? Well, so are we. That’s why we’ve scoured the Internet for all the different festivities going on in and outside of San Francisco and arranged them into three easy-to-view sections.

Commemorate America’s 239th birthday the way you want, whether it be at a music festival, a 5K run or a classic firework display.

Firework Celebrations

San Francisco Spotlight: Pier 39

Pier 39 is pulling out all stops this year with the help of Shark Week! The celebration begins at 12pm with a performance by WJM, a (very) young social cause band. The main cover band Tainted Love starts their sets at 5pm.

Check out the Shark Week-sponsored events scattered throughout the Pier, including a Shark Week photo booth, as well as various shark-centric activities and prizes. The Aquarium of the Bay will be hosting a Shark Lab with presentations on sharks and a shark selfie scavenger hunt to promote the first episode of Shark Week, which starts Sunday, July 5th on Discovery.

Of course, the City of San Francisco will end the night with its annual fireworks display at 9:30pm. For recommended spots to see the San Francisco fireworks inside the city, check out our other article here.

More in the city:

Outside the city: Marin County Fair

The 74th Marin County Fair “On With the Show!” will be a week-long event — so if you want to get a jump on celebrating the most patriotic day of the year, head on down to the San Rafael Fairgrounds anytime between 11am  to 11pm during July 1st-5th.

Eight different music artists will perform at the Fairgrounds, including bands like KansasTribal Seeds and La Misa Negra. Also included in the festivities will be a petting zoo, family-friendly activities, exhibits, 28 carnival rides and, of course, a fireworks display later into the night.

IMG_0588Tara Condell via Food and Other Things

Tickets are priced at an affordable $15/adults and $12/children & seniors if you buy online at least a day in advance, and $20/adult and $15/children & seniors if you buy at the gate.

  • Berkeley Marina | 201 University Ave. | 12 p.m. | FREE
  • Sausalito | Dunphy Park | 10 a.m. | $120/resident, $130/non-resident

Check out our list for 5 great spots to watch the fireworks in SF. For even more events around the Bay, check out CBS’s list or NBC’s.

Parties & Clubs

Note: All of these events are 21+ unless specified otherwise.

San Francisco Spotlight: Independence Island

Independence Island is a one-day music festival on Treasure Island for those who’d like to dance their 4th of July away. If that sounds like you, head over to 1080 Ave M on Treasure Island — tickets are currently going for $20 each.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.23.04 AMWikimedia

With three different stages, Independence Island has genres to suit even the pickiest of music connoisseurs. The outdoor, all-ages-welcomed MainStage will be EDM-centric with headliners Titus 1, John Beaver, Ross FM, Frank Nitty and Krishna. For those who like a little alcohol before they break out their best dance moves, the Indoor Beer and Wine Garden is slated to be a den of house and hip-hop — headliners will be Fvded, Jazz-E and Handsome Dodger.

If neither of those two areas sound appealing to you, head on over to Area 3, where a BYOM (Bring Your Own Music) Silent Disco will begin at 9pm.

More in the city:

  • Ruby Skye // DJ Dan & Donald Glaude | 420 Mason St. | 9 p.m. | $20
  • Hemlock Tavern // Rile 9 Collective, Troublemaker, West Lords | 1131 Polk St. | 2 p.m. | $8
  • Mighty // Shortkut, Apollo, Vinroc + Fran | 119 Utah St. | 9 p.m. | Free before 12 a.m.
  • DNA Lounge // various DJs and Hubba Hubba Revue burlesque show | 375 11th St. | 9 p.m. | $15
  • Temple // Zaxx | 540 Howard St. | 10 p.m. | $15
  • Infusion Lounge // DJ Felli Fel | 124 Ellis St. | 10 p.m. | $20, $10 on guest list until 11 p.m.
  • Manor West // DJ Midnight & Dynamix | 750 Harrison St. | 10 p.m. | Free guestlist before 11 p.m.
  • SF July 4 Pub Crawl + Hot Dog Eating Contest | 1980 Union St. | 2 p.m. | $10
  • Mezzanine // Christina Novelli, Neptune Project, Ost & Meyer, SNR | 444 Jessie St. | 9 p.m. | $20
  • Shelby Ash // The Mountain Men + The Jespersons | 116 Clement St. | 9 p.m. |$10
  • El Rio // Hard French, Miss Rahni, Dulce de Leche | 3158 Mission St. | 2 p.m. | $10
  • Audio // RØDHÅD | 316 11th St. | 9:30 p.m. | $20
  • Elbo Room // DJs Lucky, Paul Paul, Phengren Oswald | 647 Valencia St. | 10 p.m. | $10
  • Harlot // Chris Clouse + MyKill | 46 Minna St. | 9 p.m. | Free with RSVP
  • Balancoire // Tango Brunch | 2565 Mission St. | 11 a.m. | $12
  • Public Works // Claptone (Exploited, Berlin) | 161 Erie St. | 9 p.m. | $15 presale

18+: check in with Club X, City Nights and Lure for updates on 4th of July lineups.

Outside the city:

  • Club 21 // Lulu Ramirez | 2111 Franklin St., Oakland | 9 p.m. | $15
  • Parliament // DJ DC, Tap 10 | 811 Washington St., Oakland | 10 p.m. | ?
  • Era // DJ Henroc | 19 Grand Ave, Oakland | 9 p.m. | $10
  • Layover // DJ Joe Quixx + Larry Bright | 1517 Franklin St., Oakland | 9 p.m. | $5

Festivals, Cruises and More

San Francisco Spotlight: Fillmore Jazz Festival 

Go easy on your wallet this Fourth of July with the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast celebrating art and the soul. Soul music, that is.

The Fillmore Jazz Festival is a two-day affair, starting from 10am on July 4th and ending at 6pm that following day. Despite its name, the Jazz Festival puts equal emphasis on music and art, featuring several stages scattered throughout its 12 blocks full of fine arts. Everything from painting to pottery in both traditional and new-age styles will be available for festival-goers, as well as an international variety of food.

2010.07.04-709-day2SRES Productions

The festival has boasted a huge turnout of over 100,000 people in previous years. Will you be one of them?

More in the city:

Ouside the city: 4th Annual Island Reggae Festival

Slap on your rasta hat and chill with fellow buffalo soldiers at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds from 10am to 11pm this Independence Day.

Headliners such as Morgan Heritage, the Green, Third World and Fiji will grace the festival’s two main stages with emcees Big Body Cisco and Chubbs, among others. If the music isn’t enough of a draw, the festival will also be featuring a new “Roots & Culture” component this year, complete with food and craft vendors, carnival rides, an island dance competition, a tattoo showcase, a Rugby 7 tournament, a blood drive, a diabetes awareness booth, fireworks and a car and bike showcase.

Tickets are on the pricier side, hovering around $70/person. Children 5 & under get free admission to help offset costs for families.


Do you have other plans for the Fourth? Tell us about it in the comments!

 [Featured Image: David Yu via Flickr]

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