The 4th of July falls on a Monday in 2016, and we know what that means to Sonoma County revelers. There’s just too much fun to pack into one day, so the party starts Friday, July 1. Here’s where to get your rockets’ red glare:
4th of July Fireworks Spectacular with Steve Tyrell and the Santa Rosa Symphony with conductor Michael Berkowitz at Weill Hall Green Music Center (July 4, 2016)
Masterful vocalist Steve Tyrell serenades the stage beginning at 7:30 p.m., followed by a post concert fireworks show on the lawn. But first, the lawn opens at 4:30 p.m. for family activities including face painting, carnival games, bouncy houses, music and food.
Details: 1801 East Cotati Ave. (at Sonoma State University), Rohnert Park, 866-955-6040, details here
Windsor Kaboom Independence Day (July 3, 2016)
The party starts at 4 p.m. at Keiser Park with live music from Foreverland, food, beer, wine, laser light shows, jumpy houses and family fun. Fireworks start at dusk. For even more to cheer, the event benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, a National Organization that benefits at-risk youth in the community.
Annual 4th of July Fireworks Party at Depot Hotel Restaurant and Garden (July 4, 2016)
Make your Monday memorable. The Sonoma fireworks explode in the air above the garden of the iconic Depot Hotel, and so the chef prepares a sumptuous buffet dinner, including Prosecco and wines. Let’s just tempt with porchetta, roast Venetian chicken with white wine butter sauce, baked orecchiette pasta with ricotta and Bolognese ragu…
Details: 241 1st St. West, Sonoma, www.depotsonoma.com
Fireworks in Sebastopol (July 3, 2016)
For the 43rd year, the football field at Analy High School comes alive with live music, dancing, free games and relays, food, a fun raffle for prizes, blankets and picnics beginning at 5:30 p.m. But this year, the space is new, since the school has just completed a beautiful multimillion dollar reconstruction. Linger and lounge with more than 4,000 other fans; at dusk, there is a flag ceremony, led by fife and drum, singing of the Star Spangled Banner, and then the finale of fireworks. General admission $10; Children (6-11) $5; ages 5 and under free.
6950 Analy Avenue, Sebastopol, 707-823-1511, details here
Fireworks Over Bodega Bay (July 2, 2016)
The show starts at dark (approx. 9:30 p.m.), with a spectacular, free firework display over the water. For prime viewing, plan ahead and reserve a dinner table at one of the many bay-front restaurants around Bodega Bay, such as The Boat House, The Tides Wharf, Spud Point Crab Company, Drakes Sonoma Coast Kichen or Lucas Wharf.
Westside Regional Park, 2400 Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay, details here
Monte Rio Fireworks over the River (July 2 & 3, 2016)
It’s fireworks over the river, and a “Parade of Lites” on the river, for this family friendly gathering on Saturday, July 2, when the fun runs all day (and all day Sunday, too), starting at 11 a.m. both mornings for Big Rocky games, a firehouse barbecue, horseshoes and volleyball. On Sunday, July 3, groups unveil their homemade floats bedecked in lights and perform skits while floating past a cheering audience. That’s followed by a free show at the town’s famous water curtain, as images of the American flag are projected off the Monte Rio bridge, and then the dramatic fireworks display.
Details: Monte Rio Beach, 20488 Hwy 116, Monte Rio, (707) 865-9956.
Independence Day Celebration Guerneville (July 2, 2016)
This free event is a highlight of the year for this playful waterfront town, as the Russian River Chamber of Commerce puts together an all-day celebration of all things fun. Plan to arrive early in the day, to explore the downtown wonderland of shops, restaurants, bars and art galleries. The Russian River Rotary is hosting a barbecue, and live music continues into the evening with kids' activities and a block party. At dusk, the crowds gather along Main Street for the fireworks over the river show.
Details: Downtown Guerneville, 707-869-9000, www.russianriver.com.
Red, White and Boom Santa Rosa (July 4, 2016)
The party starts at 3:30 p.m., when the gates open at the Veteran's Memorial Building across from the Sonoma Fairgrounds, and the crowds start claiming their spots with blankets and folding chairs. It’s an entire day of fun for the whole family, featuring multiple local bands, local food vendors, and for the kids, a watermelon eating contest, jumpy houses, face painters and clowns. Then, after the sun goes down around 9:30 p.m., the evening explodes with fireworks show simulcast live to music by KZST 100.1 FM. Please note that jackets are recommended for chilly night temperatures, and drink coolers are welcome, but alcohol is not. Admission is $10 ages 12+; $5 veterans; $5 ages 5-11; free ages 0-4. Parking is $5.
Details: 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa, www.srboom.com.
4th of July Celebration in Kenwood (July 4, 2016)
The parade marches through the cozy community of Kenwood in fine style, showcasing classic vehicles, music, bicycles, Uncle Sam, and gaily dressed pets. All entries will be judged for awards in creative costuming, including categories like Floats, Pets, Cows, Classic Vehicles, Goats, Birds, Walkers, Bands, Bicycles, Horses, Tractors, Boats, Horse-Drawn Carriages, Donkeys, Service Clubs, Go-Carts, Sports Teams, Veterans, Clowns, and other ideas you dream up. First, start the day with a 7 a.m. pancake breakfast provided by Kenwood Community Church, and/or a 7:30 a.m. Kenwood 3k-10k Footrace. The Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. after the race at 11:30 a.m., there is a family style barbecue and games.
Details: Kenwood Plaza Park, 200 Warm Springs Rd., Kenwood, www.kenwoodparade.com.
Independence Weekend Celebration at Dutton-Goldfield Winery (July 2-4, 2016)
There are no blue wines, but plenty of reds and whites, perfect for summer sipping and barbecues. Besides traditional tastings from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the event days include Picnic on the Patio tastings by appointment on the courtyard patio, (advance reservations required at 707-823-3887).
Details: 3100 Gravenstein Hwy. North, Sebastopol, www.duttongoldfield.com.
Cloverdale City Park 4th of July Family BBQ and Bike Ride (July 4, 2016)
The food is served from 1 to 4 p.m., perfect for fueling up after an invigorating decorated bike parade from the City Plaza to the City Park on second street running from11 to 11:30 a.m.
Details: 450 W. 2nd Street, Cloverdale
4th of July in Healdsburg (July 4, 2016)
It’s the epitome of small town family fun as friends and family gather for this annual firework display on the Healdsburg High School Football Field. Crowds bring blankets and picnics, then at dusk, point your eyes to the sky as the 40-minute show commences.
1024 Prince Avenue, Healdsburg, 707-953-7242.
Sonoma Community Center’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration (July 4, 2016)
Every year for the past 53 years, the Sonoma Community Center has put together a smashing, dashing 4th of July parade, including Sonoma based nonprofit organizations hosting food, beverage, game and information booths from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sonoma Plaza. And the whole town turns out, for the traditional celebration enjoyed by all ages. For 2016, the theme is "Jack London Centennial: Sailor on Horseback” That means saluting the Valley of teh Moon author and resident in his pride as an animal lover, avid sailor, ecologist, advocate for women, photographer, jouralist, scientific farmer, self-made man, political activist. Details here.
And remember, always abide by local rules and regulations about fireworks in the various cities in Sonoma County.
More resources for your 4th of July Weekend:
- 4th of July Itinerary: Sonoma County in 4 days
- Guide to the Russian River Resort Area
- Best Beaches in Sonoma County
- Sonoma County Calendar of Events
Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet