10 fun ways to ring in the Fourth of July

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Photo courtesy of El Dorado Hills Town Center

Happy 241st birthday to us! From a party in a ballpark to skydiving shows and glittering fireworks, here are 10 of our favorite ways to celebrate Independence Day around the region.

Cal Expo

July 4 The California State Fair—which is celebrating its 50th anniversary at Cal Expo this year (check out the awesome commemorative poster here)—doesn’t start until July 14, but Cal Expo will be abuzz with summertime activity during its Fourth of July celebration, which includes live music from Americana singer-songwriter Hannah Jane Kile and local pop-rock group National Lines. Grab a piña colada smoothie from Maui Wowi or nachos from Fiesta’s and settle in at 9:30 p.m. to watch the pyrotechnics, a 21-minute show that is one of the area’s longest displays. Free ($10 reserved seating). 5 p.m.-9:51 p.m. Cal Expo. 1600 Exposition Blvd. 263-3000. calexpo.com

Raley Field

July 4 Celebrate America’s birthday at the local home of its favorite pastime during Fourth on the Field. Classic rock band Proxy will take the stage and more than 23 food trucks from local purveyors like Squeeze Inn, Danny’s Mini Donuts and Azteca Street Tacos will be parked in the outfield to ensure you don’t go hungry. Try your luck in hotdog-eating and push-up contests to win River Cats swag, or head to the stadium’s Legacy Club to play darts and ping-pong and sip a pint of Track 7’s IPA. Fireworks will illuminate the sky above center field at 9:30 p.m. $10 ($5 for children 12 and under; $15 for Legacy Club Access). 6-10 p.m. Raley Field. 400 Ballpark Dr. West Sacramento. 376-4722. rivercats.com


July 4 Independence Day festivities start early in Carmichael with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. and a neighborhood parade with floats, marching bands, antique cars and horses prancing down Fair Oaks Boulevard. The evening activities begin at 7 p.m. at La Sierra Community Center, with music from Sacramento rock and blues radio station K-ZAP and food from the likes of Buckhorn Grill and the Culinerdy Cruzer food truck. Kids can jump in bounce houses, take home a balloon animal and play artist at a free crafts station. Fireworks will fly overhead at 9:30 p.m. Prices, times and locations vary by event. 485-5322. carmichaelpark.com

Fireworks bursting in air at Raley Field (Photo courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats)


July 4 Marking 100 years since its incorporation, the City of Davis is celebrating its centennial Fourth of July with a festival at Community Park beginning at 4 p.m., where you’ll find classic games like potato sack races, pie-eating contests and cornhole. Local nonprofits selling snacks like sweet fried churros from Puros Churros and homemade lumpia from Angels of Hope Foundation. At 5 p.m., head to the stage for performances by the Element Brass Band, followed by the rock group Achilles Wheel and headliners Con Brio, a San Francisco funk band. At about 9:30 p.m., the night sky above Davis will light up with a dazzling fireworks display. Free. Event begins at 4 p.m. Community Park. 1405 F St. Davis. 530-757-5602. cityofdavis.org

El Dorado Hills

July 3 If you're looking to double-down on your patriotic pyrotechnic viewing this year, you can head to the El Dorado Hills Town Center’s Fireworks & Freedom Concert, which takes place July 3. Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. will be providing craft beer, pizza and hotdogs to hungry guests, and food trucks like GyroStop and Cousins Maine Lobster will also be doling out their signature fare. Let little ones run around in a kids’ zone with a DJ, bounce houses and face painting, then reconvene at 9:30 p.m. for fireworks by Pyro Spectaculars, a company known for putting on explosive shows at the Olympics and Super Bowl. Free. 6-11 p.m. El Dorado Hills Town Center. 4364 Town Center Blvd. El Dorado Hills. 933-3013. edhtowncenter.com

Elk Grove

July 4 This year’s Salute to the Red, White and Blue at Elk Grove Regional Park kicks off at 4 p.m. with a festival featuring a free photo booth, a stilt-walking Uncle Sam, and live music from Percussion Petting Zoo and tribute band Saved by the 90s. Before staking out a good spot to catch the fireworks, attendees can munch on food truck eats like the Hawaiian pie from Pele’s Wood Fire Pizza and tri-tip sandwiches from Tailgater 44. Local classic rock station 93.7 The River will provide a patriotic musical backdrop for the fireworks at 9:30 p.m., and will also be simulcasting the event over the radio. Free. 4-10 p.m. Elk Grove Regional Park. 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Rd. Elk Grove. 691-2489. elkgrovecity.org


July 1-3. The three-day Folsom Pro Rodeo returns for its 57th year, with a fireworks show every evening at 9:30 p.m. A parachutist will descend from the sky with a 35-foot American flag before “The Star-Spangled Banner” each night at 7:30 p.m. to kick off the rodeo action; in between the death-defying bull riding, colorful rodeo clowns and comical mutton busting (during which tiny tots try to ride ornery sheep), watch BMX bike stunts by the Flying Cowboys and performances by the Painted Ladies drill team. Stop for a pineapple soft serve at Trader Jim’s Dole Whip before the night sky spectacle and stick around for an after-party at the Saloon Under the Stars featuring local country music band Branded. $15.50-$49.50. 6 p.m.-12 a.m. Dan Russell Rodeo Arena. 403 Stafford St. Folsom. 985-2698. folsomprorodeo.com

Watch a parachutist descend from the sky with a 35-foot American flag at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Photo courtesy of Folsom Pro Rodeo)


July 4 Pack up the family, the cooler and even the barbecue and head to Placerville for its annual Fourth of July Family Blast, which invites revelers to bring their own picnics, propane grills and football to toss around—turning the county fairgrounds into a tailgate party of epic proportions. If you’d rather indulge in classic fair food, the festival typically offers corn dogs and kettle corn, along with activities like bucket races, hay mazes, bounce houses, water slides and face painting. Local classic rock band Revelstoke will ignite the crowd before fireworks ignite the skies at nightfall. Prices vary. Gates open at 4 p.m. El Dorado County Fairgrounds. 100 Placerville Dr. Placerville. 530-621-5860. eldoradocountyfair.org

Rancho Cordova

July 3-4 Rancho Cordova’s Fourth of July celebration will feature two days of patriotic activities culminating in one of the area’s largest fireworks displays on July 4. The festival will offer a zip line, laser tag and BMX stunt demos, alongside traditional carnival rides like a rollercoaster and a Ferris wheel. Stop by the beer garden, then fuel up on bacon-wrapped hotdogs from Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and a towering cone of ice cream at Cowtown Creamery. Monday night will also end with a smaller fireworks show set to ’60s music in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. $2 (Free for ages 4 and under). Mon. 4-11 p.m. Tues. 12-11 p.m. Hagan Park. 2197 Chase Dr. Rancho Cordova. 273-5701. cordovacouncil.org


July 4 You can be red, white and true blue in Roseville, beginning with a parade through downtown that ends in Royer Park at a celebration complete with bounce houses, carnival games, food from the likes of Dave’s Dawgs and Kazoku Teriyaki, and a performance by the Capitol Pops concert band. Then head to the Placer County Fairgrounds at 5 p.m. for pre-fireworks activities like rock wall climbing, pony rides and good old-fashioned Fourth of July food like hot dogs, watermelon and root beer floats. End the day with a bang by catching the 9:30 p.m. fireworks display. Free. Times and locations vary. 772-7529. roseville.ca.us

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