Ring in Fourth of July with 10 vibrant fireworks shows

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats

We’ve rounded up 10 ways to celebrate this year’s Independence Day, with dazzling fireworks shows and festivals. So don your best red, white and blue attire and get ready to commemorate the nation’s most explosive holiday.

Cal Expo

July 4
As it does every year, this coming Fourth, Cal Expo will once again host one of the biggest fireworks shows in the Sacramento region. The sky will light up for 20 minutes, starting at 9:30 p.m., when spectators can marvel at the massive, colorful display from their seats in the Miller Lite Racetrack Grandstand. When the gate opens at 4:30 p.m., food trucks from Spectra, the exclusive caterer of Cal Expo, will offer a variety of carnival fare like burgers, hot dogs and cotton candy, and local country music band BlackWater will warm up the crowd for the main event. $10 for reserved seats. Gates open at 4:30. Miller Lite Racetrack Grandstand. 1600 Exposition Blvd. 263-3066. calexpo.com

Raley Field

July 2-4
The Rivercats will host post-game fireworks at its Saturday and Sunday night games against the Albuquerque Isotopes. On Independence Day, more than 20 food trucks, including Chando’s Tacos, Dog Town and Bacon Mania, will exhibit their tasty specialties at this year’s Fourth on the Field event at Raley Field. Kids can hang out in the Down on the Farm Kid’s Corner with bounce houses and obstacle courses, while adults can take advantage of the Solon Club in the suite level, which will have alcoholic beverages, foosball and ping pong tables, and dart boards. El Dorado Hills-based band Lost in Suburbia will liven up the party with alternative rock tunes, and hot-dog-eating and push-up contests will get the crowd cheering before the pyrotechnics start at 9:30 p.m. $10 ($15 for Solon Club); $5 for children 12 and under. 6-10 p.m. Raley Field. 400 Ballpark Dr. West Sacramento. raleyfield.com


July 4
Start your Independence Day off bright and early at 7 a.m. with the Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast at the Carmichael Park Clubhouse before getting situated alongside Fair Oaks Boulevard to watch the 58th annual Elks Club Parade at 10:30 a.m., which will feature community floats, antique cars and local marching bands. Then head toward La Sierra Community Center at 7 p.m. to get your fill of burgers from Culinerdy Cruzer and tri-tip sandwiches from Buckhorn Grill. Youngsters can go wild on the 22-foot-tall Screamer Extreme inflatable slide and bounce house obstacle course, or get their faces painted and make balloon animals in the arts and crafts zone. Sacramento’s KZAP radio station will rock the crowd with chart-topping songs throughout the night as the sky is painted with colorful fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Free. Times and locations vary. 485-5322. carmichaelpark.com

The fireworks at Elk Grove's Salute to the Red, White, and Blue festival


July 4
Dig into plates full of flapjacks at the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at Little League Park to start your Fourth of July celebration off in Davis. Families can form teams of eight to compete in the softball tournament at Playfields Park, and the final game will play out in Community Park, where you can also catch a poetry reading by Davis' poet laureate, Andy Jones. Food vendors will peddle lumpia, nachos, hot dogs, tamales, churros and ice cream, and local musical group Ideateam will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. before the evening's headliner, Bay Area-based psychedelic rock outfit Monophonics, takes over at 8 p.m. The pyrotechnics will light up the sky at 9:30 p.m. Free. Time and locations vary. 530-757-5602. cityofdavis.org

Elk Grove

July 4
The city of Elk Grove will celebrate 20 years of dazzling fireworks with its Salute to the Red, White, and Blue festival. Gates will open at 4 p.m. for the opening ceremony with a military flyover across Elk Grove Regional Park and the national anthem performed by Robert Trant, aka Elk Grove’s “Singing Garbage Man.” At 5:30 p.m., the Elk Grove Police Department will lead the Let Freedom Ride parade, during which families can display their bikes and baby strollers decked out in holiday flare.  Festival-goers can also feast on traditional July 4th fare like hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream, or go for Twisted Bites cafe’s chicken pesto paninis and meatball sandwiches. Sacramento-based The Groove Thang Band and the Sacramento Single Squares dance club will entertain the audience before the fireworks spectacular, which begins at 9:30 p.m. Free ($10 for parking). 4-10 p.m. Elk Grove Regional Park. 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Rd. Elk Grove. 691-2489. elkgrovecity.org

El Dorado Hills

July 3
On the eve of the Fourth, El Dorado Hills Town Center will celebrate the holiday with its Fireworks and Freedom Concert event. A kids' zone will open at 7 p.m., featuring bounce houses, kiddie DJ tables, balloon artists, cotton candy, popcorn and glow sticks. The crowd can feast on barbecue and seafood from four local food trucks, as well as hot dogs from Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. and ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. Sacramento-based quartet Apple Z will rock the stage from 8-11 p.m. before the fireworks show by Pyro Spectacular Inc. (whose pyrotechnics have been  displayed at Disneyland, Disney World and the Olympic games) gets set to blast the summer sky at 9:30 p.m. Free. 7- 11 p.m. El Dorado Hills Town Center. 4364 Town Center Blvd. El Dorado Hills. 933-3013. eldoradohillstowncenter.com


July 2-4
The three-day Folsom Pro Rodeo returns for its 56th year, culminating on July 4th with a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. Each night a parachutist will descend from the sky with a 35-foot American flag before the national anthem kicks off the rodeo action at 7:30 p.m., complete with high-flying motocross, death-defying bull jumping and performances from the Painted Ladies drill team. Kids can chow down on hot dogs, hamburgers and funnel cakes or get their junior rodeo on by trying to ride an ornery sheep (aka "mutton busting"), while adults can gather at the Saloon Under the Stars and cut loose on the dance floor to the music of the Dave Russell Band. $21.50-$49.50; $15.50 for children and seniors. Gates open at 6 p.m. Dan Russell Rodeo Arena. 403 Stafford St. Folsom. 985-2698. folsomprorodeo.com

The dazzling fireworks display at the Folsom Pro Rodeo


July 4
This yearly Family Blast celebration will once again kick-start Placerville’s Independence Day festivities at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds for a night filled with attractions like hay mazes, inflatable bounce houses, water slides, kids' contests (egg-and-spoon races and sponge relays), and live music from the local 1960s tribute band, The Kick-N-60’s. Bring footballs and volleyballs for some friendly games and snack on hamburgers, tri-tip sandwiches, ice cream, kettle corn, lemonade and shaved ice before the fireworks show gets going at 9:30 p.m. $3; free for ages 6 and under. Gates open at 4 p.m. El Dorado County Fairgrounds. 100 Placerville Dr. Placerville. 530-295-2566. eldoradocountyfair.org

Rancho Cordova

July 3-4
This 32nd annual two-day celebration will feature a carnival with a giant Ferris wheel and a zip line, and a kids’ zone with video game mobiles. Catch BMX shows, ride the party bike from one side of Hagan Park to the other, or unwind at the beer garden with suds and eats from local food trucks like Krush Burger and Happy Cow Ice Cream. On Sunday, a Rock & Roll Time Machine concert will kick off the first day of festivities, which will end with a dazzling fireworks show after dark. And on Monday, get ready to start your Fourth with the 5K Color Run in the morning, followed by a parade and youth band competition with performances from eight local marching bands. In the evening, Superlicious, a local ’80s tribute band, will perform before fireworks dot the sky to tunes like Katy Perry’s “Firework” (naturally) at 9:30 p.m. $2 ($10 for parking); $30 for carnival. 12-11 p.m. Hagan Community Park. 651 2nd St. West Sacramento. 273-5704. cordovacouncil.com


July 4
Roseville’s second annual Fourth of July celebration will begin at 7:45 a.m. at Royer Park with the Run Crime Out of Roseville 5K Fun Run/Walk benefiting the Roseville Police Department. Once you’ve crossed the finish line, find a perfect spot to watch the parade at 9 a.m. before heading back to the park for carnival rides, as the Capitol Pops Concert Band regales the crowd with patriotic numbers. Trot to the Placer County Fairgrounds at 5 p.m. to satisfy your festival food cravings with hot dogs, corn on the cob and cotton candy or feel the rush of the mechanical bull while little ones go on pony rides and inside bounce houses. R&B tribute band Gotcha Covered will perform soul hits as everyone gets situated for the sparkling fireworks show that begins at 9:30 p.m. Free ($5 for parking). 5-10 p.m. Placer County Fairgrounds. 800 All America City Blvd. Roseville. 786-2023. roseville.ca.us

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