Break out the barbeque and light up those fireworks because the Fourth of July is just around the corner. The Monterey Bay does the 4th with a bang, from parades to impromptu firework shows. Here’s a rundown of the celebrations going on July 2-4.
Community Fourth of July Parade, Monterey: Monterey goes old school with a festive parade down Alvarado Street beginning at 10am. A BBQ picnic and live music
follow on the front steps of Colton Hall, a prodigious historical building. The day’s not over until fireworks zoom through the sky over the waters of Monterey Bay at 9:15pm. Monday, July 4.
Founder’s Day, Carmel Mission: Founded in 1771, just five years shy of the day the fledging American colonies declared their independence, the Carmel Mission is suffused with rich history. Father Junipero Serra, architect of the California mission system, is buried here. Saturday celebrates the opening of this landmark’s doors with live music, hands on exhibits, and a barbeque lunch. Admission is free. Saturday, July 2, 12pm-6:30pm. More event info here.
Santa Cruz Hop n’ Barley Beer Festival, Scotts Valley: Now this is a 4th weekend celebration I could get into. Scotts Valley, just north of Santa Cruz, throws a beer fest for
the 21 and up, though all ages are welcome. Thirty-one breweries, including six local brew houses, are pouring their signature stouts, ales, porters, lagers, hefeweizens… you get the picture. Price of admission includes a signature glass to refill at your heart’s desire. Tickets $25 advance, $30 at the door. Saturday, July 2, 11:30am-5pm. Beer served 12pm-4:30pm. Sky Park, Scotts Valley. Proceeds benefit Santa Cruz Housing Trust, a local non-profit.
Fireworks at Seabright Beach, Santa Cruz: Round out your 4th of July with a public fireworks display at Seabright Beach. This isn’t so much a city-sanctioned event as a massive amount of pyrotechnic-prone patriots gathering at dusk and beyond to launch sparklers of all colors and sizes into the night sky for the joy of the awed crowd. There’s no charge to attend.