The Fourth of July weekend in San Francisco is the peak of scarf and hat weather here. We’re not talking wool by any means, but layers are a definite necessity in July… at… all… times. While the rest of the nation’s eyes are warmly fixated upon explosions illuminating clear summer nights, San Franciscans often watch the dense deluge of fog creep in on July 4th afternoon, protecting us from the scary night sky, like a blanket swaddling a wee babe. However, a whole shebang of fireworks celebrations is scheduled on the Fourth, regardless of the slim chances for unblemished heavens.
Photo courtesy of damien_p58/Flickr
Forgetting rockets and sparklers for a hot minute, you may want to check out the SF BBQ Rib Throwdown on Sunday, July 3rd. Coffee Bar in Potrero Hill plays host 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., where $20 gets you a pour of Lagunitas (or house wine), four tasting portions of BBQ ribs, and a signature side dish from each vendor. You get to help pick the winner!
Additionally, the Fillmore Jazz Festival takes over Fillmore Street on both Saturday and Sunday, July 2 -3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’re down with eight blocks of jazz, jazz fusion, and Latin jazz on multiple stages, accompanied by arts, crafts, food, and drinks, then this is the spot for you. It’s also free!
So where’s the best spot to watch the fireworks display? As a tourist, you’ll be there anyway, and as a local, take your one annual visit to Fisherman’s Wharf for the best explosives spectacle of the evening. The pyrotechnics dazzle begins at 9:30 p.m. from Aquatic Park. Other prime viewing spots include the Cannery, Ghirardelli Square, and Coit Tower.
Pier 39, another tourist hot spot, hosts a family-friendly day of music featuring Ruby Summer, A Beach Pop Band, Club 90 (rocking the ’90s hits), and ’80s-loving headliner Tainted Love. The shindig goes down 12 noon to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, July 4th.
Watching fireworks from a boat sounds grand, doesn’t it? If you don’t have your own private yacht, dinghy, or kayak, then jump aboard Red and White Fleet’s cruise along the waterfront. Departing from Pier 43 ½, tickets cost $66 and include one free beverage. For the more straight-laced, the Blue & Gold Fleet offers non-alcoholic cruises departing from Pier 39. Also embarking at Pier 39 is the Adventure Cat Fireworks Cruise as well as the San Francisco Whale Tours Cruise catamaran featuring music by DJ Whale Cakes (woot!).