Fun All Day!
The Berkeley Marina hosts one of the best 4th of July parties from noon until 10PM. There are all kinds of free family fun in an alcohol-free environment culminating with fantastic fireworks.
Adventure Playground, where kids ride a zipline or use hammers, nails, saws, and paint with parental supervision is free and open until 8PM. Located right near a protected beach, it is great for a splash in the sun or building sand castles.
Looking Glass Photo sponsors the free photo booth where red, white and blue hats and boas are waiting for you to adorn yourself. They will also teach you how to take the very best photos of the fireworks that evening.
Berkeley Canoe Racing Club gives free Dragon Boat rides 12-5PM, although you might just find that you have to do a bit of the rowing. Or bring a kite and let it fly over the northern area of the marina in Cesar Chavez Kite Park.
Entertainment, Food & More Fun!
Live entertainment on several stages delights kids and adults as well. Dance near the main stage to the Latin sounds of Bautista; New Orleans’ jazz with St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band; the funky soul of The Funkanauts; groove on Lee Waterman & Jazz Caliente; and rock out with the US Air Force Band of the Golden West - Mobility. In the evening, A Son of Liberty recites the Declaration of Independence to remind us of why we are celebrating on this very important day. Tucked into the southeast corner of the park is an Afro-Cuban Drumming Circle whose beats travel out over the water delighting the windsurfers.
And the food… all kinds of faire food stalls and gourmet food trucks… key lime calamari to hand-dipped corn dogs, BBQ oysters to organic ice cream, cobblers to kebabs…something for every palate. While you’re enjoying the tastes of summer, visit the Food Court stage and be delighted by jugglers, one-man bands, capoeira, clowns and more.
Tons of fun to be had include live pony rides, a petting zoo, carnival rides, an inflatable bounce area, mini-train rides, a giant wavy slide, and walk-on-water bubble balls. Get your face painted, a henna tattoo, or a balloon animal. Hand made and international craft vendors make a bit of shopping therapy available.
The day culminates in the grand fireworks over the water near the end of the Berkeley Pier at 9:35PM presented by the City of Berkeley. Viewing is best along Frontage Drive south of the Pier or from Hs Lordship’s parking lot. Be sure to get some light-up swag on your way to the viewing area so you, too, can sparkle.
The Berkeley Marina address is 201 University Ave. Vehicle parking in the marina is $15 for the day or ride your bike over the Berkeley bicycle overpass and use the free valet parking provided by Spokes near Adventure Playground. Or join the people parade by walking into the marina over the overpass. Take AC Transit #81 from the Ashby BART station and into the marina until 6PM only. To leave on AC Transit after 6PM, walk out over the freeway overpass to University and 5th St.
Free admission. Alcohol-free event. Sponsored by the City of Berkeley, Looking Glass Photo, Berkeley Community Media, Berkeleyside, East Bay Loop, The Express, KFOG and YELP.
More info > on how to get there; bringing children and pets; accessibility; BBQs and parking.