SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 4: Fireworks light up the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay as Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4, 2006 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Things To Do On The Fourth Of July

Kim Wonderley
June 30, 2019 - 3:11 pm

Kim Wonderley has a look at some of the unique Fourth of July celebrations taking place this year in California in this week's Road Report.

Everyone knows about the San Francisco Fourth of July celebration with fireworks launched from a barge in the bay. It's spectacular, though spectators often are playing dodgeball with the fog here.

Here's a potentially helpful hint. Rather than coming into San Francisco for viewing, think about heading to Treasure Island or going to the Marin Headlands. From these two vantage spots, which do fill in early, you get the fireworks with the city skyline in the background. It's a great spot for taking pictures.

(Officials from the Treasure Island Development Authority have contacted KCBS Radio to say visitors "are strongly discouraged" from attempting to see the fireworks on the island. "Parking will be extremely limited and roadways into parking areas will be inaccessible," because of construction, the statement said.)

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Lake Tahoe does not have any fog concern. On top of that, their Lights on the Lake holds the distinction of being the biggest synchronized fireworks display in the West. The fireworks are launched from barges on the South Shore at Stateline. Watching from a boat on the lake is a distinct pleasure or grab a spot at the shoreline or one of the hotels with view rooms high above the lake.

Another fun day in the Sierra takes place in Truckee with their traditional Independence Day parade, which includes a horse-drawn Wells Fargo wagon, in the historic downtown. This year's theme celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad in Truckee.

Or head to Gold Rush country for an old fashioned July 4 in the historically preserved town of Columbia. They call it their Glorious Fourth of July Celebration and they've got this down. Columbia has been celebrating Independence Day since 1852. Flag raising and a black powder musket salute starts the day at the gazebo at 11 a.m. The Motherlode Brass Band plays and the big parade will launch at noon in front of the Gold Rush-era Fallon Hotel. The fun continues with a watermelon eating contests, an egg toss, greased pole contest, and a five-way tug-of-war.

This article has been updated with a statement from the Treasure Island Development Authority.