The 79th Annual 4th of July Parade by the Peninsula Celebration Association is the premier holiday parade in the region and takes place in the heart of downtown Redwood City. This annual event attracts thousands of spectators to enjoy an array of parade floats and numerous family festivities.
The parade and festival are an integral part of the renaissance of Redwood City’s downtown, which is now considered the “Entertainment Capital of the Peninsula” with its many restaurants, shops, and theaters, according to the City’s pressrelease.
After the parade and festival, spectators can enjoy a spectacular 4th of July fireworks show launched from the Port of Redwood City, brought to the community by the City of Redwood City with a presenting sponsorship by Boardwalk Auto Mall and generous support from SARES REGIS, Sims Metal Management, Recology, County Consumer Plumbing Service & Repair Group, W.L. Butler, and the Port of Redwood City.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. and a map of the parade route can be found athttp://www.parade.org/parade-route-map/. The theme of the 2017 parade is “Celebrate Redwood City 150, 1867-2017, discover our History, honor our Diversity, and explore our Neighborhoods” as it winds its way throughout our historic downtown. Grand marshal for the parade will be world-renowned award-winning choreographer Kenny Ortega, a graduate from Sequoia High School.
The 31st Annual Independence Day Festival will cover several square blocks in the heart of downtown Redwood City, starting at 9 a.m. (parts of Broadway, Hamilton, Middlefield, Jefferson, and in Courthouse Square). Filled with arts and crafts, food and beverages, kids’ activities, and a whole lot of good old-fashioned family fun, the festival is the place to be on the 4th of July! The annual 4th of July carnival, coordinated by the Woodside Terrace Kiwanis Club, will be at its usual location, in the parking lot at Veterans Boulevard and Winslow Street. For a map of the festival, visit: http://www.parade.org/festival-area-map/
A 5-k precedes the parade at 8 a.m., open to runners, walkers, and strollers of all ages and abilities. Proceeds from Parade Run benefit essential school music programs funded by the Redwood City Education Foundation. The RCEF works to enrich and advance education opportunities for all students in the Redwood City School District. More information:http://www.paraderun.org
If running isn’t your thing, join the Redwood City Fire Department at the 755 Marshall Street fire station for a pancake breakfast. Breakfast is from 7:30-10:30 a.m., benefiting the Redwood City Firefighters Association.
The San Mateo County History Museum will present “An Old-Fashioned Fourth of July” within its museum, the 107-year-old county courthouse in Redwood City. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. children will be invited to hand-crank homemade vanilla ice cream and then take a taste. They will also make traditional Independence Day crafts to take home with them. Beginning at 1 p.m., adults will be invited to view vintage films of the San Francisco Peninsula from the Museum’s archives. Museum admission will be half-price that day: $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and students and, as always, free for kids five and under. For more information visit, http://www.historysmc.org/events/old-fashioned-fourth
Featuring the bands of UC Davis and Stanford, the Battle of the Bands start at 1 p.m. on Hamilton Street.
The Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza takes place at the Port of Redwood City. There will be food trucks available from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Tribal Blues Band will play at the Port’s waterfront access area from 7 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. The fireworks show will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. The fireworks can be seen from areas where there is a clear view of the skies above the Port, and can also be seen from high points all over the Peninsula. The Port is providing a public viewing area along the waterfront off of Seaport Court. Portable restrooms and sinks will be available. No BBQs or alcohol are allowed.
Q: What is parking like for Port fireworks show?
A:For those coming to the Port, early arrival is highly recommended, as the area is private property with very limited public parking. Once public parking is filled, Seaport Boulevard will be closed to all vehicle traffic at the intersection of Seaport/Blomquist. Once the intersection has been closed, no vehicle access to the Port area will be available. This traffic control restriction could occur as early as 7:30 p.m.
Q: What is parking like for the parade and festival downtown?
- Jefferson and Marshall garages will be accessible from 6 a.m. till 8:45 a.m. Access to them will then be closed off due to the parade. Access will reopen around 1 p.m. Between 8:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. anyone that parks there will not be able to leave. The Jefferson Garage will only be accessible from the west side of Jefferson from the El Camino Real.
- Crossing 900 will be accessible from 8 a.m until 8:45 a.m. Access to it will then be closed off due to the parade. Access will reopen around 1 p.m. Between 8:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. anyone that parks there will not be able to leave.
- County Garage will be accessible during all periods from Veterans Boulevard
The County Garage and any non-restricted street parking will be free to park in. The Jefferson, Marshall and Crossing 900 will all cost their standard parking fees.
For more information on Redwood City’s Fourth of July celebration events, visit: http://www.redwoodcity.org/residents/redwood-city-events/festivals-holiday-events/july-4th-celebration
Q: Where can I find food?
A: This map show location and names of vendors in downtown: http://www.parade.org/festival-vendors/
Q: What are kids’ activities?
- Kid’s Stage on Broadway – Phil Ackerley the Magician 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
- Clown at Jefferson Avenue
- Face Painter at Broadway & Middlefield
Q: When did the parade start?
A: According to the Peninsula Celebration Association (PCA), the idea for a holiday celebration in Redwood City was formulated back in 1939 in the minds of Ole Olson, a car dealer, Walt Maloney, a butcher, and Charles Holt, a real estate agent.
They felt that people shouldn’t have to leave town to celebrate the Fourth of July, America’s most important holiday. This was the beginning of what is now known as the Peninsula Celebration Association.
The PCA consisted of representatives of all local community service organizations which cared to participate. First, there was a carnival that was later combined with a rodeo. A huge parade was formed of local and out of town units, with the cowboys bringing up the rear. When the rodeo and carnival were abandoned because other equestrian organizations in the community were having rodeos and junior rodeos on the Fourth, the PCA decided to concentrate on the Fourth of July Parade, the Miss Redwood City pageant and Children’s Christmas parade.