The pursuit of happiness will be a short quest for Sacramentans this Independence Day. Sing and dance, wine and dine, and run and play under the stars as the rocket’s reds, whites and blues blast from above during this year’s fireworks displays. For the best views and amenities, check out Sacramento’s top places to bask in 4th of July fun this holiday.
Sacramento Independence Day Celebration 2012
Miller Lite Grand Stand
1600 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815
Price: free/$10 per person reserved seating/$10 parking
Hours: 6 p.m.; 9:30 p.m. fireworks
If your family has been practicing its “oohs” and “ahhs” for at least a month, they should be properly prepared for the annual pyrotechnic extravaganza at Cal Expo. Now in its 15th year, the event is produced in conjunction with the City and County of Sacramento. Dancing and live music by the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West are just a few of the family friendly activities at the event. Everyone’s favorite golden bear, Poppy, the state fair mascot, will keep everyone entertained with his wild antics. The Cal Expo RV Park is a great option for anyone from out of town who doesn’t want to fight the traffic when the fireworks are over.
Rancho Cordova Fourth of July Celebration
Hagan Community Park
2197 Chase Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Price: $2/free children 5 and younger/$10 parking fee raises funds for local charities
Hours: July 3 and July 4 – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
This celebration packs a patriotic bang for the family buck. In addition to a small admission price, many of the games and activities are free. The Rancho Cordova Kiwanis Club 4th of July parade begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and a carnival, crafts, rides and food court treats will go strong both days. The spectacular Kid’s Zone is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day, featuring a live steam train, petting barn and bobble lagoon. Free concerts start at 8:30 p.m. before each night’s fireworks. Enjoy R&B with Hip Service Wednesday and favorite dance tunes from the ’80s with Superlicious Thursday. The beer garden will spotlight the country music talents of Kymmi and the Diamondback Band.
Capitol Pops July 4th Concert
190 Park Drive
Roseville, CA 95678
Hours: 12 p.m.
While these tunes may not have been penned in 1776, this concert celebrates music from the most exciting eras in America. Known to play everything from “The Star Spangled Banner” to Lady Gaga songs, the Capitol Pops provide a fun and inspirational way to honor the country’s independence. The band features musicians as young as high school age as well as those whose birthdays are on par with the temperature of a Sacramento summer day. The Capitol Pops is a self-supporting nonprofit group, and all 71 of the experienced and professional musicians are volunteers. Donations are tax-deductible and allow the Pops to fund music lesson scholarships for local students.
Salute to the Red, White and Blue
Elk Grove Regional Park
9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Price: free/$10 parking
Hours: 7 a.m.; 9:30 p.m. fireworks
Nothing is more American than an old-fashioned picnic in the park, and there is no better time than Independence Day to round up the kids, a blanket and some snacks. This is the 16th year of the Salute to the Red, White and Blue, hosted by the City of Elk Grove. Innersoul, a favorite local band, will keep things lively with live R&B, old school and Latin dance music. The tree-filled expanse of Elk Grove Regional Park offers amenities sure to please visitors of any age. Play a round of horseshoes, spike a volleyball, explore the children’s play area or just relax by the lake. Round off the perfect day with a night sky full of fireworks.
4th Annual Folsom Firecracker Race
Lake Natoma Trails
145 Parkshore Drive
Folsom, CA 95630
Price: $25 registration includes a race T-shirt/free parking
Hours: 8 a.m.
If the love of America’s beauty runs in your family, this alternate kind of firecracker offers a little something extra. The annual 5K walk/run and 10K run takes participants along the scenic trails of Lake Natoma with both paved and dirt sections. Appropriate for all ages, funds raised at this annual charity event go to support the services of nonprofit agencies. Organizations receiving race funds this year include the Friends of Folsom Library, Sierra Forever Families, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project and other groups working with at-risk and needy children. For less experienced runners, race sponsors have organized training clinics to help prepare for a safe and enjoyable race. Click here for more information.
Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.