The Bee's Modesto-area fireworks show guide

ModestoJune 27, 2013 

Fourth of July fireworks

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Fired up for the Fourth? Then make sure you're ready: Get the cooler and picnic basket out of the garage. Set your comfortable walking shoes by the door (or, if heading to Columbia, your dancing shoes). And see that you're well-supplied with sunscreen. Here's a look at Independence Day festivities in the valley and foothills:


Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive — The Nuts take on the San Jose Giants. Fireworks show will be presented after the game. Tickets are $6-$12 adults, $5-$11 children and seniors. (209) 572-4487.

Thursday, 9:30 a.m., downtown — The 139th annual Modesto Fourth of July Parade. Popular parade features marching bands, floats, performers and more. The parade moves from 10th and F streets to J Street, then up 11th Street and back to I Street to 17th Street. The theme is "Proud to Be an American." The parade is organized by the Modesto Kiwanis Club, and the grand marshals are John and MaryAnn Sanders.


Thursday, 10 a.m. downtown — The day begins with a traditional Fourth of July parade down Main Street, followed immediately by a car show(11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and street fair (noon to 5 p.m.). The Patriotic Parade will begin at East Main and Palm streets, then continue to Wes Main Street and Broadway Avenue. The fire and police departments will be in Central Park with McGruff the Crime Dog, Blue Santa and a fire engine. Kids can learn safety tips and talk with officers and firefighters. Fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. at the Stanislaus County Fairground, 900 N. Broadway. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.; admission is free. (209) 634-6459.


Thursday, 10 a.m. to9:15 p.m., Ripon Elementary School, 509 W. Main St. — Celebration with parade, carnival games and family activities. Music concert featuring Tongue & Groove and fireworks display. 10 a.m. parade, 5:30 p.m. carnival; 7 p.m. concert; 9:15 p.m. fireworks. Free admission; cost for activities. (209) 599-4411.


Thursday, 6 to 10:30 p.m., Big League Dreams, 1077 Milo Candini Drive — City of Manteca's celebration will have vendor booths, a softball tournament, live family entertainment, children's rides, a Teen Zone and fireworks. $2 for age 13 and older; free for 12 and younger. (209) 456-8600.


Thursday, 10:30 a.m. — Festivities start with a parade at 10:30 a.m. on Fifth Street. There will be afternoon activities at Henry Miller Park, then fireworks at dusk at Gustine High School.


Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. — The Run for Independence starts the day at 7:30 a.m. Parade starts at 9 a.m. at Foster's Freeze on Winton Way, turns left onto Broadway, left onto Third Street and ends at Ralston Park. Reviewing stand is on Third Street in front of the APC Hall. Festival at Ralston Park is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with entertainment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., including Mary Monaghan singing the national anthem. Gates at Castle Airport open at 6 p.m. for concert and fireworks show. Performing are Aliana Peau, The Stepp Brothers, Crosseyed, Mary Monaghan and Cynthia Huddleston & The Juke Joint Jokers. Castle admission $5 per carload; no walk-ins. Gates close at 9 for fireworks.


Thursday through July 7 — Carnival, with its Drop Zone, giant Ferris wheel and many more adult and kid rides, begins Thursday. The Fourth of July Festival at Memorial Park and Livingston High School runs from Friday through July 7. The free celebration will include a talent show, a fireworks show, bands including Second Tradition, Rhythm Blenders, Libertad Nortena, Nite Flite, Las Jefas, The Valley Cats Band, Los Kinos and La Sonora Dinamita. Carnival tickets are on sale for 50 percent off, along with unlimited ride wristbands, available in advance only. Get carnival tickets at Livingston City Hall and the Thursday night street fair in Livingston. For more information, including talent show registration, go to or call (209) 277-1402.


Thursday, 11 a.m., Columbia State Historic Park, off Parrotts Ferry Road — Columbia's Glorious Fourth of July Celebration. Flag raising and cannon fire by the Columbia Foot Dragoons is at 11 a.m., followed by noon parade. After the parade will be a Great Mother Lode Brass & Reed Band concert, dancing in the street and contests popular in the early days of Columbia — a greased-pole climb, bucket brigade, nail-pounding, watermelon- and pie-eating, egg relay race and egg toss, cake walk, and five-way tug-of-war. Admission is free; contests are $1 each. (209) 536-1672 or


Thursday, 9:30 p.m. — Fireworks on the Water celebration. Arrival before 8 p.m. is recommended. Community nonprofit organizations will assist with parking and will have food and beverages available for purchase. 9:30 p.m. Don Pedro Reservoir, Bonds Flat Road. $15 per vehicle. (209) 852-2396.


Thursday, 1 to 6 p.m., Utica Park — Patriotic Picnic in the Park. Featuring the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Band of the West. A salute to veterans, lots of old-fashioned games with prizes and trophies and a variety of food. (209) 736-1333.


Saturday, July 6, 4:30 p.m. — Independence Day Celebration at Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road. Family fun with live music, wine, food, bounce houses and more. Performance by The Tour Guides at 6:30 p.m., followed by Shane Dwight in concert at 8. Fireworks begin at dark. Adults $10, children 5-12 $5, children 4 and younger free.


Thursday, 3:30 p.m. — The community celebrates the Fourth with the Calaveras Community Band BBQ and Concert, at Turner Park, 287 Treat Ave. After the barbecue, the concert begins at 6:30. Barbecue includes smoked tri-tip or chicken for $9. The concert includes patriotic favorites and new swing tunes featuring several soloists from the band.


Thursday, noon — The Kiwanis Club holds its July Fourth Fireworks Spectacular at the fairgrounds. Starting at noon, water slides, bounce houses, children's games and face painting will await the children. Food and beverage booths will be available. Picnic fare is welcome, and there's plenty of room for spreading a blanket in the shade. The Gold Bowl stadium opens at 7 p.m. for the fireworks show, which starts at dusk and lasts about an hour and a half. Tickets are $7 for spectators 11 and older. A color guard, bands and more will provide pre-show entertainment. (209) 742-7354.


Thursday, 7 a.m. — Veterans pancake breakfast in the town hall starts the day. Parade at11 a.m., followed by children's games and races in Shutter Tree Park. Mokelumne Hill has one of the oldest continuous July Fourth parades in the Mother lode, with riders on horseback, antique cars and trucks, floats, cowboys and, as the finale, a display of fire engines and trucks. Susan or Terry Weatherby, (209) 286-1241.


Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m. — The Escalon Independence Celebration is a family festival with barbecue dinner, youth activities, contests and more. Fireworks to follow at dusk. Escalon Community Park, adjacent to Escalon Community Center. $3. (209) 838-7600.


Thursday, 5 p.m. — The Los Banos Chamber of Commerce presents its 17th annual fireworks show with musicians, food, bounce houses and a free fireworks display. Gates open at 5 p.m. Veterans Memorial Stadium, Pacheco High School, 200 Ward Road. Free. (209) 826-2495.

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