Want to celebrate America? Modesto, surrounding communities prepare to have a blast

Look behind the scenes at the Modesto Nuts fireworks show

Handler Ward Ellison shows what goes into the post-game fireworks show at John Thurman Field. The Modesto Nuts present a pyrotechnics show every Friday and Saturday after the game.
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Handler Ward Ellison shows what goes into the post-game fireworks show at John Thurman Field. The Modesto Nuts present a pyrotechnics show every Friday and Saturday after the game.

Bombs will burst in the air over John Thurman Field on Tuesday night, the biggest fireworks show of the year for the club and the only pyrotechnic Independence Day blast for Modesto.

It’s part one of a two-day celebration for the city, which continues on the Fourth of July itself with a parade and the All-American Festival in downtown.

And there’s no lack of patriotism among communities throughout the rest of the Modesto and Mother Lode regions, evidenced by the celebrations that have been going on since the weekend and continue right through — and even beyond — the Fourth of July holiday. Here’s a look at what’s still in store:


Tuesday, July 3: The Modesto Nuts fireworks show will follow the evening home game against Lake Elsinore. The pre-Fourth pyrotechnics will mark the team’s longest fireworks show of the year. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive, Modesto. Admission $7 to $14.

Wednesday, July 4: The city’s annual Fourth of July Celebration has been going on since 1874 and returns this year with a parade and festival. The parade theme – complete with marching bands, floats, performers and more – is “The Land of Liberty.” After the parade, the All-American Festival kicks off with kids activities, live music, dance demonstrations, a classic car show, food and craft booths as well as a flag-raising ceremony by the American Legion. Both events are organized by the Modesto Kiwanis Club. Parade: 9:30 a.m. from 10th and F streets to J Street, then back to 11th Street to I Street, ending at 17th Street. Festival: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (flag-raising 12:15 p.m.) at Tenth Street Plaza.


Tuesday-Wednesday, July 3-4: Gustine’s celebration continues on Tuesday with the annual FFA tractor pull, held at 5:30 p.m. at the high school. On July 4, festivities start with a parade at 10:30 a.m. on Main Street and end at Henry Miller Park, where there will be food booths, kids activities, live entertainment and more until 4 p.m. Later, fireworks at the Gustine High football field begin at dusk. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for fireworks.


Wednesday, July 4: Parade and Car Show in downtown Turlock includes family activities, cars, vendors and more. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. In the evening, the fun moves to California State University, Stanislaus, where activities begin at 7 p.m. leading up to the big fireworks show at 9 p.m. One University Circle. Free. or


Wednesday, July 4: Columbia State Historic Park’s annual Glorious 4th of July Celebration begins with a ceremonial flag raising and black powder musket salute at 11 a.m. near the gazebo on Main Street. The Great Mother Lode Brass & Reed Band will play at 11 a.m. on Main Street. A parade begins at noon running along Main Street. Activities will be held throughout the town, including a greased pole climbing and a bucket brigade. Other contests include nail pounding, watermelon eating, egg relay race and egg toss, and a five-way tug-of-war. Barbecue lunch at 1 p.m. is $10 general and $6 for children under 10. Music after the barbecue will be provided by The Lucky Cousins Brass Band. 209-536-1672.


Wednesday, July 4: The Run for Independence starts the day at 7:30 a.m. A parade starts at 9 a.m. at Foster’s Freeze on Winton Way and ends at Ralston Park. The festival at Ralston Park is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with entertainment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The national anthem will be sung at 11 and a tug-of-war competitions will be held from noon-3:30 p.m. Gates at Castle Air Base, 5050 Santa Fe Drive, open at 6 p.m. for music by Danny Castro and Mike Hammer & the Nails, followed by a fireworks show. Castle admission is $10 per carload. Take lawn chairs and blankets. Gates close at 9 for fireworks.


Wednesday, July 4: Food vendors and music with a car show beginning at 5 p.m. Look for the city’s pyrotechnics celebration to begin around 9:25 p.m. at Mistlin Park, 1201 W. River Road. Admission is free with a $5 parking fee. 209-599-7519.

Twain Harte

Wednesday, July 4: The community-inclusive 4th of July Parade is open to all. Registration begins at 10 a.m. followed by a sing-a-long at 10:30 at All That Matters Gallery, 22990 Joaquin Gully Road. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Following the parade, family activities along Cedar Street in downtown include food booths, bounce house and more. Free.

Mokelumne Hill

Wednesday, July 4: The community’s “Small Town, Big Heart July 4th Celebration” begins with a pancake breakfast at the Town Hall from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. A parade starts at 11 a.m. on Main Street with food, music and vendors available along with kids games at Shutter Tree Park after the parade.

San Andreas

Wednesday, July 4: The Fourth of July Concert and Barbecue returns featuring the Calaveras Community Band playing patriotic favorites, marches, swing and popular tunes from the past beginning at 6:30 p.m. Before the concert, a barbecue will be served from 5 to 6 p.m. for $16. Turner Park, 287 Treat Ave., San Andreas. Admission to concert is free.


Wednesday, July 4: Manteca celebrates its centennial this year and plans a Fourth of July fete beginning with an Sunrise Kiwanis Independence Day Parade at 10 a.m. starting at Jason and Main streets, traveling to Center Street, ending at Library Park. Centennial fireworks will go off over Big League Dreams sports park with gates to the park opening at 7 p.m., fireworks starting at 9:45 p.m., 1077 Milo Candini Drive. $2. 209-456-8600.


Saturday, July 7: Keep the fireworks and the spirit of Independence alive with Ironstone Vineyards’ 4th of July Celebration the weekend after the Fourth. The event features live entertainment by Daniel Kushnir, The Cool Shifters Band and Shane Dwight. Family fun is promised with bounce houses, a rock wall and face painting as well as fire jugglers, food and beverages. Gates open at 2 p.m., and fireworks begin at dusk. Adults $15, children 6-12 $10, age 5 and under free.