Your guide to Independence Day celebrations in West County

craneway pavilion July 3
An image from a past performance at the Craneway Pavilion during Independence Day festivities.

By Zoe Jennings

Ready for the fireworks? There’s a lot going on in the Richmond area to celebrate Independence Day on both July 3 and July 4. We’ve put together a list of events happening both on the Richmond waterfront and surrounding communities.

1. Watch the July 3 fireworks while listening to the Oakland Symphony

The 10th Annual Independence Eve Celebration will bring the Oakland Symphony back to Craneway Pavilion on July 3 for a free concert, playing songs such as America the Beautiful, the Star Spangled Banner, a Mamma Mia Medley, and more.

And, of course, you can listen to the symphony’s thrilling performance while watching the annual fireworks show at the waterfront.

Festivities start at 6:30 p.m. at the Craneway Pavilion,414 Harbour Way S.

The Oakland Symphony will begin performing at 8 p.m., and fireworks start at 9 p.m. Earlier in the evening, the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and the Richmond Jazz Collective will perform. Food and beverages will be available throughout the event, which will featurean instrument petting zoo and a beer garden from Armistice Brewery.

Free seating is available on a first come first served basis, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs for firework viewing. The evening will honor Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest living National Park ranger from Richmond’s Rosie the Riveter Museum, and sponsors include Wang Brothers Investments, the city of Richmond, and Chevron.

2. Watch the July 3 fireworks from Marina Bay Park

While the symphony concert is taking place at Craneway Pavilion, another option for fireworks viewing is available at Richmond’s Marina Bay Park.

There will be music, dancing, food, and interactive activities with varying fees from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 3.

3. Watch the July 3 fireworks aboard the SS Red Oak Victory Historic Ship

If you’re looking for anotherunique experience, you can watch the Richmond fireworks show aboard the SS Red Oak Victory ship.

For a relatively small price of admission­—which will go toward supporting the restoration and operation of the ship—attendees can tour the WWII ship, enjoy a BBQ dinner with beer, wine, and soft drinks, and listen to the John Kalleen Jazz Quartet perform on deck before watching the fireworks over the bay. The SS Red Oak Victory is the last remaining ship built in the Richmond-Kaiser shipyards in WWII.

The event starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m., with fireworks starting around 9pm. Admission prices vary, starting from $20 for the concert and fireworks, to $40 for the concert, BBQ dinner, and fireworks.  Tickets are available here and by calling (510) 237-2933, and will also be sold on the ship at the event.  All ages are welcome at this memorable Independence Day Eve event.  

SS Red Oak Victory needs volunteers4. Watch the July 3 fireworks from Riggers Loft

Celebrate Independence Day at Riggers Loft with wine and cider, lots of great food trucks, a video game truck for kids, and live music by Andre Thierry.

There will be dancing inside and out of Riggers Loft, and then at 9:15 p.m. guests will gather on the waterfront crush pad and watch Richmond’s fireworks.

Tickets are $25, and $15 for people under age 21. Children under age 6 get in free.

For wine club members and R&B shareholders, call for the discount code
here 510-234-8477or email

5. Head to San Pablo for an evening of festivities and fireworks on July 4.

On the actual 4th of July, enjoy multi-cultural celebrations and fireworks at El Portal Soccer Field (2600 Moraga Rd) starting at 5 p.m.

There will be live entertainment including dance performances, Zumba and martial arts demonstrations, and live bands throughout the evening. Games, food, and other fun activities for the family will also be available. It all starts at 5:00 with a Mexican folkloric ballet performance, and continues until 9:30 when the fireworks will start.

Here’s the lineup of activities starting at 5 p.m.

5:00 Ballet Folklorico Netzahualcoyotl

5:20 Zumba with Yannet Torres

5:40 Golden Lion Studio (Lion Dance & Martial Arts)

6:00 Drea Lusion in “Curious Circus”

6:30 Da Island Way Dancers

7:00 Dakila

8:00 Drea Lusion in “Curious Circus”

8:30 Take 2 Dance Band

9:30 Fireworks

Sponsors include the San Pablo Senior Center, San Pablo Supermarket, Planchon Roofing, La Movida, and MCE.

6. Head to the North Richmond Intramural Day & Parade on July 4

It will be a day of sports, games, music, free food, and more at the North Richmond Intramural Day & Parade celebration on July 4.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. from Fred Jackson Way and Chelsey St. in North Richmond and ends about 9:30 a.m. at Shields-Reid Park at 1410 Kelsey St., where a day of sports such baseball, basketball and soccer, and other activities will take place until 4 p.m.

Some activities include Disney characters, meeting and greeting police officers, a Classic Car Show and live music.