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Is there anything better than the Fourth of July? You’re basically honor-bound as an American to indulge in tons of food and fun—and you can legally set things on fire. It’s a day I look forward to all year.
Here in Fresno and all across the Valley, we take things up to the next level. If you want to, you can find a way to celebrate Independence Day every day from June 29 to July 4 (except for July 2—I couldn’t find any events because apparently even the Fourth doesn’t like Mondays).
What follows is my comprehensive list of all the ways you can rejoice in the United States of America for the next few days. Spoiler alert: It involves lots and lots of fireworks.
June 29-30, July 1, July 3-4
• Star Spangled Revue—Wild Water Adventures in Clovis
For several days around the 4th of July, after dark, Wild Water Adventure Park puts on a big display of fireworks, laser light shows, and music. The event will also include a multimedia show featuring live music by Higher Power. It takes place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is included with park admission. There are a lot of ticket options, so check out their website to find out more.
• Lights on the Lake—Lake McClure in Merced
Visitors are welcome to enjoy fireworks from the shore or their boats. The viewing area opens at 5 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. All-day fee of $20 will be charged for entrance. Limited camping spots are available for an additional fee. Folding chairs, food, drinks, ice chests, and plenty of ice are recommended. Additional information can be found on Lake McClure’s website.
• Red, White & Blue Classic and Fireworks Show—Madera Speedway
The speedway opens at 10:30 a.m. with events throughout the day and fireworks at 9 p.m. Adult tickets are $15, seniors and military are $13, youth ages 6-12 are $7, and kids five and under are free. View the full race schedule here.
• Independence Day Celebration—Merced Speedway
The Merced Speedway will also be hosting a free event with fireworks on Saturday. Gates open at 5 p.m. Information can be found here.
• Shaver Lake Fireworks Show
As always, the celebration at Shaver Lake kicks off with a boat parade that begins around 6 p.m., with boats starting out from both the Sierra Marina and Shaver Lake Marina and heading toward the middle of the lake, followed by a fireworks display. Check out Shaver’s website for more.
• Freedom Fest: Free Community Block Party—Valley Dream Center Campus in Fresno
This event takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Valley Dream Center Campus (1835 N. Winery Ave.). Attendees are invited to enjoy food, games, giveaways, crafts, activities, water slides, live music, fireworks, and more. For further information, please email Arturo@valleydreamcenter.org.
• Community Independence Day Celebration—Selma High School
Head to Selma High beginning at 5:30 p.m for children’s rides, game booths, food, entertainment, and fireworks. For more info, you can call (559) 891-2235 or (559) 891-2237.
• Kingsburg’s Independence Day Celebration—Kingsburg High School Football Stadium
Gates open at 6 p.m. so attendees can grab a bite to eat before the fireworks show, which begins at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. Check out more about the event on Facebook.
• Festival of the American Spirit Fireworks Show—Kerman High School
The event starts at 6 p.m., with vendors, entertainment, and servicemen recognition. Tickets can be purchased in advance at local businesses and are $5 for adults and $2 for children. They will be $1 more at the gate on the day of the event. Visit the Kerman Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page for a full list of places where you can buy tickets.
• 53rd Annual Fireworks Extravaganza—Tulare County Fairgrounds
Gates open at 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds, with a $5 admission fee (kids under 5 are free). Go early to enjoy the pre-show entertainment and food, including snow cones and kettle corn. Check out the Tulare County Fairgrounds Facebook page for more information.
• 3rd of July Blast—Woodlake
This free event is taking place at Miller Brown Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Please call (559) 799-1399 for more information.
• America’s Birthday Celebration at the Ballpark—Visalia Rawhide
Giants fans can head to the stadium to watch the Rawhide take on San Francisco’s Class A Advanced affiliate, the San Jose Giants, and then get the bonus of a post-game fireworks show. Game time is 7 p.m. Tickets are as low as $7 and can be purchased here.
• Fireworks Extravaganza—Fresno Grizzlies
The biggest fireworks display in the Valley on the Fourth will be after the Fresno Grizzlies game at Chukchansi Park. Marketing guru Sam Hansen told me that the team will spend quadruple the amount on the show than they do on regular Friday night fireworks. Special stars and stripes uniforms and hats will be worn on the field by the Grizzlies and auctioned during the game, with July 4 merchandise also available in the team store.
The free kids zone will feature four water slides, including the return of the Growlifornia Monsoon. The game starts at 6:35 p.m. Tickets start at $12, with a special all-you-can-eat BBQ ticket available for $35. This one almost always sells out, so reserve your seats online now!
• 4th of July Independence Day Celebration—Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. in downtown Fresno
Want to watch the Grizzlies’ fireworks from a different vantage point AND meet a local sports hero? Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., across the street from the stadium, will host a bash with boxing champ Jose Ramirez days before he defends his title at the Save Mart Center. He’ll be in the ring at the beer garden warming up for the media from 1-3 p.m. and will be available for a meet and greet and autograph signing from 3 to 4 p.m. Starting at 4, Tioga-Sequoia will have games and music. Food trucks are available from noon to 11 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Check out their Facebook event here.
• Star Spangled Fun Fireworks Show—Tachi Palace Casino
The band Prestige will perform at Tachi Palace before fireworks, taking place in Parking Lot 2. Bring your own blankets, chairs, and canopies, as bleacher seating is limited. No glass bottles or outside alcohol is allowed. Fireworks start at approximately 9:15 p.m. More information can be found on the casino’s Facebook page.
• Sanger’s Fourth of July Spectacular—Sanger High Practice Field
If you don’t feel like cooking, Sanger’s party will feature Cinnamon Roll Shack cinnamon rolls, Kona Ice, Yosemite Grill burgers, Tastefully Twisted soft serve ice cream, Vega Bros shrimp tacos, Sadie Maes BBQ, and more. Before the fireworks, there will also be live music, a flat retirement ceremony, and other family fun. A $10 parking pass includes admission for four. Walk-up tickets are $3 each. No outside food, drinks, ice chests, or canopies are allowed. The event goes from 6 to 10 p.m. More information can be found on the Chamber of Commerce’s website.
• Freedom Fest—Clovis High School Football Stadium
When I was growing up, Freedom Fest was always the place to be if you were a Clovis kid. The location may have changed over the years, but the fireworks show remains awesome. Get there when gates open at 4 p.m. to snag a good seat. The fireworks start at 9 p.m. In between, there will be food, entertainment, and activities for all ages. Admission is $5 and free for children under five years old. Find more info on the event’s Facebook page.
• Big, Bad, Boom Fireworks—Kings County Fairgrounds in Hanford
As event names go, this one definitely wins! Hanford’s celebration includes free parking and entry. There will be a beer and wine garden, live music, bounce houses, food vendors and, of course, Big, Bad, Boom Fireworks, choreographed to classic rock. Doors open at 5 p.m., with promised booms going off after 9 p.m. More info is on the Hanford Chamber of Commerce’s website.
• 4th of July Celebration—Lemoore Naval Air Station
The NASL Fitness Center Football Field will host the Valley Cats Band, with fireworks at dusk. This family-friendly event will also have games, food, and a beer garden. The party goes from 7 to 9:30 p.m. More information here.
• Independence Day Fireworks Community Festival—Groppetti Stadium in Tulare
Join CASA of Tulare County at their 4th of July Independence Day Fireworks Community Festival at Groppetti Stadium. Activities include games, live music, waterslides, swimming pool access, a hot dog eating contest, dunk tanks, and fireworks. Food and beverages will be available for sale. Festivities begin at 2 p.m., with fireworks at approximately 8:30 p.m. Check out the Facebook event page here.
• 4th of July at the Island Waterpark—Fresno
Island Waterpark wins for best description of their event, so I’m just going to let them speak for themselves: “CELEBRATE LIBERTY, JUSTICE AND FUN FOR ALL AT ISLAND WATERPARK THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY! Ditch The Ordinary For The Extraordinary! A Day-cation At Island Waterpark! Whether You’re A Thrill Seeker, Sun-bather Or Lazy-dayer, Island Waterpark Is The Ultimate Destination This July Fourth! Feel The Thrills Of The Slides, Play It Cool In The Wave Pool, Float The Lazy River And End The Day With A Huge Firework Extravanganza!” Rides at Island Waterpark will stay open until 8:30 and fireworks show will start as soon as it’s dark. Park tickets are $34.99, with junior admission for those under 48″ at $25.99. Buy them here.
• Bass Lake Fireworks
Bass Lake is another great place to watch fireworks on the water. You can do it from a blanket on the shore, of course, but if you’re feeling fancy, The Pines Resort is hosting a barbecue. Tickets for the buffet and live music— with prime seating for fireworks—are $64.95 for adults, $54.95 for seniors 55+, and $34.95 for children under 12. A full bar is also available. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance here.
• Fowler’s Fabulous 4th of July—Fowler High School Football Field
This event features a fun zone, food vendors, and live music by the Juzt UZ Band. Gates open 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. No ice chests are allowed. Fireworks begin at dusk. More information can be found on the City of Fowler’s website.
Go Fourth and Celebrate
Phew! That’s it! Hope this list helps you pick somewhere great to celebrate with your family and friends! Have fun, be safe, and Happy Fourth of July from all of us at FresYes!