When reflecting on the 4th of July, for many of us this means picnics, barbecues, cold beer and hunting for a good spot to watch the fireworks. Yes, Independence Day is a great holiday for all Americans, stirring patriotic sentiment and pride in our wonderful nation. And the weekend offers a welcome chance to relax and unwind from the daily grind. For some, stretched out on the grass, eating hot dogs and potato salad and watching the fireworks is a perfect celebration of the day. On the other hand, those eager for a little action, may look for activities and events tied in with the 4th. So, listed below, in no particular order of importance, are some events of possible interest.
Without question, Jack London Square is the place to be on July 4th --from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. when three stages will offer lively entertainment: The Main Stage, the Blues Pavilion and Electronica Stage, followed by dazzling fireworks when night falls.
The Alameda 4th of July Parade, with over 170 entries, begins a 3.2 mile route this Sunday, July 4th at 10 a.m.
The Aircraft Carrier, USS Hornet offers an exciting program of live music and tours from 11:00 to 4:00. 707 West Hornet Avenue, Pier 3, Alameda. Tickets are $10 to $25.
The Alameda County Fair, running through July 11, offers two nightly shows, 6:00 and 8:00, plus fireworks.
For lovers of jazz, Yoshi's at the Oakland Embarcadero in Jack London Square has scheduled an exciting show this Sunday, July 4th -- Louis Armstrong Birthday Celebration with Mel Sharp, Big Money. 7 p.m. Also, at Yoshi's Richard Bona (former musical director for Harry Belafonte) will perform samba and Latin music, Tuesday 6th at 8 p.m.
The Oakland Metro Opera House, 630 Third Street, Oakland, presents a Beat Circus and Vaudeville the first Thursday of each month. OaklandMetro.Org.
For a really, really different theatre experience, broadminded audiences are urged to see the Ashby Stage production of "Left of Oz." In this spin-off of the old Judy Garland movie, Dorothy is a Lesbian, recently arrived from Kansas to visit the Castro district in search of love. 8 p.m. Friday- Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday, through July 18, Ashby
Stage, 1901 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley. $25 to $50. www.brownpapertickets.com
Finally, should you be content to have a leisurely, unhurried 4th of July, you may want to settle for a delicious Sunday Brunch at Cafe Aquarius, 1298 65th Street in Emeryville, a charming, easy-to-miss restaurant in an industrial area. Their lemon-ricotta pancakes are to die for! Not open evenings. 655-2782 or CafeAquarius.net.
Whatever you do, have a great 4th of July!