When I say "4th of July", what comes to your mind?  Barbecue?  Parades?  Fireworks?  The Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities planned for next Tuesday includes all of this and more.  No matter which Silicon Valley community you find yourself in this 4th of July, family-friendly activities can be found.

Some of the Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities planned include parades, a chili cookoff, concerts, carnival games and live entertainment as well as fireworks.

Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 Festivities

Don't feel like going through the hassle of a backyard barbecue with the family this 4th of July?  Want to cool off from the heat?  Don't know where to go to watch a killer fireworks display?  Look under any of the communities listed below to find some Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities that your whole family can enjoy together.

Campbell Fundraiser BBQ

Come to the Khartoum Bar for tasty barbecue, lots of raffles and Titos Vodka drink specials (strictly for the 21 and over crowd).  The cost is $25 per person.  All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit two very worthy local charities: South Bay Blue Star Moms and Operation Freedom Paws.

Cupertino Events

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Start your 4th of July off with pancakes, carnival fun, a flag raising ceremony, a parade and live music at the Quinlan Community Center and Memorial Park.  Starting at 7 am, the De Anza Optimist Club serves a tasty pancake breakfast in the Cupertino Room of the Quinlan Community Center.  From 9 am to 12 pm, visit Memorial Park for the children's carnival.  Pay your respects at Veteran's Memorial for a special flag raising ceremony at 9:30 am.  Don't miss the children's parade at 10 am.  Make sure you and your family wear their red, white and blue best and join in on the parade yourself.  Bring along your decorated bike, scooter and stroller as well.  Listen to awesome rock and roll in the amphitheater from 10:30 am to 12 pm.

Blackberry Farm offers free swimming from 10 am to 5 pm.  Free admission allowed on a first come, first served basis.  Entry isn't guaranteed.  If it's full, you might get turned away at the gate.  If you get hungry, food trucks will be available on-site.  

After the sun goes down, watch the official Cupertino fireworks show from Sedgewick Elementary, Creekside Park or Miller Ave, between Bollinger and Disney.  The show officially starts at 9:30 pm.  You'll want to arrive early with a blanket and lawn chairs.  Spaces fill up quick!

Los Altos Glorious 4th Celebration

If you're in the Los Altos area of Silicon Valley on Tuesday, stop by Shoup Park between 10:30 am and 2 pm.  Live patriotic music puts everyone in a celebratory mood.  Try your hand at the carnival-style games.  Let the kids run loose in the bounce house.  Get yourself a glitter tattoo or have your hair professionally braided.  Of course, you'll need to keep up your stamina.  Thankfully, there will be plenty of food and drink available for purchase.

Los Altos Hills July 4th Parade

You can't enjoy Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities without a parade.  At 10 am, spectators watch floats, bands and others march their way from Town Hall along Fremont Rd to the Gardner Bulls School.  Cool off with some juicy watermelon and cold drinks at the school once the parade is over.

Los Gatos Symphony in the Park

Get in a patriotic mood with a flag raising ceremony at 4 pm in Oak Meadow Park.  Then, enjoy a live concert courtesy of the San Jose Wind Symphony.  Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad operates their train and carousel before the event.  They'll also offer finger-lickin' good BBQ and other snacks as well as a beer garden on-site.

Mountain View Music & Fireworks

Not to be outdone by their Silicon Valley neighbor, Mountain View will also offer a symphony in the park at Shoreline Amphitheater at 8 pm.  The San Francisco Symphony performs live.  The evening concludes with its own fireworks display overhead.  Tickets cost just $24 per person for general admission.  Purchase them right now at Live Nation.

Palo Alto Chili Cookout & Summer Festival

Tired of the regular BBQ fare?  How about chili instead?  Visit Meadow Park between 12 pm and 5 pm on July 4th for the Chili Cookoff and Summer Festival.  Sample some of the best chili recipes around.  I'll let you in on a little secret.  There'll be fireworks over Stanford Stadium after the San Jose Earthquakes/LA Galaxy game on Saturday, July 1st.  If you have tickets to the game, you're front row for the show.  However, if you're anywhere near the stadium after dark on Saturday, you should still have a great view.

San Jose Parade & Rotary Fireworks

More Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities include a Rose, White & Blue parade at 10 am from Lincoln High School to The Alameda (ending near Pershing Ave).  Later on that evening, watch the Rotary Fireworks Show at 9:30 pm at Discovery Meadow in downtown San Jose.  For both, you'll need to arrive a little early to find a good spot.  Bring blankets or lawn chairs for your comfort.

Santa Clara Community 4th of July Party

Santa Clara's Central Park is THE place to be for this Silicon Valley 4th of July.  From 12 pm to 10 pm, the City hosts free public swimming, carnival games, face painting, arts and crafts, live entertainment and food for sale.  Then, after the sun goes down, watch fireworks explode in the night sky.  It's highly recommended that you bring your lawn chairs or blankets for this event.

Saratoga Old Fashioned Celebration

Finally, if you're in Saratoga next Tuesday, enjoy an old fashioned 4th of July celebration in Kevin Moran Park.  From 9:30 am to 11 am, listen to patriotic tunes played by the McCartysville Band.  There'll be a family parade while actors in Revolutionary War costumes mill about.  Free popsicles will be handed out to all guests, while kids receive their miniature American flag.  Fun times!

Whichever one of the Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities you, your family and your friends decide to attend, stay safe.  Please, consider keeping your pets at home.  The loud noises and large crowds can make even the calmest animal skittish.  This is for their comfort as well as yours and those people around you.  Have a great time!

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