Normally fireworks are illegal in San Jose (don’t test it, kids!) but on July Fourth you can bet the skies above Silicon Valley will be ablaze with red, white and blue explosions. Public firework displays are completely free, so if you’re trying to save dat summer job money, be sure to put these on your must-do list . And if you’re looking for more free or cheap activities in San Jose this Independence Day, snag some ideas from our guide below. We’ve complied a few of our favorite picks just for teens because you guys da bestest. Put your hands up and play your song cause it’s a party in the U.S.A.
Red, White & Blue Parade
Starts at 10 a.m.
Start your morning with a good ol’ fashioned Fourth of July parade on The Alameda. Umpqua Bank is sponsoring this year’s event, complete with parade floats, live music, dancing, antique cars and an appearance by Aviato founder Erlich Bachman (has not been confirmed, don’t quote us.) After the procession, enjoy a picnic lunch or bring your two-wheeler and join the Groovin’ on the Fourth of July bike party.
San Jose Fireworks and Summer Pops Concert
Starts at 5:15 p.m.
In the evening, head to Discovery Meadow for the Rotary Club of San Jose’s annual fireworks show. All you need you need is bae, a blanket and maybe some leftover potato salad from your Fourth of July picnic. Om-nom. Before it gets dark and the fireworks start, the Symphony Silicon Valley will performing a concert featuring popular music. Here’s hoping they play some Katy Perry because we could all use a sing-a-long to “Baby, you’re a firework.”
Big Bang Concert
Doors at 4 p.m. Starts at 5 p.m.
Ah, the Summer of ‘69. Not the year, but Bryan Adams’ greatest hit that’s all about summer luvvv. The chart-topping rocker performs Monday night at the Center for the Performing Arts Plaza, so grab your sweetie and your favorite faded blue jeans and go. General admission tickets are as low as $15 (bargain city!), plus you get a view of the Rotary Club fireworks. If your tummy starts grumbling, just pick up barbecue from one of the venue food trucks. Night planned.
Starts at 3 p.m.
More free live music, fireworks and fun await you at Almaden Lake Regional Park. The days kicks off with musical acts like The Snarky Cats and School of Rock (led by Jack Black?) and concludes at dusk with a big, bold and bright pyrotechnics display. You can also check out arts and crafts, a parade and yummy food trucks (very necessary).
San Jose Giants vs. Modesto Nuts
Starts at 6:30 p.m.
Take me out to the ballgame. Watch America’s pastime on America’s birthday, complete with a colorful post-game fireworks display. The 2-5 Giants will face off against a tough opponent in the second-place Modesto Nuts, so they need all the support they can get. Sorry, Giants — you know it’s true. And hey, even if you aren’t a baseball fan, don’t tell me you don’t love popcorn, peanuts and ballpark hot dogs. Healthy.