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June 29, 2012 > Celebrating America

Celebrating America

By Julie Grabowski
Photos By Don Jedlovec

Jean-Paul Sartre believed, "Better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees." To Benjamin Franklin, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Abraham Lincoln declared, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." According to Robert Frost, "Freedom lies in being bold." For Nelson Mandela, "to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

The definitions of freedom are vast and varied, but it is this singular word that sparks our celebrations every July 4th. This is the time we honor the birth of our great nation and all the blessings and freedoms we are afforded as its citizens. We remember those who have fought long and numerous battles so that we might carry out our own notions of liberty and freedom, safe from injury and oppression. In The United States of America, under the red, white, and blue, we celebrate our independence, individuality, our dreams, and plans that are endless in scope and possibility.

Take part in celebrating our great America with various activities throughout the Greater Tri-City area.


Fourth of July Parade
Nothing brings a community together like a parade, and Fremont's annual 4th of July Parade kicks off the day with a dramatic pre-parade flyover from the Beech Boys at 9:45 a.m. Over 76 entries of locally designed floats, marching bands, equestrian units, custom and antique vehicles, and balloons will raise spirits and boast U.S. pride as they travel along a one-mile route featuring Fremont's Centerville District.

A special "Welcome Home" tribute to military members begins with a Patriotic Guard starting the parade followed by a military color guard and convoy, the Blue Star Mothers, Operation Mother, and the Gold Star Mothers. Tuskegee Airmen will be serving as honorary Grand Marshals alongside NBC Bay Area's Mike Inouye, who serves as this year's Grand Marshal. There will also be a moment of silence following the opening National Anthem in honor of the late Mayor Bob Wasserman.

The parade, about two hours in length, begins at State Street and Capitol Avenue, travels down Paseo Padre Parkway, along Walnut Avenue, and Liberty Street, and ends on Beacon Avenue.

Fremont 4th of July Parade
Wednesday, July 4
10 a.m.
Beginning at State Street and Capitol Ave., Fremont

Old Fashioned Independence Day
Celebrate the holiday by going back in time at Ardenwood Historic Farm. Indulge in fun and games such as pie eating, watermelon seed spitting, and egg toss, or the non-food related activities of nail driving, tug-o-war, and bucket brigade. Enjoy patriotic music, magic show, train rides, and tours of the Patterson House.

Old-Fashioned Independence Day
Wednesday, July 4
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 544-2797
Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 kids (ages 4-17)


Old Fashioned Fourth of July
Or get your history fix at Meek Mansion where the Hayward Area Historical Society will be hosting their Old-Fashioned Fourth of July. The family-friendly schedule of activities includes sack races, tug of war, a park-wide History Hunt, free crafts and face painting. Tours of the historic Meek Mansion are $5 per person. Bring along a picnic lunch or purchase hot dogs and soda on the grounds, and enjoy live Americana music by The Banjo Racketeers.

Old-Fashioned Fourth of July at Meek Park
Wednesday, July 4
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Meek Park
17365 Boston Rd., Hayward
(510) 581-0223


The City of Milpitas welcomes the public to celebrate with them at their annual 4th of July Pool Party, Concert and Fireworks Show at the Milpitas Sports Center Complex. Jump into the "Waving the Red, White & Blue" Pool Party for $2 admission and enjoy music, games, and lots of fun. Hot dog lunches will be available for purchase, benefiting Milpitas Youth Theatre programs.

Gates open at 6 p.m. for the Concert & "Red, White & Boom" Fireworks Show. The Houserockers open the evening with a live concert, and will be followed by a spectacular fireworks show. Space is extremely limited so pre-buy tickets to avoid the line at the event. Tickets are available for early purchase at the Milpitas Community Center and Milpitas Sports Center. Admission is $3, and the show is for ages 2 and up.

The July 4th Concert and Fireworks show has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of Allied Waste Services, Dr. Horton, Headway Technologies, Robson Homes, Preston Pipelines, DRG Builders, Less Properties, Lyon Communities, and Shapell Industries.

Waving the Red, White & Blue Pool Party
Wednesday, July 4
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Milpitas Sports Center
1325 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3210
Admission: $2

Concert and Red, White & Boom Fireworks Show
Wednesday, July 4
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Milpitas Sports Center
1325 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3210
Admission: $3


Firefighters are famous for controlling fire and using it to cook great grub. Satisfy your stomach with all-you-can-eat pancakes at the annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast while supporting the Alameda County Firefighters-Local 55 Charity Fund, which funds community projects and organizations.

4th of July Pancake Breakfast
Wednesday, July 4
8 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Alameda County Fire Station #27
39039 Cherry Street, Newark
(510) 667-3148
Cost: $5

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