How to Celebrate the Fourth of July In & Around Sacramento
Note: This post has been updated for 2020 to include social distancing recommendations in light of COVID-19
The Fourth of July is usually celebrated with community parades, neighborhood barbecues and of course, dazzling fireworks shows. This year, however, all of that is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines. Although many events have been canceled, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day in and around the greater Sacramento area, both with organized [safe] events, and celebrations you plan in your own homes and neighborhoods.
Enjoy a Sky Concert
Due to COVID-19, Elk Grove won’t be hosting an in-person event this year. But they will continue to show their patriotism on July 4 with a phenomenal sky concert. Residents can step out their doors and look up for an amazing fireworks display, then tune in to ABC 10 or 93.7 The River to hear the accompanying soundtrack.
Have a Neighborhood Car Parade
Similar to the drive-by birthday and graduation parades that took hold during the quarantine, a drive-by Independence Day Parade is a fun way to celebrate. Partner up with some friends, decorate your cars, have patriotic music blaring and cruise through your ’hood to spread a little American cheer. You can even advertise the event on neighborhood social media sites to get the word out!
Watch Drive-In Fireworks
Fourth of July weekend usually means one thing in Folsom — the Folsom Pro Rodeo. Although it’s been postponed this year due to coronavirus concerns, you can still celebrate the good ole U.S.A. with the Star-Spangled Drive-In event. On Friday, July 3, jazz up your car with patriotic décor and head out to the rodeo arena for a safe, socially-distanced night of entertainment, including fireworks.
Organize a House Decorating Contest
Why does Christmas get all the attention when it comes to outdoor lights and décor? The Fourth of July is a great time to show your love for your country via twinkling lights, inflatable eagles and red-white-and-blue decor. You can even organize a house decorating contest in your own neighborhood to see who’s got the most flair. Post about it on a neighborhood social media page and set up a simple online poll to determine the winner!
Celebrate Community Spirit
Nevada County Media in Grass Valley is producing a unique way to celebrate American independence this year: a virtual parade and light show made from contributions from community members. Magicians, dancers, jugglers and other performance artists have all come together to create a unique video that will be streamed on July 4.
Watch the Macy’s Fireworks Show
Admittedly, it’s not the same as watching a fireworks show in person, but the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show in New York City will be broadcast live on NBC for the entire country to enjoy! The show will be set to a score by John Legend and will feature appearances by as-yet-to-be-announced performers.
Host a Picnic
Fourth of July and barbecuing go hand-in-hand. And while backyard barbecues are the traditional celebratory pastime, large gatherings are discouraged. Instead, why not invite a few friends over for a socially-distanced picnic-style hangout? Guests can pack up their picnic baskets and bring their own lawn chairs or picnic blankets (set up six feet apart of course). You can even make a batch of patriotic beverages to share. Come sundown, give your guests a festive fireworks show — fireworks stands are open and ready for business!
Show an Outdoor Movie
If you’re looking for something more low-key then a fireworks display, consider setting up an outdoor movie night in your backyard. Set out chairs (or blankets), pop some popcorn, and stream a patriotic movie on a DIY screen or an empty outdoor wall. Some movies to consider are Independence Day, Top Gun, The Patriot and Pearl Harbor.