Celebrate July 4 in the county where there’s something for everyone! From the quirky parade in Mendocino to spectacular fireworks, fly the flag for independence in Mendocino.
Frontier Days in Willits
Starting on June 22, the party begins in Willits with Frontier Days and continues until July 4 when festivities culminate in an All-American parade through downtown, a family barbecue in the park, a country ‘n western rodeola with music and dancing, and topped off by the rodeo.
Willits is renowned for holding the longest running rodeo in California, started in 1927 by community leaders at the time to raise funds for a hospital. The hospital was built long ago, but the rodeo carries on!
Fort Bragg Fun!
The City of Fort Bragg knows how to have a great time over the July 4 holiday! Kick off the weekend on July 1 at the ever-popular World’s Largest Salmon BBQ! This family-friendly event has been raising funds to save the coast’s salmon population since the 1970s. The beneficiary (or should that be “bene-fish-ary?”) is the Salmon Restoration Association.
Held at South Noyo Harbor, festivities start at 11AM and run until 6PM. A $33 ticket ($10 for kids) buys a huge plate of freshly cooked salmon, grilled over open fires, corn, salad, and bread. Local wines and beers round out the meal. Enjoy live music while you chow down.
Who doesn’t love fireworks? Arrive early at Todd Point on Pomo Bluffs to get the best seat in the house — although there really isn’t a bad one anywhere in town! Come equipped with low chairs, blankets, and snacks and wait for dusk when the show begins. Ooh and aaah with the crowd as the night sky lights up!
Old Fashioned Fun!
Head to beautiful Anderson Valley for a family day of fun at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. Kick of the day with a parade (it’s really the only way to start a day!), then celebrate the 4th with loads of great activities for everyone plus local foods, wines, and beers. Don’t forget to sign up for the chicken calling contest!
We All Love a Parade
Every July 4, without fail, in rain, fog or shine, the entire town of Mendocino plus a match for each resident, turns out for a parade of silliness! Starting promptly at noon, a crocodile of floats, horses with riders, llamas, dogs, teddy bears in Red Flyer Wagons, a giant bird, motorcycles, activists, and politicians take to the streets to wend their way before an adoring crowd! There’s not a bad seat to be had though among the most coveted are the balcony views from the Mendocino Hotel. Bring a blanket and stretch out on the Kelley House lawn where you can enjoy a view of the judging stands, chow down, and sample local wines and beers.
Patterson’s Pub is the place to sample freshly shucked oysters and a Bloody Mary or try the Fire House where the crew will be serving up burgers and dogs. Following the parade, head over to Friendship Park for afternoon activities with vendors, food, and live music.
Play in Point Arena
Head to the south coast of Mendocino County for a whole weekend of festivities in Point Arena. On June 30, start at 4PM with the street fair featuring local merchants and vendors in Arena Cove. There’ll be live music, crafts, kids’ activities, and a wide selection of food, local beers and wines. Fun for all ages! Once the sun sets, get ready for the fireworks show. Top off the night with more music and dancing at the Arena Theater.
July 1 starts with a hometown parade at noon featuring firetrucks, classic cars, floats, drum corps, dancers, horses, artcars, and lots of surprises! Follow the parade to Bower Park on Old Stage Road, where you can picnic away the afternoon with a BBQ, games, live music by Mushroom Harvest, Black Sugar Rose, Anthum and DJ Aibe. All proceeds benefit the Point Arena schools.