There are plenty of options for seeing some brilliant fireworks around the North Bay this week, with fairgrounds and fields lighting up in the explosive tradition of Independence Day. But there’s more to July 4 than sparklers and rockets, and several venues are offering live music to celebrate the summer’s biggest holiday.
The grandest spectacle for the Fourth happens on the lawn at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Folk singer and social activist Judy Collins appears live in concert accompanied by the Santa Rosa Symphony. Collins is renowned for her eclectic style and inspirational body of work, which has spanned 50 albums over as many years.
Her renditions of others’ work, as well as her own tender and bold songwriting, reflects her zeal for anti-war activism and championing mental health. A fireworks display follows the performance.
Out in Kenwood, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park celebrates with music and hiking when the weekly Funky Friday series coincides with the holiday this week. The Cork Pullers stage a lively set of vocally driven acoustic jams in the waning twilight. Then there’s a hike up the mountain to a vista point that boasts views of several different fireworks displays from around the Bay Area. The hike begins at 7pm and requires a separate ticket, but the picturesque setting for the concert is a spectacle all its own.
Further down the road, Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sonoma is hosting its daylong All American Music Festival. Dan Martin & the Noma Rocksteady Band, Frankie Boots & the County Line and the Jami Jamison Band will play an array or folk, rock and world music throughout the afternoon.
Down in Marin County, it’s all about the barbecue, with several options to enjoy music and messy food the way the founding fathers intended. Out in Nicasio, the rhythms of the Zydeco Flames blaze on the lawn at Rancho Nicasio. In San Rafael, Phil Lesh jams with friends at Terrapin Crossroads. Jackie Greene, Jason Crosby, Ross James, Alex Koford and Jordan Levine will all be on hand jamming through the afternoon with a barbecue meal included.
Out in Napa County, the premiere spot for a sight of the fireworks has to be the patio at Silo’s, which is situated directly across the river from the display. Cocktails and the music of Revolver, the ’60s cover band acclaimed for polished performances and playing the deep cuts, are the perfect appetizer for the festivities.