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Fun and Fireworks on the Fourth

A guide to the South Bay's highest and hottest holiday celebrations

America Festival
A multistage celebration with fireworks (9:45pm Thursday), international music and dance groups, 70 arts and crafts vendors, hands-on folk-life demonstrations, Kidland, a 100-foot mural painted by festival-goers and a variety of food and beverages. Highlights include an appearance by Lady Bo after the Fireworks on Thursday and by the Doobie Brothers on Friday at 8pm ($6). Free, except on Friday. July 4, 11am­11pm; July 5, 8pm; July 6, 11am-7pm. Guadalupe River Park, Almaden Boulevard and W. San Carlos Street, San Jose (408/457-1141).

American Art
The San Jose Museum of Art pays tribute to the Great American artistic spirit in the exhibition American Art 1940­1965: Traditions Reconsidered. All visitors receive a free poster. July 4, 10am­8pm. Free. The San Jose Museum of Art, 110 S. Market St, San Jose (408/271-6881).

Car Capades
A unique car show to benefit the Elks Program for Disabled Children. Includes fireworks, a 5K fun run and a pancake breakfast. July 4, 8am-4pm. Preregistration $20; event-day and "sale car" registration $25. Downtown Redwood City (408/374-1676).

Cherry Pie Fourth
Carnival games, petting zoo, BBQ and Dr. Loco's Rockin' Jalapeño Band, along with Mojo Madness. July 4, 10am­5pm. Free. Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 E. Remington Dr, Sunnyvale (408/730-7350).

Chili Cook-Off
Chefs from all over the Bay Area face off at the Palo Alto Summer Festival in a battle for over $2,000 in cash and prizes; also music by the Plaids, Pan Caribe and RST. July 4, noon­5pm. Free. Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Dr, Palo Alto (415/329-2255).

Cupertino Independence Day Celebration
A pancake breakfast is held at the Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Rd, Cupertino, followed by a children's parade, food booths, performances by the San Jose Metropolitan Band and fireworks. (408/252-7054).

Fireworks Train
CalTrain and SamTrans operates on a holiday schedule from San Jose to San Francisco, in plenty of time for the San Francisco fireworks show. Call for details (800/660-4287).

4th of July/Firecracker 10K
Live music, children's entertainment, exhibitions and food. Race begins at 8:30am. $16/$12. Celebration, 10:30am-5:30pm. Free. Harvey West Park, Santa Cruz (408/429-3477).

Gilroy Fourth of July Celebration
Fireworks show held after dark over Christmas Hill Park, Gilroy (408/848-0460)

Great America 4th
With a Fireworks Sky Concert synchronized to a musical score. Laser Light Tours and Theatrical Pyrotechnical Show, "New Nights of Fire," choreographed to contemporary patriotic music. July 4, fireworks at 9:30. Light show at 9:15pm and 10:40pm, July 5­7, 9:30pm. Incl. in park admission. Paramount's Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara (408/988-1776)

Menlo Park Festival
A parade culminates in a day of festivities that includes a Little League championship game, food booths, and music by the Pan Roots, Steve Seskin and Voyager. July 4, noon. Free. Burgess Park, Alma St, Menlo Park (415/858-3470).

Morgan Hill Fourth
This July Fourth marks the 100th celebration of Independence Day in Morgan Hill. Games and presentations are planned for most of the afternoon. Call for details (408/779-0208).

San Francisco Symphony at Shoreline
With the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the U.S. Army Chorus and a fireworks show. July 4, 8pm. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mtn View (408/998-BASS).

San Jose Giants Fireworks
Home games followed by a fireworks display. July 2­3. $6/$4. Call for details (408/297-1435 x15).

San Jose Wind Symphony
Sponsored by "Los Gatos Music in the Plaza," this concert will include American favorites and marches. The grand finale, "1812 Overture," will be complete with real cannons from the James River Squadron of the NCWA and church bells from the United Methodist Church. July 4, 1:30pm. Free. Los Gatos High School, Los Gatos (408/927-7597).

Santa Clara All City Picnic
An outdoor pancake breakfast, C&W dancing, exhibits, carnival games, a water carnival, food, music and more. 8am­5pm. Free. Central Park, 969 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara (408/984-3257).

Santa Cruz Fourth
Family fun on Independence Day with live music by the Jive Hounds, Kosono and Tocara, plus Watsonville Taiko, the Santa Cruz High School Big Red marching band and children's activities. All day. Free. Harvey West Park, Santa Cruz (408/429-3477).

Street Fair '96
Come enjoy the barbecue, line dancing, music all afternoon with Wild at Heart and dance with Pride & Joy at 7:30pm. Fireworks at 9:30pm. Free. July 4, 4­10pm. Outside the north end of the Great Mall of the Bay Area (408/942-2470).

Summer at Frost Concert Series
The series will open with the Midsummer Mozart Fireworks Spectacular concert. The Midsummer Mozart Orchestra performs works by Rossini and Mozart. July 3, 7:30pm. $27/$24. Frost Amphitheater, Stanford (408/998-BASS).

Villa Montalvo Celebration
The City of Saratoga celebrates its 40th anniversary of incorporation with family games, Astrojump and a puppet show for the kids, and appearances by Saratoga Sister City Taiko, the Skillet Lickers, the Sizzling Seniors, A Crime in Italy, Saratoga Brass, and the Fife and Drum Corp. July 4, 1pm­6pm. Free. Villa Montalvo, 15400 Montalvo Rd, Saratoga (408/741-3428).

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From the June 27-July 3, 1996 issue of Metro

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Copyright © 1996 Metro Publishing and Virtual Valley, Inc.