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Fourth of July on the Waterfront, Pier 39, Beach and Embarcadero, SF.www.pier39.com. Noon-9pm, free. Fireworks and festivities, live music in other words fun for the whole, red-white-and-blue family. Make a game of spotting the explosions through the fog, if there’s fog (crossing our fingers for no.)
8 free guided walking tours, Various locations, SF. www.sfcityguides.org. Beginning between 9:30am and 2pm, free. Want something to do before the fireworks light up the sky? Local volunteers from San Francisco City Guides offers these free guided walking tours of their favorite features of the City by the Bay from the Coit Tower murals to the hidden history of Fisherman’s Wharf.
Fourth of July Dog Parade of Westies and Scotties Park and Highland, Piedmont, Oakl. www.ci.piedmont.ca.us. 11am, free. Celebrate Independence Day with cuddly pups that will prance down the street with their people as part of this 47th annual parade. They’ll sashay their way to Piedmont Park where the parade ends with a community picnic.
July 4th Festival of Family Fun, Jack London Square, Oakl. Bring the kids, young and old to meet goats and sheep at a petting zoo. Work up an appetite in bounce houses, arts and craft booths, and rented kayaks or bicycles. Then, munch on the food and beverages from various local vendors. Stilt walkers, magicians, and circus creatures of all variety will entertain. Here’s hoping you’ll be cool with the face-painting clowns.
SF Zoo free admission day San Francisco Zoo, 1 Zoo Rd., SF. www.sfzoo.org. First Wednesdays, 10am-5pm, free. Celebrate Fourth of July with the animals at Northern California’s largest zoological park and conservation center.
Fourth of July at the Berkeley Marina Cesar Chavez Park, 201 University, Berk. www.anotherbullwinkleshow.com. Noon-10pm, fireworks at 9:30pm, free. Live entertainment, arts and crafts, fried food, and fireworks abound at this Independence Day celebration. Pick up a "passport to fun" at the event’s headquarters and get it stamped at four sites around the Marina to win prizes like yacht cruises for two and Hilton Hotel overnight stays.
Lower Polk Art Walk Polk and Larkin, SF. www.thelowerpolkartwalk.com. 6pm-10pm, free. Wander through eight galleries featuring local artwork, peruse the neighborhood murals, and feast at designated food trucks along the way.
Art opening: Space Craft CELLspace, 2050 Bryant, SF. www.spacecraftonline.com. 7pm-11pm, free. This visual arts and experimental music show celebrates emerging and established artists from the Bay and beyond. Participating artists curate and execute the show in proper SF do-it-yourself style.
First Friday Follies burlesque and creepy puppet show Stork Club, 2330 Telegraph, Oakl. Facebook: First Friday Follies at Stork Club. 9pm, free. As Oakland Art Murmur (www.oaklandartmurmur.org) winds down, find your way to this strange after-party. It will feature scantily clad dancing women, a creepy puppet show by the Shadow Circus Theater, and various guest performances.
Wild Child art exhibit Paxton Gate’s Curiosities for Kids, 766 Valencia, SF. www.paxtongate.com. 6pm-8pm, free. Courtney Cerruti has repurposed books, candy wrappers, and toilet paper tubes to create the new art pieces that dot the gallery walls tonight. The depictions of flower petals, wild animals, and children’s faces explore that combination of sweet and wild that is childhood.
Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, Fillmore between Jackson and Eddy, SF. (800) 310-6563, www.fillmorejazzfestival.com. 10am-6pm, free. The largest free jazz festival on the Left Coast, this celebration draws enormous crowds for innovative Latin, fusion, and other performers on multiple stages.
Gardening workshop Garden for the Environment, Seventh Ave. at Lawton, SF. www.gardenfortheenvrinoment.org. 10am-noon, free. Get your fingernails dirty and turn your thumbs green at this hands-on summer gardening class. Learn gardening and composting techniques to encourage flowers and veggies to blossom in your yard without adding organic waste to the landfill.
Amazing Spider Pig comedy show 50 Mason Social House, 50 Mason, SF. www.50masonsocialhouse.com. 7pm, free. The Bay’s best self-proclaimed "nerd comics" are in the house tonight, spreading laughter and awkwardness to spread.
"Occupy Bay Area" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, SF. www.ybca.org. Through Oct. 14. Opening night: 6pm-10pm, free. Radical protest, from the rest Occupy movement to previous incarnations of civil unrest are immortalized here in poster art. Check out works from the famed Chuck Sperry to the deceased, much-loved Alcatraz occupier "Indian Joe" Morris. Opening night festivities include a performance by Oakland hip-hopper Do D.A.T.
San Francisco Symphony at Stern Grove Festival Sigmund Stern Grove Park, 19th Ave. and Sloat, SF. www.sterngrove.org. 2pm, free. Voices from SF’s Symphony Chorus will chime over the iconic sounds of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by musical director Michael Tilson Thomas. Copland’s Billy the Kid Suite will also float over the crowds at the symphony’s annual appearance at the beloved free summer concert series.
Cartoonist-in-Residence: Tyler Cohen Cartoon Art Museum, 665 Mission, SF. www.cartoonart.org. 1pm-3pm, free. Cohen published the first book of her work Primahood in 2011, and another, Primahood: The Second Album, this June. Come in and ask View completed artwork of this Bay Area female cartoonist. Ask her questions as you watch her work on in-progress pieces.
FoodWise farmers’ market tour and tasting Ferry Building, Embarcadero and Ferry Plaza, SF. www.cuesa.org. Noon, free. CUESA’s market chef Elianna Friedman will give you a chef’s eye view of the season’s best food offerings, and share pointers for prepping the spoils of the harvest in your kitchen. The event’s end will bring you dish samples, and a recipe to take home.
San Jose Blues Week Various venues, San Jose. www.sjbluesweek.com. Through July 15. This week celebrates the importance of musicians to the community by featuring some of the best local artists. Join the opening night party, which will feature foot-stomping blues band Tip of the Top.