This year in San Francisco, the fireworks show is at Pier 39, next to Fisherman’s Wharf. It is a very convenient spot because you can take public transportation there (F Line), and there are many tourist attractions around Pier 39. You can tour North Beach first, Ferry Building, then Pier 39 and experience the fireworks at the same time!
For Independence day, there are events going on all day at Pier 39 and on the streets of Fisherman’s Wharf like art vendors, street performers..Etc. Pier 39 also set up a music stage at the entrance to feature new and popular bands around the area and more. The music was good and attracted enough people that the scene turned chaotic and no one can get in or out of pier 39 anymore.
We started looking for food, there are many choices like fish and chips, oysters, crabs, clam chowder, chili soup, and many special desserts like funnel cake, mini donuts…etc. I was very careful to select “dry food” (no soup or drinks) because if you want to use the bathroom (toilet), the lines for the bathroom takes like 30 minutes to move an inch.
Now, for the part of watching fireworks. Right after dinner, many people brought blankets and just lay the blankets on the ground (anywhere on the sidewalk and on grassy areas) to claim their territory. People who did not have blankets with them sat on the stair cases or stood around. People who had more bucks in their pockets charter a small boat and have BBQ & beer on the boat while watching the fireworks away from the crowd.
During the fireworks, the crowd was really hyped up and kept clapping and yelling. It felt surreal yet so beautiful. I really enjoy seeing not only the fireworks on the sky, but how everyone cheers and yells Happy July 4th to each other in the end. There was a sense of unity that I will never forget.
Soon after fireworks ended, chaos began. There were hundreds of people who literally just walk onto the roads and in between the cars. I can see the car drivers’ face just stunned and did not know what do to. Everyone was so high in spirits with people yelling screaming here and there, I thought a riot was going to happen. Nothing happened though, and I was relieved.
If you want to come to July 4th Fireworks Celebration (for any city), please plan ahead to either:
1) Stay in a hotel near the location of the fireworks so you can avoid chaos of trying to get back to the hotel.
2) If you must travel to the location by a vehicle, I strongly recommend public transportation because: First you won’t have to worry about parking or getting your car stuck in between crowds of people, 2nd the local transportation increase frequency of the trains for special events like this, 3rd buy a whole day pass for public transportation to avoid lines for buying tickets.