I’m certain that if they did a USA Today reader survey of Best Fourth of July Parades in America, Mendocino’s would rank right up there. Tiny Historic Mendocino Village (population 1,000) swells with kids, families, locals and tourists all coming to see what organizer have cooked up. For a small time, it’s a pretty big parade. Visits come from all over the San Francisco Bay Area and all the tiny communities stretching along the Mendocino Coast from Westport to Gualala.
Monday, July 4th – A Parade with a Punch … Sometimes
Like most rural parades, you’ll find fire trucks, military displays and community groups, like Rotary and the library, waving their banners and proudly struting their stuff. And, of course, there will be farm animals and oddball parade floats. But beware: the Coast’s progressive bent can draw protests in the form of parade entries that make powerful political statements. A dozen years ago, there were one or two anti-George Bush floats, that upset some locals. Still, it’s all in good fun. And worth the experience. I’ve attended more than 15 parades and they are generally rated G, family-fun events with lots to eat and drink. Check out Rotary Park at the corner of Lansing and Main Streets for food and activities. It’s also a great place to put a chair and watch the parade go by.
World’s Largest Salmon BBQ — Saturday, July 1
This is just one massive salmon feast (with all the trimmings). All for a good cause: preserving and building the local fish population so that it is healthy and sustainable. Learn more.
BBQ Tickets are $30 at the door or $25 in advance at the Harvest Market or online (up until 5pm the Friday before the BBQ). Kids 12 and under $10. Or you can purchase your tickets online by clicking the button below. Admission is free. Come and listen to the music and enjoy the afternoon in Noyo Harbor.
Fireworks – Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg
Coastal weather is a crapshoot in July (fog can move in any moment and wipe out ocean views). Sometimes, you get clear weather with spectacular fireworks shooting off a barge in Noyo Harbor. Other times, even a 100 yards away you can barely see them. Still, anticipation is everything. And being on the coast with its wonderful cool weather while the inland towns are seething in 100+ weather, is enough reason to come. There is lots of parking (some paid to help pay for the event) and free spots on the local streets. Will it be clear or foggy? You may not know until the hour of the launch! Still, it’s worth finding a spot near the harbor to watch. Prepare to bundle up in any case. The summer temperature, even with the sun out, is likely to be 55-65 degrees.