The 4th of July celebrations in Clayton and Concord are time-honored traditions filled with memory-making family moments.
Residents gather early in both towns for pancake breakfasts and 10 a.m. parades – with Clayton’s Kiddie Parade always packed with boisterous youngsters. Concord then caps the day with fireworks at Mt. Diablo High School.
The Concord Police Association kicks off the party with the 10th annual Stars & Stripes 5K Run & Walk in Todos Santos Plaza. The event begins at 6:30 a.m. with registration, music and sponsor booths. The Concord-Diablo Rotary Club will host a $5 pancake breakfast 7:30-11 a.m.
A free Kids Run starts at 8 a.m. in the plaza, with the 5K at 8:15 a.m. Stomper the Elephant from the Oakland A’s will greet kids at the finish line, and Uncle Sam from the Singing Flag will join the festivities. Race proceeds benefit Shelter, Inc. To register, visit starsandstripesrun.com.
Then it’s time to get jazzed for the Concord 4th of July parade at 10 a.m. With the theme “All that Jazz,” it starts at Mt. Diablo High School and heads to the plaza. Visit concordjuly4th.com for a parade entry form, which is due June 24.
After a respite, residents can head to Concord’s free festival starting at 4 p.m. at Mt. Diablo High School. Activities include a kids’ carnival, food and vendor booths and a local artist exhibit. The Air Force Band and the Big Jangle, a tribute to Tom Petty, will provide live entertainment before the 9 p.m. fireworks.
For event coordinator Tim McGallian, the moment the first firework goes off is “single-handedly” the best part of the day. Being with his family is key for the City Council member, who notes that even his grandmother Bernice pitches in and sells ride tickets for the carnival.
The Clayton Valley Sunrise Rotary launches the day in Clayton with a pancake breakfast starting at 7 a.m. at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. Cost is $6-$8. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Main Street, and this year’s theme is “Many Faces, One Community.” Parade registration is required by June 28 at ci.clayton.ca.us.
No signup is needed for the popular Kiddie Parade. Children in patriotic attire line up along Oak Street and walk, bike, roller skate or use non-motorized scooters, wagons, strollers or kids’ battery-operated motorized vehicles.
Volunteers are also needed to help on parade day in Clayton. Contact Janet Calderon at 925-673-7304.