Getting out of town for Fourth of July week? Here are the best fireworks, festivals

Considered one of the West’s best firework shows, Lights on the Lake draws tens of thousands to South Lake Tahoe each year to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Synchronized to music, the pyrotechnics show starts at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday and lasts almost half an hour. Fireworks are launched from barges off Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, but there are plenty of places to see the dazzling event. Attendees are encouraged to park and get a spot early.

You can host a barbecue at Nevada Beach and then watch the fireworks reflect across the water, or you can explore the Tallac Historic Site before heading to Baldwin Beach. For outdoorsy types, try a night hike up to Mount Tallac and get a bird’s-eye – albeit slightly distant – view of the show while hearing the booming of fireworks bounce off the nearby mountains.

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2017 San Jose Obon

What: Celebrating San Jose’s rich Japanese culture, this two-day event includes classic Obon festival elements, such as taiko drum performances, Odori line dancing and traditional dishes such as udon (noodles) and gyoza (dumplings).

Where: San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 North Fifth St., San Jose

When: Noon-10 p.m., Saturday, July 8; noon-8 p.m., Sunday, July 9

Cost: Free


Foam Glow 5K - Bakersfield

What: Ready, set, glow! Don your white tees and head to Bakersfield for a colorful night of fun, with a three-mile run that will leave you and your friends covered head to toe in foam that glows under black lights.

Where: Kern County Fair, 1142 S. P St., Bakersfield

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday, July 8

Cost: $50


Palo Alto’s 36th Annual Chili Cook-Off

What: Have a taste for good chili? Check out Palo Alto’s annual chili cook-off and judge the 13 competitors vying for best chili in the area. The dog-friendly event has limited seating, so be sure to bring your picnic blankets and chairs.

Where: Mitchell Park, ​600 E. Meadow Drive, Palo Alto

When: Noon, Tuesday, July 4

Cost: $5 per ticket which include five tastings


Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks: 916-321-1418, @ayoonhendricks

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