Berkeley and Oakland to close roads on Fourth of July, citing fire risk (2024)

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Fireworks remain prohibited in Berkeley, Oakland and in East Bay Regional Parks.

Berkeley and Oakland to close roads on Fourth of July, citing fire risk (1)Berkeley and Oakland to close roads on Fourth of July, citing fire risk (2)byIris Kwok and David Moreno Figueroa

Berkeley and Oakland to close roads on Fourth of July, citing fire risk (3)

Several streets in the Berkeley and Oakland Hills will be closed in an effort to lower fire risk during the Fourth of July holiday, Berkeley officials said.

The closures will impact Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Panoramic Way, Prospect Street and Centennial Drive.

Fireworks,even those marketed as “safe and sane,” remain illegal in Berkeley and in East Bay Regional Parks, Berkeley officials said.

“They can cause severe injuries and start fires — posing threats of fires and health risks especially in the hills where dry grass and vegetation is abundant providing fuel for fires to spread quickly,” the city’s website reads.

For a 24-hour-period starting at 5 a.m. on July 4, the portion of Grizzly Peak Boulevard from Centennial Drive to Skyline Boulevard in Berkeley and Oakland will be closed to traffic. All turnouts will be closed and stopping will not be allowed. Ride-share vehicles, delivery vehicles and residents in cars, on bikes or on foot will still be able to enter the closed portion, according to the city.

The portion of Centennial Drive between Stadium Rim Way and Grizzly Peak Boulevard will also be closed during the same time period, according to a UC Berkeley WarnMe notification.

Panoramic Way and Prospect Street will both be closed from 2 p.m. to midnight, according to the city.

The Lawrence Hall of Science and UC Botanical Gardens will be closed July 4, according to the city — as will the Tilden Park Steam Trains, Jen Vanya, a spokesperson for the East Bay Regional Park District, confirmed in an email.

None of the roads within Tilden Regional Park will be closed, Vanya said in an email.

Residents who have or find fireworks are asked by the city to hand them off to personnel at any Berkeley Fire Station for safe disposal. If you see someone discharging fireworks, the city wants you to report them to the Berkeley Police Department’s non-emergency dispatch at (510) 981-5900.

The Grizzly Peak Boulevard corridor closure was intended to reduce crowds and illegal parking at lookout points, allowing first responders to travel around the ridgeline to respond to 911 calls, Oakland officials said online.

The closure, a partnership between Oakland, Berkeley, East Bay Regional Parks, UC Berkeley, Moraga-Orinda Fire District, Alameda County, CalFire and the California Department of Transportation, was touted by officials in the 2023 statement as a “great success,” as there have been no confirmed fires in the four years it’s been in place.

With Berkeley Marina fireworks gone, here’s where to celebrate in the East Bay

The City of Berkeley has not put on its annual fireworks display at the Marina since 2019, citing budget restraints as the reason in an interview with Berkeleyside last year.

Lisa Bullwinkel, who for decades organized the waterfront firework show, confirmed in a text that the fireworks won’t be back this year. However, we’ve compiled a list of other celebrations going on in the East Bay:

  • The Jamaican American Community Organization is having its Fourth of July Family Day from 12 p.m.-7 p.m. in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland. The event will feature vendors selling Jamaican food, sport activities, and games. Bring chairs, comfortable shoes, and wear green, black and gold.
  • After the A’s play the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday, July 3, fans are invited to sit on the outfield grass to see a patriotic-themed fireworks display. For Military Appreciation Night, tickets to the game, which starts 6:40 p.m., are 10% off for veterans.
  • The city of Richmond’s Fourth of July celebration starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 at Marina Bay Park. The annual event will feature food vendors selling burgers, barbecue, funnel cakes, churros and more. The Parks and Recreation team will host a children’s play area with games including giant versions of Connect 4, Jenga, and chess, to name a few. Richmond weather likes to cool down at night, so bring a comfy chair and blankets. A 20-minute fireworks display is scheduled to start at 9:15 p.m.
  • The city of El Cerrito will host its Fourth of July Festival, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, July 4, in Cerrito Vista Park, 950 Pomona Ave. Entertainment will be provided by WorldOne Concerts. Expect a family fun zone for children and a vintage car show for automotive enthusiasts. The event, which is less than a mile walk from the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station, will also feature food vendors, beer and wine booths, and face painting. Come prepared with blankets and chairs to set up camp and enjoy the festivities.
  • The city of San Pablo will host a Fourth of July Multi-Cultural Celebration, from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, July 4, at the San Pablo Community Center, 2450 Road 20. Enjoy a performance by the Carlos Santana tribute band Viva Santana, plus carnival games, food trucks and a lighted drone show. Bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the fun.
  • The city of Pinole is hosting a Fourth of July Celebration, from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Thursday, July 4, at Pinole Valley High School, 2900 Pinole Valley Road. There’ll be live music, food vendors, with a community parade around the Pinole Valley High School track at 8:30 p.m. The night is set to end with a drone light show.
  • The city of Albany is hosting a Fourth of July Celebration, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Memorial Park, 1325 Portland Ave. There will be two separate musical performances: From 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. the Honor Brass Band will take the stage; from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Aaron Burnham and the Brushfires will perform. Look forward to food trucks, kids’ activities, and city information booths. Bring your chairs and blankets to this event also, to enjoy the music from the grass.

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Iris Kwok

iris@berkeleyside.org

Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...More by Iris Kwok

David Moreno Figueroa

david@richmondside.org

David Moreno Figueroa is a student at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.More by David Moreno Figueroa

Berkeley and Oakland to close roads on Fourth of July, citing fire risk (2024)

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