Fireworks above the Berkeley Marina. Photo: TheRealMichaelMoore

The United States turns 236 on Wednesday and people throughout the country will be charring burgers, lighting firecrackers (where they are legal) and hanging out with friends. Remember to send us your Berkeley July 4th experiences (you can use the hashtag #berkeley4th on Twitter).

RED, WHITE, AND BLUE AND A WHOLE LOT MORE   In Berkeley, the Marina and Cesar Chavez Park will the places to be on the Fourth, as the city throws an all-day party with activities geared towards young and old. During the day, kids can get their faces painted or ride the giant slide at Adventure Park. Magicians and jugglers will perform at the Buddy Club stage in Shorebird Park. Grown up kids can play Zorba balls at Cesar Chavez Park or try jousting, a trampoline, a climbing wall, dragon boat racing and more. Music starts at noon and continues throughout the day. When the sun sets and the sky grows dark at 9:30 pm, the fireworks will begin.

ANIMALS ARE PATRIOTIC   There are 740 acres of open space around the Little Farm and Environmental Education Center at Tilden Park and the Fourth of July is a great day to explore what’s available. The center is is holding an open house in the Nature Area from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., complete with homemade ice cream, crafts, farm activities, and hikes. Of course, all of Tilden and the other East Bay Regional Parks will be open on the Fourth.

BURGERS WITH A TWIST   Who says a hamburger has to be served with cheese? How about a lemongrass burger served with pickled daikon? That will be one of the offerings at Off the Grid’s special Fourth of July event in north Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. To celebrate America’s cultural diversity, the 11 food trucks will serve “Only in America” dishes that they’ve created just for the night. Think corn on the cob with fried shallots and smoked salt, apple pie cupcakes, flat-bread wrapped Neiman hotdogs and more. Saul’s will be setting up an alfresco beer garden with craft brews on tap and people can pick up colorful blankets at the Off the Grid truck to spread on the grassy median. Off the Grid North Berkeley runs from 5 pm to 9 pm on Shattuck Avenue between Vine and Rose.

A VIEW FROM THE BAY   If you want to get a glimpse of all of the fireworks shows around the bay, including those in Oakland and San Francisco, you might want to consider booking a three-hour tour on the Hornblower Fourth of July dinner cruise. The evening will include dinner, soft drinks, and an unforgettable view of the multiple fireworks around the bay. It leaves from the Berkeley DoubleTree Marina at 7:30 pm and costs about $98.

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A NEIGHBORHOOD   Berkeleyans have invented their own homegrown celebrations, which include block parties, barbecues in the park, and miniature parades. Berkeleyside is hoping to create a visual image of the day by incorporating people’s photos, tweets, (#Berkeley4th) and commentary. Please send contributions to and upload photos to our Flickr pool.

To find out about more events in Berkeley and nearby, visit Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. And submit your own events — it’s self-serve and free!

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...