Photo by Steven Fruhwirth: “Our son Zander Fruhwirth, 4 years old, was a boy in a bubble today at the Berkeley Marina!”

We asked you to share your Berkeley Independence Day with us. And share you did. Today, we are delighted to present a Berkeley July 4th — by, with, and starring you, the Berkeleyside community.

Early morning

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July 4th on Oregon Street in Berkeley. Photo: dianarossi17


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Late morning

Girl in wagon at Plaza Drive-Parkside Drive 4th of July celebration, July 4, 2012, by Daryl Austern
Watermelon at 4th of July. Photo: Daryl Austern
Gathering at the Round on Parkside Drive in Berkeley during the 4th of July celebrations. Photo: Daryl Austern
Flashback: Boy and girl at 4th of July parade in Berkeley in the 1970s by Thomas Schwartzberg

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July 4th 2012 on College Avenue. Photo: W. Newton
Something to wear… Berkeley on July 4th. Photo: W. Newton


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Softball practice on July 4th. Photo: W. Newton


A hike on Wildcat Gorge Trail in Tilden Park on the afternoon of July 4th. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Adults and children enjoying July 4th at the Berkeley Marina. Photo: W. Newton
Taking advantage of a midweek holiday to work on skillz at Civic Center Park. Photo: D.H. Parks

Kelly Cash shared a children’s poem about the Fourth of July that she wrote “many moons ago” when she spoke at the annual Claremont neighborhood Independence Day parade that culminates at Round Park on Parkside Drive:

America’s Birthday

by Kelly Cash

Each and every year
In the Round Park — we gather here
On the Fourth Day of July
Let me tell you why:

We come to celebrate
What makes our country great
Just like they did so many years ago
When they let the whole world know
That  America was born —
And that for the British…
We had only scorn.

Scorn because King George the Third
Was bossy, saucy — just plain absurd.
Stamp taxes, tea taxes just kept growing
And to the colonists, no respect was showing.

At the first Continental Congress the colonists did gather
To talk about the things that really mattered.
They asked the King nicely to change his ways
But he only said, “you are my subjects, and you will obey.”

So the colonists said: “WE CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”
And after the second Continental Congress, they declared war.
This was hard and sad and many men and women died
But it was the road we had to travel, once Liberty became our guide.

But some colony leaders to the King were still true
And had to be convinced that Independence was the right thing to do
In fact the colony of Delaware was in a tie
Until Caesar Rodney showed up after an 80 mile horseback ride!

A boycott of all things British meant no tea to drink or fabric for clothes
So the “Daughters of Liberty” had to find other ways to cover their toes
They spun their own yarn, drank rye coffee and ate bear venison
And filled each other with so much spirit that each man felt there
were ten of him!

Meanwhile, Thomas Jefferson wrote in seventeen days
The “Declaration of Independence” that describes all the ways
That Americans were now free
And chose to live a life without tyranny.

He had studied far and wide to learn just what that meant
The Greeks, the Iroquois, John Locke and the Enlightenment.
He spoke for all Americans when he said, what makes the most sense
Is for all of us to pursue “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

But remember, even though, long ago,
thirteen colonies said to the British across the sea:
“You are not the boss of me!  We choose democracy, not the monarchy!”
The most important lesson here is that when you fight with friends,
Like America and England, you should always make amends.


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Berkeley July 4th on University Avenue. Photo: W. Newton


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July 4th at the Berkeley Marina. Photo: W. Newton


Photo: Lance Knobel


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Off the Grid July 4th. Photo: D.H. Parks


The fireworks weren’t the only thing rumbling Wednesday night, as a minor quake shook Berkeley. The quake, which struck at 8:40 p.m., had a magnitude of 2.5 and was centered in the Claremont hills near Alvarado Road, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No damage was reported


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Fireworks on July 4th. Photos: Ira Serkes
Fireworks on July 4th. Photos: Ira Serkes


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Fireworks at the Marina and San Francisco waterfront look like ice cream cones when viewed from hills and stacked together. Photo: D.H. Parks

And, finally, a song to round off this year’s Independence Day and take us through July 5th, from Sandy Friedland:

“Independence,” a soulful melody from from the aptly named singer-songwriter David Berkeley, is the perfect song to listen to on the 5th of July. But it will do quite well on the 4th after the fireworks have died down.

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

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...