By Amy Jiang
From morning bike races to fireworks at night, this year’s assortment of Fourth of July events in Davis is cause for celebration.
Sports fans can cheer on the Davis Little League at exhibition games or local men’s softball teams in the annual tournament hosted by the city of Davis. Head downtown for action on wheels with the Fourth of July Criterium bike races and the Kiwanis Kiddie Parade.
Cool off and go for a swim at one of the community pools open this Independence Day before heading to Community Park for food, live entertainment and a fireworks extravaganza.
Davis Little League
Start your day of celebration with the Davis Little League’s annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, held from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St. Tickets are $5 at the door and Little Leaguers in uniform can eat for free.
In addition to the breakfast there will be raffle prizes from local merchants and a silent auction for sports memorabilia from professional teams like the Giants, A’s, 49ers and Raiders.
Little League exhibition games for Farm, AA, AAA and Majors teams will be held at the Davis Little League complex at Covell Boulevard and F Street.
The Fourth of July Criterium features all-day racing in downtown Davis, including a free kids’ fun race for riders ages 9 and under.
Race-day registration opens at 6:45 a.m. at the E Street Plaza and the first race, Elite Men 5, will begin at 7:30 a.m.
Kids participating in the fun race will need parents to sign waiver forms 30 minutes prior to the race, which will start at 12:40 p.m.
All riders will begin at the start/finish line at F and Third streets and continue clockwise on an L-shaped loop.
Head downtown to join the 53rd annual Kiwanis Kiddie Parade, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Davis. The patriotic procession will feature Davis youths and their creations in one of six categories: wagons, bicycles, scooters, strollers, walkers and groups.
Participants gather at 9:15 a.m. at Third and A streets, where Kiwanians and members of the UC Davis Circle K Club will judge entries based on creativity, patriotism and enthusiasm.
Davis residents Rick and Kathy Roggenbuck participated in the Kiddie Parade with their two children in past years, which was “always a wonderful start to our Fourth of July festivities,” Kathy said.
“Where else would you see a smiling 7-year-old Betsy Ross sitting in a wagon, sewing the Stars and Stripes?” Rick said.
The Davis High School Pep Band and Boy Scouts carrying the nation’s colors will lead the parade east on Third Street and north on C Street to Central Park. A city of Davis antique fire engine will also join the parade.
Watch the competition blaze in the 33rd annual men’s slow-pitch softball tournament hosted by the city of Davis.
Based on feedback so far, event coordinator Lori Conrad estimates that 10 to 12 teams will join and she expects good turnout in the stands.
The preliminary games will begin at Playfields Park at 9 a.m., and the top two teams will play at Community Park from early evening up until the fireworks show.
“The best part is getting to play in front of a larger crowd for the championship,” Conrad said. “The guys get a kick out of playing in front of fans.”
Beat the heat and dive into Manor and Arroyo pools from 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors may use their swim pass or pay the daily admission fee: $4.25 for adults, $4 for ages 3-17 and free for kids under 2.
Manor Pool is located at Slide Hill Park, 1525 Tulip Lane in East Davis; Arroyo Pool is in Arroyo Park, 2000 Shasta Drive in West Davis.
There’s plenty to see and do before the fireworks show at Community Park. Food and informational vendors will open their booths at 4 p.m. and live entertainment, organized jointly by the city and the Davis Live Music Collective, will begin at 5 p.m.
Nonprofit groups providing concessions, information and entertainment will include Davis Musical Theatre Company, Phoenix Coalition, Davis Youth Softball Association and AJD Angels of Hope Foundation.
The program will open with a tribute to Juneteenth, the day celebrated as the historical day of independence for enslaved African-Americans. James Williams will share excerpts from Frederick Douglass’ speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” and local motivational speaker, humanitarian and community organizer Nathalie Minya will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with Sandy Holman of the Culture Co-op.
Live music from Sunmonks, The Bottom Dwellers and Diego’s Umbrella will then be presented.
Prior to the fireworks show, Davis poet laureate Eve West Bessier will read a poem she wrote for this Fourth of July titled “Field of Stars” and perform the national anthem.
The fireworks show will begin at 9:35 p.m. and last for 18 minutes. Major sponsors of the fireworks include Dos Coyotes, The Marketplace, Whole Foods, The New Home Company, Davis Live Music Collective, 2407 Graphics and the city of Davis.
This is the third year that the city is aiming for zero waste at the event and will be working with Waste Busters to aid in this goal. Last year, the city diverted 62 percent of all waste from the trash; this year it aims for 80 percent.
According to city conservation coordinator Jennifer Gilbert, “There may always be some items that can’t be recycled or composted, but our goal is to minimize that as much as possible.”
The city recommends bringing a refillable water bottle (which can be filled at the water truck generously sponsored by the Davis Food Co-op), choosing recyclable and compostable picnic supplies and sorting your waste into the recycling and composting bins throughout the park.