With a plethora of races, contests, food options and, of course, fireworks packed into one day, this year’s Davis Fourth of July celebration promises to be more exciting than ever.
The fun begins at 7:30 a.m. as cyclists take to the downtown streets for the 37th annual Fourth of July Criterium. This daylong event, hosted by the Davis Bike Club, features bicycle races for kids, non-competitive cyclists and pros. This year’s Criterium route is a new L-shaped loop that brings the course next to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame at Third and B streets.
Elite men’s 5 kicks off the competitions with a 30-minute race at 7:30 a.m., followed by Junior 10-14 at 8:10 a.m. and Junior 15-18 at 8:50 a.m. For those interested in a fun, smile-inducing “race,” check out the kids’ noncompetitive fun ride at 12:40 p.m. The serious professional riders take to the course shortly thereafter, as the Pro 1/2 Men race at 1:20 p.m. and are followed by the Pro 1/2/3 Women.
The Hall of Fame and Bike Museum at 303 B St., in the southwest corner of Central Park, will be open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Cow bells will be available for purchase.
* Pancakes: Watching the bike races can work up an appetite, and the annual Davis Little League pancake breakfast at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St. can help assuage the hunger for $5. Little League players in uniform eat for free. In addition to pancakes, there will be raffle prizes from local merchants as well as a silent auction for sports memorabilia from professional teams such as the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Raiders.
* Baseball: Then, the action moves across the street to the Little League Complex at F Street and Covell Boulevard, with games starting at 9 a.m. T-ball, AA and Farm divisions are the first to play, while AAA and Majors take the field at 10:30 a.m. Another group of AA players will hit the diamond at 11:30 a.m., and more teams of Farm players will face off at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
* Softball: The city hosts an all-day men’s slow-pitch softball tournament — its 32nd annual — at Playfields Park in South Davis, with the championship game set for the early evening in Community Park.
* Parade: Residents also can catch the annual Kiddie Parade, hosted by the Kiwanis Club, beginning at 10 a.m. on Third Street between A Street and University Avenue. The parade, which ends in nearby Central Park, has been a Fourth of July tradition since 1935, and the Kiwanis Club has hosted it since 1960.
As Kiwanis club chair Bruce Hupe explained, the competition features “whatever’s on wheels.” Children up through sixth grade may enter their creations in one of the following six categories: wagons, bicycles, scooters, strollers, walkers and groups. Members of the Kiwanis Club, the Davis High School Key Club and the UC Davis Circle K Club then judge the entries and select winners based on which entries best display creativity and enthusiasm in representing the Fourth of July theme.
“Some people really go all out,” Hupe said.
The parade route has changed this year to accommodate the Criterium racers. At 10 a.m., the parade will head down Third Street and north on C Street to the shaded sycamore grove in Central Park, where the awards will be presented and refreshments provided. Due to the young age of the participants, the parade route is relatively short.
The parade also will feature the DHS Pep Band, the city of Davis antique fire engine and the nation’s colors, which will be carried by local Boy Scouts. For more information, contact Hupe at [email protected] or 530-304-7525.
* Swimming: Are you hot yet? Residents are invited to cool off at Manor or Arroyo pools from 1 to 5 p.m. Arroyo Pool is in Arroyo Park, 2000 Shasta Drive in West Davis; Manor Pool is in Slide Hill Park, 1525 Tulip Lane in East Davis.
Admission is $3.75 for adults, $3.25 for ages 7-17, $3 for ages 2-6 and free for tots under 1.
* Concessions, music: Hungry? Thirsty? Community Park is the place to be, where nonprofits host food and drink concessions from 3 to 9:30 p.m. The menu includes nachos, cotton candy, hot dogs, tamales, churros, tri-tip sandwiches, ice cream sodas, Jamba Juice and beer. Additionally, the Davis Food Co-op will have a water truck in the park where visitors can stop and fill their water bottles for free.
“We’re encouraging people to bring refillable water bottles,” Community Services Supervisor Carrie Dyer said, “so that they can fill them up with the nice cold water that the Co-op provides.”
The lineup of free musical entertainment at Community Park, arranged by the city with assistance from the Davis Live Music Collective, will be more diverse than ever, Dyer said. Davis Wakamatsu Taiko Dan kicks off the entertainment at 5 p.m., followed by Afro-Cuban polyrhythmic group Zapato Viejo at 5:30 p.m. XD 7 — featuring Davis High School graduate Jon Hatamiya on trombone — will take the stage at 7 p.m. and Mumbo Gumbo performs at 8 p.m.
Skydivers from SkyDance SkyDiving will perform a precision aerial demonstration over the park at about 6:30 p.m.
* Fireworks! The climax of the day begins at 9:30 p.m. as Mayor Joe Krovoza and Davis Poet Laureate Eve West Bessier welcome the crowd. At 9:35 p.m., Catherine LeBlanc of Yolo Mambo will sing the national anthem. The much-anticipated fireworks begin at 9:40 p.m. and will end at about 10 p.m.
Sponsors for this year’s fireworks extravaganza include the city of Davis, Dos Coyotes and The Marketplace shopping center, PG&E, Whole Foods, Kaiser Permanente, Nugget Market, Carbahal & Company, Travis Credit Union, AT&T and West Yost & Associates. Support for activities is also provided by the Davis Live Music Collective, the Davis Food Co-op and 2407 Graphics.
A city ordinance prohibits the use or discharge of fireworks or substances designed for pyrotechnic display.