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How To Celebrate The Fourth Of July In Or Near Yosemite

American Cuisine, Attractions, Entertainment/Theater, Events, Food & Beverage

To set the record straight, the July 4th weekend in Yosemite National Park can be a bit crowded. With that said, if you do visit, be sure to have a plan & head out early for some outdoor fun. Better yet, visit the park at a less busy period & check out one of these amazing Fourth of July festivities happening near Yosemite instead.

Fourth of July BBQ

Nothing resonates as strongly as BBQ to celebrate the Fourth. Instead of having yourself do all the work & clean up afterwards, why not let someone take care of it for you. There are a few places near Yosemite that offer this opportunity. First, the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is featuring all your barbecue favorites: tri-tip, chicken, burgers, salads, corn on the cob, assorted pies & brownies, beverages, live music and a giant dose of fresh Sierra air. Another option is to head over to Wawona Hotel for their summer BBQ. They give you the opportunity to choose a deliciously grilled barbecue item alongside all the fixins & dessert you could eat.

BBQ at Tenaya Lodge

Can’t make it on the 4th? Not a problem. On Saturday, June 29th, The Wawona Hotel will commemorate being built on America’s centennial (1876), just eight years after John Muir visited Yosemite for his first time, with a good old-fashioned symphonic concert on their lawn.

Big Trees Lodge Summer BBQ 

Bass Lake Extravaganzas

They say life at the lake is better and we happen to agree especially on this long weekend. Is that a bird? A plane? No, it’s the fireworks extravaganza happening at Bass Lake! Madera County’s LARGEST display will make sure this Independence Day is one to remember. The evening's patriotic themed events kick off with the Bass Lake Boat Parade where people dress up their boats to see who wins the ultimate bragging rights of winning the America’s Cup Trophy – Bass Lake Edition. 

Fourth of July Fireworks Over Bass Lake

Bass Lake Boat Parade

For those looking to step up their experience, don’t miss Gatsby’s 4th of July Fire show at the Marina Grill. Featuring an all you can eat tri-tip dinner with a roaring 20’s theme, a fire dancing show will finish off the festivities with a front row view of the fireworks display.

Mana Fire Dancers

See The Natural "Fireworks" In The Park

For those looking for more of a natural light show, consider taking part in the Yosemite Conservancy’s Overnight Under the Milky Way. Starting from the Ostrander Trailhead on Glacier Point, you’ll be guided to the perfect spot where you can literally sleep under a canopy of stars without needing a tent. A truly otherworldly and unique way to experience some celestial fireworks and sidestep the daytime crowds in Yosemite.

Camping out under Yosemite's Starry Skies with the Yosemite Conservancy

If camping out isn't part of your plans, check out star watching "parties" at Glacier Point. Throughout the summer, various regional amateur astronomy clubs host Stars Over Yosemite weekend events at the amphitheater in cooperation with the National Park Service.  It's a great way to view and learn more about the amazing night sky!

Star Party at Glacier Point

Of course, you can stay home & do nothing but why? Instead, make it a memorable one!

Alex Silgalis

Alex founded® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.


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40343 Highway 41,
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at the Fossil Discovery
Center of Madera County
19450 Avenue 21-1/2
Chowchilla, CA 93610
(Exit 164, off Highway 99)


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