Year-Round Events Guide

Fourth of July Weekend – Parade, Salmon and Fireworks
Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at 3:33 pm by bruce


I’m certain that if they did a USA Today reader survey of Best Fourth of July Parades in America, Mendocino’s would rank right up there. Tiny Historic Mendocino Village (population 1,000) swells with kids, families, locals and tourists all coming to see what organizer have cooked up. For a small time, it’s a pretty big parade. Visits come from all over the San Francisco Bay Area and all the tiny communities stretching along the Mendocino Coast from Westport to Gualala.

Monday, July 4th – A Parade with a Punch … Sometimes

Like most rural parades, you’ll find fire trucks, military displays and community groups, like Rotary and the library, waving their banners and proudly struting their stuff. And, of course, there will be farm animals and oddball parade floats. But beware: the Coast’s progressive bent can draw protests in the form of parade entries that make powerful political statements. A dozen years ago, there were one or two anti-George Bush floats, that upset some locals. Still, it’s all in good fun. And worth the experience. I’ve attended more than 15 parades and they are generally rated G, family-fun events with lots to eat and drink. Check out Rotary Park at the corner of Lansing and Main Streets for food and activities. It’s also a great place to put a chair and watch the parade go by.

Where to Stay

No doubt most of the B & B’s in Mendocino are already booked for the event, but there’s always nearby Fort Bragg with lots of inexpensive and upscale choices. The Atrium is our favorite bed and Breakfast on the north end of Fort Bragg, while the Surf Motel and Gardens on the south end of town is a clean, well-lighted place with beautiful gardens and is just 10 minutes from everything they is to see in the area, including the Mendocino parade. It is also just across Highway 1 and a few short blocks from where the fireworks will be launched in Fort Bragg on the Fourth.

World’s Largest Salmon BBQ — Saturday, July 1

This is just one massive salmon feast (with all the trimmings). All for a good cause: preserving and building the local fish population so that it is healthy and sustainable. Learn more.

BBQ Tickets are $30 at the door or $25 in advance at the Harvest Market or online (up until 5pm the Friday before the BBQ). Kids 12 and under $10. Or you can purchase your tickets online by clicking the button below. Admission is free. Come and listen to the music and enjoy the afternoon in Noyo Harbor. More info:

Fireworks – Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg

Coastal weather is a crapshoot in July (fog can move in any moment and wipe out ocean views). Sometimes, you get clear weather with spectacular fireworks shooting off a barge in Noyo Harbor. Other times, even a 100 yards away you can barely see them. Still, anticipation is everything. And being on the coast with its wonderful cool weather while the inland towns are seething in 100+ weather, is enough reason to come. There is lots of parking (some paid to help pay for the event) and free spots on the local streets. Will it be clear or foggy? You may not know until the hour of the launch! Still, it’s worth finding a spot near the harbor to watch. Prepare to bundle up in any case. The summer temperature, even with the sun out, is likely to be 55-65 degrees.




Lost Coast to Fort Bragg

Jackson State Forest • Inland


Caspar • Point Cabrillo • Mendocino

Little River • Albion • Navarro


Elk • Point Arena • Gualala