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Published June 28th, 2017
Community Activities Light up the Fourth of July
Early morning in Orinda: Last year's Haley's Run for a Reason. Photo Sora O'Doherty

If you are around for Fourth of July in Lamorinda you can find plenty of fun options to celebrate the nation's birthday. The Orinda parade is one of the best around and the Moraga fireworks attract people from all of the East Bay. Both cities offer other activities all day long and are happy to both support each other and include their Lafayette neighbors who are garnering their forces for the Art & Wine Festival in September.
In Moraga the Fourth can start very early, a good idea as hot weather is anticipated, with the 4th July Fun Run, featuring a 2-mile run/walk, 5-mile run, and kiddie run. Late registration starts at 7 a.m. (people are encouraged to register ahead of time at https://runsignup.com/Race/CA/Moraga/Moraga4thofJulyRun), the kiddie run starts at 8 a.m., the 5-mile run at 8:30 a.m., and the 2-mile run/walk at 8:45 a.m. This event supports the Campolindo Cross-Country and Track & Field teams.
The pancake breakfast also starts early, to sustain the runners, their supporters, and whoever wants to have breakfast in the Moraga Commons Park. This breakfast, traditionally organized by the Moraga Youth Involvement Committee, runs from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.
The Moraga Commons is the center of the patriotic community from dawn to dusk that day. This is where the famous Moraga dog parade is held at 9 a.m., where the children's bike parade takes place at 10:30 a.m., and where the family magic show will be presented at 12:30 p.m. In the park there will be continuing activities all day long, such as inflatable jumpies from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the community booths from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as food, wine and beer service all day once breakfast is finished.
Then prior to the big fireworks show that starts around 9:30 p.m., a concert is offered in the park. The David Martin House Party will be entertaining the audience, following the Mayor's Welcome at 6:45 p.m.
The fireworks are funded entirely by community donations. The Parks and Recreation Department says that to help raise $29,000 for the annual July Fourth community fireworks people are asked to contribute to the Buy-A-Rocket fund. Donation are accepted online at Moraga.ca.us or by checks payable to Town of Moraga at: Town of Moraga, Attn: Buy-A-Rocket!, 2100 Donald Dr., Moraga, CA 94556. If the amount is not reached, people at the park and on the lawn of the country club are likely to see council members walking the crowd with their best smiles and asking for donations.
Over in Orinda, the fun starts early as well. There are events for every age group starting with the annual Pancake Breakfast, flag raising ceremony, fun run, parade, live music, food, games and booths in the Community Park following the parade. Everyone is invited to participate in planning, sponsor a booth or event, participate in the parade, host a booth in the park, or just come and enjoy the events.
The festivities have continued to grow year after year with lots of fun activities for children from a Hot Wheels race to balloon animals to making things at the Home Depot booth. Adults also have plenty to make them smile with several great bands playing throughout the day and great food and drinks to enjoy
On July Fourth from 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. The Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary hosts a Pancake Breakfast in the park/Community Center, 28 Orinda Way. At 7:55 a.m. there will be a flag raising ceremony at the flagpole in front of the Community Center. Then at 8 a.m., the successful Haley's Run for a Reason kicks off. Participants meet in front of the community center, and should prepare to be color blasted.
At 8:45 parade participants arrive for assembly in the BART parking lot on the east side of Camino Pablo. At 9 a.m. the Friends of the Orinda Library opens its Book Sale in the library breezeway, 26 Orinda Way.
At 10 a.m. the parade begins in front of wells Fargo Bank, 80 Moraga Way, and traverses through town. For the parade route, see http://orindaassociation.org/parade-info.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. there will be activities in the park, while at the same time there will be a "Theatre Side Party" with various music groups performing at the entrance to the Orinda Theatre.
The July Fourth Celebration is a tradition started by the Orinda Association in the early 1980s not only as a way to celebrate Independence Day but as a way to foster community. For more information visit the Orinda Association website at www.orindaassociation.org.

Last year's firework in Moraga. Photo Gint Federas

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