EL CERRITO -- The city will reprise its award-winning Independence Day celebration this year beginning the evening of July 3 and continuing with a full day of activities on the July 4 holiday.

"This is the 16th year we've been doing it in a partnership (with worldOneradio), but the tradition goes back decades," said Chris Jones, the celebration's co-organizer and El Cerrito's recreation director.

About 10,000 people from El Cerrito and surrounding towns come to Cerrito Vista Park each year to listen to live world music, enjoy the food provided by international vendors and shop for arts and crafts and other items.

There will be an array of attractions for children, including carnival rides and games, face painting, a rock climbing wall and bounce houses.

The El Cerrito Art Association will be holding a show with works by local artists available for sale on Pomona Avenue. Away from the main music stage, circus performances will alternate with a Carnaval parade and drumming show.

The only Fourth of July tradition that's missing is fireworks, Jones said.

"We try to keep it as a daytime thing and let people go find their fireworks when it gets dark," he said.

The event was named the best Fourth of July celebration the past three years by Parents Press, according to co-organizer Corey Mason.

"We do this with a lot of love and help from our friends," said Mason, a Spanish and radio broadcasting teacher at El Cerrito High School.

Mason is also producer of worldOneradio, the West Contra Costa's school district's radio station that co-sponsors the event, along with the city.

Jones said visitors are encouraged to use alternatives to driving directly to Cerrito Vista Park, at the corner of Pomona Avenue and Moeser Lane.

Free valet bike parking will be available on Moeser Lane and drivers may park at the Moeser Lane Shopping Center at Moeser and San Pablo Avenue about a half mile from the park.

There will also be a shuttle service for the disabled and their attendants from the shopping center lot, Jones said.

"Because the event is so congested, we do not allow dogs except for service animals," he said.

IF YOU GO
What: El Cerrito Fourth of July celebration
Where: Cerrito Vista Park, 950 Pomona Ave. at Moeser Lane
When: 5 to 7 p.m. July 3; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 4