San Ramon has a lineup for its scaled-down Independence Day celebration and is looking at ways to get the message out to people who may head to town looking for a fireworks show.
Details about the smaller event were released at a recent city budget discussion. The celebration, intended for local residents alone, will feature the San Ramon Symphonic Band beginning at 4 p.m., then Pride and Joy, a high-energy funk and soul band based out of San Francisco, at 5. The event will wrap up with a salute to the armed forces at 6, giving people enough time to head out for fireworks somewhere else in the Bay Area.
Blue Star Moms will be present to accept care packages for the troops.
The festivities will follow the annual Run San Ramon three-, five- and 10-k run/walks that begin at 8:15 a.m.
As planned, the smaller event will cost less than a fourth of the city's 2011 fireworks show, and nearly a tenth of what projections were for fireworks to be held in the city this year.
In 2011, the event cost $175,000, while the smaller show, sans fireworks, will run an estimated $41,580. City staff estimated it would cost $318,000 to hold a fireworks show, which had been an annual tradition since 1985.
With other communities canceling their fireworks, the full-scale event had the potential of bringing in 45,000 people, up from the 30,000 people who turned up last year, overflowing trashcans, creating long lines for bathrooms at Central Park and creating gridlock from 8 to 11 p.m.
Now comes a new challenge: getting the word out to the 45,000 people who could turn up.
Karen McNamara, San Ramon's interim parks and community services director, said the city will consider, among other things, putting up electronic highway signs telling people on Interstate 680 that the show had been canceled.