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San Francisco will get able to welcome waterfront crowds for Fourth of July fireworks

San Francisco’s popular fireworks celebration will return to the city’s waterfront this weekend for the first time since 2019.

The show kicks off at 9:30 p.m. this year, and while the fireworks can often be seen from many spots in San Francisco – if the fog isn’t too thick – the city says it’s best along the north waterfront between Aquatic Park and pier can be seen 39.

Anyone planning to attend the show or a large personal holiday gathering is encouraged to get a full vaccination, get a negative COVID-19 test before attending the event, or wear a well-fitting face covering. People who are not yet fully vaccinated should celebrate safely by holding outdoor gatherings and continuing to wear face masks when interacting closely with people outside their household.

“Although today we celebrate our hard work during the pandemic, it is more important than ever for any San Franciscan to get vaccinated so we can continue to attend these grand gatherings,” Mayor London Breed told a press conference Thursday. “If you plan to come to the fireworks this weekend and are not vaccinated, please get tested. We are so close to ending this pandemic! “

With the return of vacation traditions to the city, vacation traffic is also returning. The American Automobile Association expects travel volume to recover almost entirely to pre-pandemic levels, with the second highest Independence Day travel volume ranking second after 2019. AAA predicts 47.7 million Americans will hit the streets and skies, up nearly 40% from last year.

Pier 39 advises visitors to be aware of public transportation when planning trips to see the fireworks, as water access and parking will be very limited.

“We expect larger crowds than usual,” said a representative.

Bob Partrite, COO of Simco Restaurants, who owns the Fog Harbor Fish House at Pier 39, said its restaurants will add staff and stay open a little later on July 4th.

“We are planning a very busy weekend, the whole weekend is busy, hoping people will come from out of town,” he said, adding that the fireworks in the bay will be “one of the best around” .

“I don’t think this year will be as busy as it has been in the past, but I think we’re going to see some strong numbers,” he added.

In order to accommodate the fireworks and the influx of visitors, BART will provide additional trains at the Embarcadero station after the end of regular operations and advise visitors to be at the station by 10:40 p.m. to take a train home.

The regular BART service ends on July 4th at 9:00 p.m. and passengers can only enter the system at Embarcadero Station after the regular BART service ends.

About 30 minutes after the fireworks end, BART will run two special trains from Embarcadero Station to Richmond, Antioch, Berryessa and SFO / Millbrae, all of which will stop. Muni will also offer shuttles along the Embarcadero to the BART, and passengers are encouraged to pre-load their Clipper cards with enough cash to get home after the show to avoid long lines. Masks are still required on the trains, and on Monday, July 5, BART will return to normal weekday operations.

San Francisco’s pyrotechnic show comes as many parched Bay Area counties crack down on home fireworks over the holiday weekend. Drought conditions only worsen in the state, with the Santa Clara Fire Department warning they would adopt a zero-tolerance policy this year. San Mateo County announced in early June that it would increase the fine for illegal fireworks tenfold – from $ 100 to $ 1,000 per incident – with a separate $ 1,000 fine for each party host that sets off fireworks, either legal or illegal.

Instead, party-goers and fireworks fans are encouraged to watch fireworks at authorized professional shows or on television.

Chef Amaryll Schwertner owns the Ferry Building’s Boulettes Larder, which is closed during the fireworks.

“We are not participating,” she said, citing the large crowds and safety concerns in the ferry building.

Also the return to the port of San Francisco is the Bay Ferry Service. From Thursday, the ferry service will increase the number of trips in and out of the city for both visitors and commuters. Bay Ferry will offer a record 136 weekday Transbay departures on five routes, and a new ferry service will offer direct 20-minute trips between the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal at Alameda Point and downtown San Francisco.

San Francisco Fleet Week will return in October with its Air Show, Parade of Ships, and Humanitarian Village, as well as joint military and civilian disaster planning exercises. The annual event honoring the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces attracts millions of visitors each year and generates over $ 10 million in annual revenue for the city.

Elaine Forbes, executive director of the Port of San Francisco, told the conference that the port is “proud to once again welcome major events on the boardwalk and eager to see residents and visitors return.”

“The waterfront has something for everyone with more exciting options on the horizon,” she added.

Nina Riggio, an intern at the San Francisco Chronicle, contributed to this report.

Emma Talley is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: emma.talley@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ EmmaT332

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