Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in July


be-a-good-neighbor-in-july-happy-fourth-of-july-good-neighbor-storiesCelebrate America’s birthday by being a good citizen during July! Here are five ways you can exercise your citizenship in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1. ‘Party On’ This Fourth: Spend some time getting to know others in your community by joining in on local celebrations. Every city has events to bring its residents together on the Fourth of July, sometimes all day, with pancake breakfasts, parades, festivals, and of course, fireworks once the sun sets. Check out the list on for events all over the Bay Area. Want to stay home? Consider inviting your neighbors over for a barbecue. Start planning a block party together for later in the summer—you can use our guide to how to plan a great block party!

2. Get to Know Japanese Buddhist Neighbors: July and August are Obon season for Japanese Buddhists, a time to honor ancestors with feasts, dancing, and memorial services. Two South Bay Buddhist temples and one in Berkeley are hosting festivals for the entire community in July. The weekend of July 13-14, the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 N. 5th St., is putting on it’s very popular Obon Festival. The festival starts both days at 11:30 a.m.; Saturday the celebration goes until 10 p.m., Sunday until 8 p.m. Expect lots of great food and drink, game booths, music, dance, and many other cultural activities. On Saturday, the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way, invites the community to participate in the Obon Odori, or dance, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The following weekend, July 20-21, is the Mountain View Buddhist Temple Obon Festival and Bazaar. The event, held at the temple at 575 N. Shoreline Blvd., runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 8:30 p.m. The Bon Odori (both “Obon” and “Bon” are used) dancing is at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Enjoy food, games, crafts, and entertainment both days.

3. Bike for Breath: Support clean air and better lung health at the 22nd Annual Bike for Breath fundraising bike ride on Saturday, July 13, in Foster City. Register online to ride, or support a rider. The ride starts from 4000 E. 3rd Ave.; check-in times are at 7 a.m. for 50- and 62-mile riders, 8 a.m. for 10-, 18-, and 30-mile riders. All proceeds go to support Breathe California.

4. Support Your Local Police Dog: The Police and Working K-9 Foundation is partnering with Pet Food Express for the “Cover Your K-9” event weekend, July 20-21. All 50 Pet Food Express stores throughout Northern California are hosting special events where the public can meet K-9 teams and learn more about how police dogs and their handlers make our communities safe. It’s also an opportunity to donate to a special fund to provide specialized bullet-proof vests for the dogs, as well as heat alarms for patrol cars, and K-9 first aid kits.

5. Go Fly a Kite!: The Berkeley Kite Festival is happening 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28, at Cesar E. Chavez Park, at the Berkeley Marina. There are lots of free events, like kite making, a candy drop, kite flying demonstrations, kite battles, music, games for kids, and much more. There are also free shuttles from the parking lots at Golden Gate Fields.

What are you doing to help the community in July? Tell us in the Comments below!


  1. I followed your advice. I biked and I party’ed 🙂