On one level, Fourth of July fireworks are simply patriotic tradition. On another, they're an opportunity to indulge our love of watching stuff explode and go boom in relative safety.
Interesting to note: Fireworks have been part of our national celebration from even before what we universally think of as Day One of the United States of America. On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail about the previous day's vote by the Continental Congress declaring independence from Great Britain that henceforth the occasion
"... ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."
The congress adopted the Declaration of Independence the following day and let the fireworks begin. A little more on the history below. But to cut to the chase: Where can you see fireworks in the Bay Area over the weekend? Here are a couple lists compiled by other local news organizations:
CBS San Francisco: Bay Area Celebrates July 4 with Events, Fireworks