Fourth of July Flavorful: World's Largest Salmon BBQ

The Fort Bragg tradition heats up the grills on Independence Day.

FLAVOR IS THE FIREWORK: Marking our country's holiday can be as public or as personal as a reveler wishes. While many merrymakers go the nighttime let's-watch-fireworks route, others are looking for a more low-key way to pass the daytime hours of Fourth of July. Of course, you can be low-key in the afternoon and revved-up for a pyrotechnics show later in the evening; no one would say this is not a rather wonderful, jam-packed way to play during the holiday. But if you're finding fireworksy-type events to be plentiful, and sunshiny barbecues a little sparse, you can tip the balance towards the earlier part of the day with a trip to Fort Bragg. If you're a fish fan, and you know the Mendocino County town, and you're knowledgeable about what goes down come the early part of July 'round the town, then you know the word we're about to type next: salmon. Lots of salmon, in fact. Oodles of salmon? Yes. For on the first Saturday in July, Fort Bragg throws what's billed as The World's Largest Salmon BBQ. In fact, it's not only billed that, it is called that, too. A lot of salmon is grilled to smoky perfection over that fabled Saturday, all in the pretty setting of Noyo Harbor. And, yes, the first Saturday of 2015 is...

INDEPENDENCE DAY: So this could very well be your Fourth of July daytime outing, with some prime edibles involved. The cost to eat is thirty bucks (though admission is free) and there's music and some convivial hanging out in the ocean-close setting, too. And nicest of all, beyond coming together for a picnic-type dealie on the picnickiest day of the year? Your money will help out the Salmon Restoration Association, which along with the Skunk Train is aiming to "help to restore salmon on streams that flow into the Noyo River." A gourmet-yum happening and a giveback atmosphere, all on the Fourth of July? There's a lot of win in the water here. And if you want to do a Skunk Train trip while you're in the area, you're in luck: The rails are running over the holiday weekend.

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