Showing posts with label san jose festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose festival. Show all posts

Sunday, March 3, 2024

San Jose Water Lantern Festival

A three-day lantern festival is coming to Almaden Lake Park in South San Jose from June 21-23. Each day starts with food trucks, music, and activities. Around 8pm, you can design your lantern and then between 8:30 and 10pm you launch your lantern into the lake.

Tickets range from $27-56, but the cheapest pricing ends on March 6th. Tickets include a floating lantern kit, LED candle, a drawstring bag, and lantern retrieval and clean up at the end of the event.

For more information and to get tickets, head here.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Lunar New Year Community Day at the San Jose Museum of Art

Tomorrow from 11am-4pm there is one more Lunar New Year event at the SJMA. Welcome the year of the dragon with cultural demonstrations, live performances, and interactive artmaking activities. These include making paper dragons, Chinese stamps, and figurines based on the Vietnamese Tet traditions.

At 11:30am there is a performance by the Korean Culture Center at the Circle of Palms in front of Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Later at 3pm there is a traditional Lion Dance performance (which is amazing).

Admission to this event is completely free and is kid-friendly.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Lunar New Year at Japantown

Japantown is hosting a major Lunar New Year event today from 10am-2pm.

Start the year of the dragon with a "Fukubukuro" lucky back, which is a Japanese New Year custom where merchants make grab bags filled with unknown random content sold for a substantial discount. Participating stores include Cukui, Nichi Bei Bussan, Kogura Co, Classic Loot, Empire 7 Studios, Zonkey, State of Grace, Paradox, Monmon Cats, Coldwater, and Headliners.

Firecrackers will be set off at 12pm and start at 4th/Jackson and apparently run all the way to 7th/Empire Street.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Little Italy San Jose Street Festival this weekend

The 6th Annual Little Italy San Jose Festival kicks off this Saturday, September 30th from 6-10pm and continues on Sunday, October 1st from 11am-7pm. It'll feature authentic Italian cuisine, entertainment, Cal-Italia wine tasting, Italian supercars, arts & crafts, and will of course highlight both the existing and new Little Italy San Jose businesses. There is also a silent auction to benefit the Italian Museum & Cultural Center which is located right inside Little Italy.

The list of sponsors includes some big names like Google and The Sobrato Organization, which is great since over 15,000 people could participate this year. It's always a fun event and a great way to explore one of San Jose's newest districts. I would recommend parking at San Pedro Square and walking over or using Uber/Lyft so you can really enjoy those Cal-Italian wines.

For more information head over here!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Luna Park Chalk Art Festival - Sat, Sep 16 from 10am-5pm at San Jose's Backesto Park

The Luna Park Chalk Art Festival is a colorful family-friendly event celebrating creativity. This annual event, which will take place on September 16th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Backesto Park, showcases the amazing talents of local artists who create stunning chalk murals on the sidewalks and streets.

The festival is more than just a visual feast. It also features live music, food trucks, vendors, and activities for kids of all ages. You can even join in the fun and create your own chalk masterpiece in the designated community areas. The best part is that the festival is free to attend and supports a great cause: the Luna Park Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes art education and cultural awareness in San Jose.

Whether you're an art lover, a music fan, or just looking for a good time, you'll find something to enjoy at the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival 2023. Don't miss this opportunity to see how San Jose's creative community transforms Backesto Park into a colorful wonderland of chalk art. You'll be amazed by what they can do with some chalk and imagination!

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Picnic by the lake with Senator Dave Cortese - Sep 30th at Hellyer County Park in South San Jose

Sen. Dave Cortese is hosting an inaugural "Picnic by the Lake" multicultural festival and resource fair in South San Jose. Everyone is welcome. Firefighters will be grilling up beef and veggie burgers for visitors, and unlike many things in life they will be completely free. There will also be a pumpkin patch filled with free pumpkins (while supplies last) and raffle prizes.

For the kids, there will be inflatables, face painting, and rock climbing. Entertainment includes performances from Folklorico Nacional Mexicano, Viet Steps dancers, and others.

Attendees can also get free flu shots and COVID vaccines. Up to 100 resource booths will also be there as well to promote other city resources.

The event will be Saturday, September 30th from 10am to 3pm at the scenic Hellyer County Park.

Source: San Jose Spotlight

Friday, March 23, 2018

7th Annual Taco Festival of Innovation

San Jose's epic taco festival returns for its 7th season on Saturday, May 6th. History Park will once again host over 20 food trucks from all over the Bay Area serving their vest renditions of tacos. Expect everything from short rib tacos, nacho tacos, Vietnamese shrimp tacos, and a few surprises. While you're stuffing your face, wash everything down with local craft beers.

Like previous years, there will be plenty of entertainment programming. The popular Lucha Libre wrestling match will be back along with live music. San Jose Made will also be there with local arts & crafts vendors.

Ticket prices are only $8 ($10 at the gate) while craft beer tasting passes are $30 for five 7oz pours. ($35 at the gate). Kids aged 3-11 are free as part of the presale.

For tickets and additional info, head over here!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Winterfest at California's Great America opens Nov 24

Ice Skating, Rides, Snow Falling, Millions Of Lights & Santa To Deliver Merriment

SANTA CLARA, CA – The Bay Area’s newest and most immersive holiday tradition, WinterFest, opens at California’s Great America on Friday, November 24 and will entertain guests on select dates through December 30. During WinterFest, Great America will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland where guests can experience unique new features, as well as fan favorites such as skating in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, admiring magnificent displays of lights and décor, viewing spectacular live holiday shows, experiencing 25 rides and attractions, seeing Santa’s workshop and Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and enjoying scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations.

This unmatched event will feature more than 7 million LED lights, creating such a vibrant experience that it will be visible from the International Space Station, more than 270 miles away. The winter scene will be dominated by one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights accompanied by giant toy soldiers greeting guests. The six-week WinterFest celebration will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with daily operations December 19-23 and 26-30 from 5pm-10pm(November 26 and December 17 from 6:30pm-10:30pm).

New for 2017 will be an enlarged crafters area where more than 20 Bay Area artisans will showcase their talents, an expansion of Candy Cane Lane, one of the most photographed scenes in 2016, and a fire pit setting to keep guests warm near the Patriot roller coaster.  Also in 2017, every Planet Snoopy ride, including GR8 SK8, PEANUTS 500, Woodstock Express, Sally’s Love Buggies and more, will be open and providing fun for kids and parents alike.

There will also be a soothing hospitality room under the magical light show inside Orleans Place that will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of America. The tranquil area will provide a warm and relaxing destination for WinterFest guests, where they can enjoy the indoor ambience and make a donation to the club that will bring cheer to thousands of Bay Area youth.

“WinterFest is one of Northern California’s most spectacular winter events, delivering a unique experience where friends and families can create memories and traditions during the holiday season,” Great America’s Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. “New additions for 2017 will create a dynamic experience for returning and first-time guests.”

Eight unique and decorative themed areas will guide attendees through WinterFest. Guests can gaze at 20 ft. tall candy canes in Candy Cane Lane, experience the wonder of snow falling in Hometown Square, admire Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree in Planet Snoopy, and stare up at the lighted palm trees inside the Grand Entrance.

Live shows include a nightly tree lighting, carolers throughout the park, “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” ice show and more. Holiday crafters will design unique creations and guests will interact with original holiday characters, including Jack Frost, Candy Cane and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Children will delight in decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus, taking a picture with Santa and writing holiday letters to family members. Food specialties will include eggnog funnel cakes, peppermint churros, a turkey dinner sandwich, all-you-can-drink hot chocolate and many more traditional holiday favorites. (Some activities require additional fee.)

Among the 25 rides and attractions entertaining guests will be Gold Striker and Patriot roller coasters for thrill seekers, the iconic Carousel Columbia and Flying Eagles family rides and all of Planet Snoopy for younger guests.

Throughout WinterFest from 5pm-7pm (excluding November 26 and December 1 and 17) patrons can enjoy the WinterFEAST buffet for $16.49 (plus tax) that includes roast turkey with festive dressing, baked ham, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, vegetarian baked pasta, tossed salad, dessert squares, Christmas cookies and fountain drinks.

Single day tickets are available online for as low as $25, and admission to WinterFest is included with a 2017 or 2018 Gold or Platinum Pass. 2018 Gold Season Passes are currently available online and include unlimited visits to California’s Great America and Gilroy Gardens, admission to Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, free season-long Great America parking, early entry into Boomerang Bay water park, discounts on select meals and merchandise and bring-a-friend discount offers.

California’s Great America is currently hiring for WinterFest with opportunities available in all areas of park operation. Apply online at

California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and water park located in Santa Clara, Calif. that contains thrill rides, family attractions and live shows. The park opens for weekends in March, operates daily Memorial Day weekend through mid-August, continues weekends through fall with Halloween Haunt, and the season concludes in December with WinterFest.

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. For more information, see

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Y2K International Live Looping Festival opens in San Jose on October 18

If you happened to stop by the October South First Friday, you might have noticed some live looping performers near Anno Domini. That was just a small preview to the main Y2K main festival that is set to start on Wednesday, October 18.

Y2K is the first and longest running live looping festival. This year it's Y2K17, and will bring a number of international artists to San Jose:

Otros Cronopios (Mexico)
ecNegru (France)
MIDI_Pipe (Mexico)
CIAN (Mexico)
Philippe Ollivier (France)
Entertainment for the Braindead (Germany)
Laura Stavinoha (Netherlands)
Martin Janíček (Czech Republic)

The venue will be Anno Domini once again. This is the first leg of the festival, which continues in Santa Cruz for the weekend. Not sure how to expect? Here's a clip from the 2014 festival that demonstrates live looping.

For more information, visit the festival website.

-Lawrence Lui

Thursday, September 21, 2017

SoFA Street Fair this Sunday

The bi-annual SoFA Street Fair goes down in just a few days and will bring tons of live music and good times to Downtown San Jose. 12 stages spanning three city blocks will host 100+ bands! Almost every music genre you can think of will perform--there is something for everyone. There will also be food trucks, craft beers, and lawn chairs.

The event is free, family friendly, and starts on Sunday at 2pm. All of the details are below (click images to enlarge).

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Big Easy Rolls into Great America

This past weekend, Great America brought back their Taste of Orleans festival. Who Dat? In its second season, Taste of Orleans features Cajun cuisines, live entertainment such as mask decorating for kids, Mardi Gras murals, chalk artists, live music and more!

If you missed it, don’t fret as Great America plays host to the Nola event again this upcoming weekend: July 29-July 30.

Great America did a great job at bringing a taste of the Big Easy to Silicon Valley! Classic Cajun dishes such as gumbo, etouffée and beignets were on site and definitely were delicious. To our delight, the hushpuppy shrimp skewers was a hit and the crisp frog legs with Creole aoli was savory and on point!

Great America’s nightcap was a firework display that featured a kaleidoscope of colors in the sky!

Hushpuppy Shrimp Skewers:                             Crawfish Etouffée:

   Crisp Frog Legs w/Creole Aoili:               Blackened Catfish Slider w/Tangy Slaw:
Beignet (Left) & Praline Bread Pudding (Right):                              Brews!                                                     
        Live chalk artist and games for the family!

Great America's Taste of Orleans starts at Noon - 9pm on 7/29 - 7/30. The fireworks display starts at 9:45pm each day. Cajun cuisine is available with a $25 tasting card.

For more details on Taste of Orleans, visit:

2017 Season Passes are currently on sale for just $69 and features a season of fun in both Great America and Boomerang Bay Water Park. A $105 Gold Pass includes Halloween Haunt, WinterFest, free Great America parking, Gilroy Gardens and more.

By Andrew Rivlin and Noe Sacoco Jr

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Great America Red, White, and Brews

As one who hasn’t frequented Great America since I last owned a season pass (back when houses were affordable), it was with a keen sense of nostalgia that I devoted this past Saturday to checking out their Red, White & Brews event. Would the place be as vast as I remember? Could I handle the permanently-looped opening strains of the Top Gun soundtrack while in line for 45 minutes at the eponymous ride?

Spoiler alert: it’s even more fun as an adult. Because, you know, alcohol; and you’re grown-up enough to remember to wear sunscreen.  Also Top Gun was re-named years ago when Paramount sold the park to Cedar Fair, so at least there was no threat of death-by-soundtrack. As an added bonus, Great America has these lovely things called Fast Passes, which (for a fee) let you skip most of the lines anyways. Who says the world isn’t becoming a better place?

Back to the original reason for this posting. The Great America staff kindly invited members of the San Jose Blog team to cover their Red, White & Brews event. They provided us with the press release (previously covered), which showed an impressive number of brewery/winery choices, and well as some special food offerings.

It was a rollicking good time. The SJ Blog team divvied up the beer tastings so we got to at least try the majority of the beers served in tidy little kiosks around the event area. The San Jose Beer Bike was also present, so we hopped on that and pedaled around the park doing our best Avril Lavigne karaoke, much to the amusement of the other park goers... at least judging by how many decided to participate as we cycled by.

The food was quite tasty, and, being the adventurous souls that we are, we all started off with the chicken heart skewers (see photo). The skewers are proof that one can grill nearly anything, slather it in BBQ sauce, wrap bacon around it, and feed it to the pickiest eater with no shame. The grilled corn was excellent. We split up the desserts so we could try each – but the clear winner was the apple bacon cheddar parfait, followed up by an off-menu selection that tasted vaguely like peaches soaked in a cinnamon-bourbon syrup. You had us at bourbon.

We then decided to make use of our Fast Passes and hopped on several roller coasters, which were just as amusing as any of us remembered (particularly the front row to Top Gun… er, Flight Deck). For those readers over the age of 30, if you haven’t been to the park since your teens, just remember that your spines aren’t the robust things they once were, and plan your riding schedule accordingly, perhaps interspersing them with regular stops at the food and beer kiosks.

The event was immensely enjoyable. Count us in next year; we look forward to continued events that highlight local brewing and winemaking talent.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

California's Great America introduces Red, White & Brews

Great America is introducing an ambitious new event this Memorial Day weekend with an encore the following week. Red, White & Brews features 25 different craft beers, American cuisine, local wines, live music from Bay Area bands, the San Jose Brew Bike for transportation, and a fireworks show.

Food options be more than just be hamburgers and hot dogs. They are going all out with true Americana cuisine--brisket sliders, bacon wrapped chicken hearts, corn ears with chili powder, and bourbon peaches and cream.

Admission is included with your theme park ticket. Tasting cards are $25 for 6 savory items while craft beer and wine tasting cards are available at the same price. For more info, the full press release is below.

Instead of just plugging the event, I'll be there along with Andy Lee (our beer expert) and two of our new bloggers: Kimberly Vacca and Josh Hunter. We'll provide a full write-up next week!

The Hometown Celebration of Americana Food and Fun is May 27-29 & June 3-4

SANTA CLARA, CA – California’s Great America will add to its incredible lineup of live entertainment and festivals with Red, White & Brews, a hometown celebration of Americana food and fun taking place May 27-29 and June 3-4. Red, White & Brews will bring the Hometown Square area of the park to life with locally sourced food experiences, more than 25 regional craft brews, Northern California wines, Bay Area bands, outdoor games and kids entertainment.

Tasting cards will be available for just $25 per person (6 selections per card) to sample savory items that include jumbo smoked chicken drumsticks, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, skewered bacon wrapped chicken hearts, corn ears roasted in chili powder and lime juice, and tombstone sliders with shaved brisket. There will also be a delicious dessert choice between an innovative apple pie, bacon and cheddar parfait or a traditional strawberry shortcake with the tasting card.

Craft beer and wine tasting cards, $25 per person for six, six-ounce samples, will feature renowned and niche microbreweries from throughout Northern California, including Gordon Biersch, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Stone, Mendocino, Hanger 24, Lagunitas, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and many others. Wine pouring options will include William Hill, Flora Springs, J. Lohr, White Oak, Concannon and more.

Unique food items for sale individually in and around the Hometown Square area are: a brisket mac and cheese conewich with crispy brisket tips, crispy onions and BBQ sauce; red, white & blue funnel cakes topped with strawberries, vanilla ice cream and blueberries; tantalizing bourbon peaches and cream with cinnamon cream and candied walnuts; cinnamon dessert nachos, which are fried tortillas paired with vanilla ice cream and chocolate and caramel syrup.

For an additional fee, the San Jose Brew Bike will tour guests through the park each day, providing up to 15 friends the opportunity to view Great America while sipping and cycling (with a designated cyclist at the wheel). Hometown Square entertainment will feature oversized board games, free balloons for kids, giant Adirondack chairs for lounging and photo opportunities, and more.

“Red, White & Brews will create a vibrant, dynamic atmosphere inside the park and showcase the region’s incredible food and drink possibilities,” said California’s Great America Vice President & General Manager Raul Rehnborg. “Red, White & Brews joins Taste of Orleans and Fiesta Hispana as wonderful reasons to visit the park multiple times each year. 

An outdoor stage will be constructed in front of the Great America Theater where four local bands will perform rock, country, and bluegrass music throughout the day. Adding to the live entertainment, dueling pianos will be positioned in the gazebo, intensifying the outdoor atmosphere.

The entire festival will take pace under the thrills of Patriot, the park’s new floorless roller coaster experience featuring a nine-story drop where riders’ feet dangle inches above the track.

Red, White & Brews is free with park admission.

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.”  In addition to Great America, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, two water parks, one indoor water park, and five hotels.  Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

1st Annual Little Italy San Jose Street Festival

Little Italy is throwing a huge party this Sunday from 11am to 8pm! The very first Little Italy San Jose Street Festival will feature authentic Italian cuisine (of course), local bands, traditional Italian entertainment, children's activities, Italian Cars, Italian Arts & Crafts. There may even be a sneak peak into the future Italian Museum & Cultural Center.

Admission is free and the event is family friendly. Free parking will be available at 333 West Julian. For more info, head over to their Facebook page.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Inaugural Viva Calle Photos

Check out some photos from the inaugural San Jose Viva Calle courtesy of Cardinal2007 (a regular on the SJ Development Forum). The event shut down 6 miles of streets to allow biking, walking, or running throughout multiple San Jose communities. Most of the photos are from the festivals at St. James Park, Parque de los Pobladores, and Emma Prusch Park. It was a fantastic event which I hope will be repeated every year.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Viva Calle SJ is Today! The 50 Tour @ St. James Park!

The amazing Villa Calle SJ event is happening today from 10am to 3pm. Six whole miles of streets stretching from Emma Prusch Farm Park (East San Jose) to Willow Glen to St. James Park will all be shut down, allowing residents to walk, run, bike, or play in the streets. There will be festivals at Emma Prusch, Parque De Los Pobladores, and St. James Park.

Each festival will have food, music, and special activities. One example I wanted to highlight is the "50 Tour" in St. James Park. There will be an autograph signing and story time with four-time Super Bowl Champion Eric Wright as well as San Jose-legend and Gold Medalist, Kristi Yamaguchi. All eight of the Super Bowl Vince Lombardi Trophies for the 49ers and the Raiders will be on display. There will even be a STEM Zone, an interactive space that shows how science and technology fuel innovation.

Please use the handy map below to locate the festivities. I'm going to try to walk from Emma Prusch to St. James Park... we'll see how that goes =).


WHAT: The Tour: Champions of the Bay presented by Chevron will make its next stop in San Jose, joining VivaCalleSJ on October 11, 2015. The 50 Tour will be located at 1-99 East St. John Street, San Jose.

VivaCalleSJ is a free recreational program that closes miles of scenic San Jose streets. This free event brings together the San Jose community to walk, bike, skate, play, and explore downtown San Jose.

This 50 Tour stop will feature an autograph signing and story time with four-time Super Bowl Champion Eric Wright, who was considered one of the best cover cornerbacks of his day; and Kristi Yamaguchi, former figure skater Olympic gold medalist, world champion and philanthropist.

The 50 Tour is the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee’s mobile exhibit designed to celebrate the history of the Bay Area’s championship teams, the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers. This 50 Tour stop will feature the eight Super Bowl Vince Lombardi Trophies of the two teams; the Chevron STEM Zone, an interactive space that demonstrates how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fuels innovation all around us – through the lens of football; and a youth area that includes the PLAY 60, Play On play space and The Re(a)d Zone early literacy corner.

WHEN: October 11, 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M., with  autograph signings from Kristi Yamaguchi and Eric Wright at 2:00 – 1:00 P.M., followed by story time in the Tour’s Re(a)d Zone.

About the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee:
Working in partnership with Bay Area public officials and the NFL, the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee is responsible for Super Bowl 50 and its celebration elements, including the Super Bowl Village, public exhibits and planning of game day logistics. The Host Committee seeks to make Super Bowl 50 the most giving ever, and is investing in Bay Area community initiatives and high-performing nonprofits through the 50 Fund, its signature philanthropic fund. To be hosted in the state-of-the-art Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara in 2016, Super Bowl 50 will be celebrated through a series of events that showcase all the Bay Area has to offer. For more information, visit