Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Free Rides New Year’s Eve

Free transit service on New Year’s Eve 2011:

VTA will be offering free service on all light rail and bus lines from 7:00 pm Saturday, December 31, 2011 until 3:59 am Sunday, January 1, 2012.

Light Rail:

Last trip leaving Santa Teresa at 1:54 am
Last trip leaving Alum Rock at 1:37 am
Last trip leaving Winchester at 1:10 am
Last trip leaving Mountain View at 10:50 pm
Last trip leaving Baypointe at 1:27 am

Express Line 180/181 (to the Fremont BART Station):

Last Northbound bus leaving Diridon Station at 2:06 am arriving at Fremont BART at 2:47 am
Last Southbound bus leaving Fremont BART at 3:05 am arriving at 2nd & Santa Clara at 3:41 am (Does not go to the Diridon Station)


Caltrain offers free train service starting at 11:00 pm on Dec. 31, 2011. In addition, Caltrain will add four extra post-midnight, southbound trains to its regular Sunday schedule, Jan. 1, 2012. Trains will depart the San Francisco station at 12:45 am, 1:15 am, 1:45 am and 2:15 am, making all local weekend stops (including Diridon Station).

SF Muni has free rides on all Muni lines & routes (including cable cars) from 8:00 pm New Year’s Eve until 6:00 am New Years Day. Additional Metro service from 8:00 pm to 2:15 am from West Portal to Caltrain and until 4 am from Embarcadero to West Portal Station.

Songs for a Winter’s Night

I am looking forward to this year’s musical holiday concert presented by the Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus (SVGMC).

I have been told “Songs for a Winter’s Night” will include the songs of Kwanza, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

Also, there are always some cheerful comic moments!

When: December 16th & 17th at 8 PM also the 18th at 3 PM.

Where: Christ The Good Shepherd Church at 1550 Meridian Ave., San Jose 95125

Tickets: Purchase

SVGMC is partnering with Family Giving Tree.

Bring a new unwrapped gift or toy to the “Songs for a Winter’s Night” concert to help the children of a family in need feel the love of the season.

Note: Each donor will receive a ticket for a special drawing.

The Santaland Diaries

The Santaland Diaries

One of the highlights of the Christmas season is the invitation from Berger Lewis for me and a guest to enjoy a play at City Lights. This year it was “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris.

Sedaris was ‘discovered’ in Chicago while reading from his diary… He must have had some good entries because he was asked to read more on the radio. It was December 23, 1992 when he read on National Public Radio of his job as an elf at a Macy’s.

“The Santaland Diaries” the play is a well acted mostly one Man/Elf show – with the help of 3 Ho-Ho-Ho’s. This campy monologue of a musical will relive the painfully funny memories for anyone who has worked with the public during the holidays as Elf endures the unpleasantness of parents and their children. June and I had a jolly time!

Note: “The Santaland Diaries” is sprinkled with four-letter punctuations.

The Cast

The Elf: Adam Magill

Adam Magill

The Ho-Ho-Ho’s: Kristin Schmitz – Patty Reinhart – Elizabeth Curtis

Kristin Schmitz-PattyReinhart-Elizabeth Curtis

The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris
Directed by Jeffrey Bracco

Playing Now – Dec. 18th 2011
Only 4 days left – to purchase tickets call 408.295.4200 or City Lights
Ask about parking. Get tickets now – they are going fast!
Added a 7:00 pm show on Sunday.

For something completely different and edgy I recommend City Lights Theater Company any time of the year!

529 South Second St. San Jose

David Sedaris facebook

Berger Lewis – supports City Lights Theater Company

Children’s Day at History San José 2011

This Sunday, December 11, is Children’s Day at History San José with holiday festivities from noon to 4:00 PM.

Children can ride the trolley with Santa Claus on the 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM runs. A highlight every year is that children can experience operating the hand-cart along the tracks.

Festivities include arts and crafts projects at the Umbarger House, the Markham House, the Hill House and the Associated Oil Service Station. Some of the participants include the Hellenic Heritage Institute, the Portuguese Historical Society of California and the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project.

Also open, the Print Shop and Trolley Barn, along with the Leonard and David McKay Gallery.

Admission is $8.00 per family of four, $2.00 per additional person. Parking is $6.00; seniors, active military, and handicap parking $2.00.

Children’s Day at History San José 2011
History San José
1650 Senter Road
San José, 95112

Sunday, December 11, 2011
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Tree Lighting Celebrations 2011

San José – Friday, November 25

Christmas in the Park is located at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez in Downtown San José on Market Street between San Carlos and San Fernando; tree lighting at approximately 6:00 pm. Check the Christmas in the Park site for other events.

Half Moon Bay – Friday, December 2

Night of Lights will begin with a tree-lighting ceremony at Mac Dutra Park on the corner of Main Street and Kelly Avenue at 6:00 pm. The Parade of Lights begins at 7:00 pm, along with floats and an old-fashioned fire truck. Other events include roasted chestnuts on an open fire, strolling carolers, and harpists.

Mountain View – Monday, December 5

The Mountain View Tree Lighting Celebration beginning at 5:30 pm includes live holiday music, refreshments, lights and the arrival of Santa Claus. Children can visit and have their picture taken with Santa at the free event. The Community Tree Lighting Celebration located at Civic Center Plaza, 500 Castro Street.

Veterans Day Parade 11/11/11

American FlagFriday November 11 is Veterans Day. There will be a memorial ceremony and a parade in downtown San Jose; also, in honor of Veterans Day, entrance fees waived at National Parks.

The Parade’s Opening Ceremony begins on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (when World War I officially ended in 1918) with a memorial ceremony at Plaza de Cesar Chavez on Market Street.

The 93rd Annual Veterans Day Parade begins at noon from Delmas Street (near HP Pavilion) and travels east along Santa Clara to Market Street. The Parade then proceeds south on Market Street and ends at San Carlos Street.

Brigadier General Gary Medvigy is this year’s Grand Marshal.

In addition, entrance fees waived Veterans Day weekend (November 11-13) in the National Parks.

Veterans Day
Friday, November 11, 2011

11:00 am – Opening Ceremony
12:00 pm – Parade

4th of July Fireworks & Festivities 2011

America’s birthday, time to celebrate with parades, barbecues, picnics, festivals, and fireworks!

Events are free; however, at some locations there will be food for purchase, some activities may have a fee, and there may be parking fees. Events with an admission fee are not listed here. Events, locations, schedules are subject to change.

Here are some places to view fireworks and/or enjoy a day of celebrations:

San Jose

The Rose, White and Blue Parade and Festival. An old-fashioned family-style parade winds through the Rose Garden neighborhood ending on The Alameda. The parade features live bands, dance groups, homemade floats, and kids on bikes, antique cars, and more. Following the parade attendees will enjoy an Arts & Music Festival with live music, classic car show, arts and crafts, multicultural food, beer & wine garden and games.

Parade Route: The Parade begins at 10:00 am from the staging area West San Carlos and Shasta Ave and winds through the historic streets of the Shasta/Hanchett Neighborhood, ending at the festival area located near Lenzen and The Alameda.

Event info

San Jose Giants Fireworks Extravaganza at Municipal Stadium. Not confirmed for 2011: Free fireworks viewing in San Jose on the San Jose State University East Field next to Spartan Stadium (10th Street and Alma – opens at 5:00 pm) or at the Soccer Fields (Alma between Senter Road and 10th Street – opens at 5:00 pm). Note that no coolers allowed on University property; in addition, tailgating will be restricted from parking lots and no alcohol allowed.

Event info

Santa Clara

Picnic and Fireworks Extravaganza

Central Park, 909 Kiely Boulevard

Pancake Breakfast (8:00 am -10:00 am $6.00), followed by games and entertainment throughout the day at the Pavilion along with (for a fee) a carnival area, face painting, and swimming at the International Swim Center. Bring a picnic lunch or purchase foods at the event ($1.00 to $6.00).

Flag Dedication Ceremony at noon, followed by live music until 5:00 pm.

Great America (entrance fee) hosts fireworks shows every Saturday night in July and August, also on Sunday, July 3rd.

Event info

Los Gatos

4th of July Celebration

Civic Center, 110 E. Main Street

Los Gatos Celebrates July 4 for the entire family, all day 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Beginning in the morning games and activities at the Civic Center. BBQ, picnic lunches and cold drinks available for purchase at the food court.

The San Jose Wind Symphony, featuring conductor Timothy Harris, performs on the front lawn of Los Gatos High School.

Event info (PDF)


Children’s Parade and Patriotic Community Sing-Along

Daytime Program at Quinlan Community Center and Memorial Park

7:00 am – 11:00 am: De Anza Optimist Pancake Breakfast (Quinlan Community Center’s Cupertino Room) – for purchase

9:30 am: the line-up for the children’s parade (Memorial Park ball field)

10:00 – 10:30 am: Children’s Parade starting at the Memorial Park ball field and proceeding to the Memorial Park Amphitheater

10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Concert in the Park

Families and kids are invited to Blackberry Farm (21979 San Fernando Avenue) for a free day of swimming live music and free BBQ.

10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Free Swimming

Noon -2:00 pm: Free BBQ Lunch (limited to the first 800 people)

Noon – 3:00 pm: Live music by The Groove Kings

Free Fireworks Show – 6:45 pm to 10:00 pm

2011 fireworks show not confirmed.

The fireworks show with music and games at three different viewing locations in the city and fireworks set off from Cupertino High School at 9:30 pm. Bring your picnic to Creekside Park, Hyde Middle School, or Sedgwick Elementary School.

6:45 – 9:15 pm: Music and games at all three locations. 9:30 pm: Fireworks.

Note: space is extremely limited. Streets will be closed from 6:00 pm to midnight and the city will be aggressively towing cars parking on portions of Finch Avenue, Tilson Avenue, and Miller Avenue.

Event info


Washington Park – 840 W. Washington Ave

Beginning at 11:00 am, Community Awards presentations, music from The Peninsulaires Barbershop Harmony Chorus and Magnolia Jazz Band and children’s activities including face painting, bounce houses and Fun on the Run.

A barbeque lunch will be available (limited number of meals) for $5.00.

Event info


Costumed Old-Fashioned 4th of July from 10:00 am at Kevin Moran Park (12415 Scully Ave)


Color Guard presenting the flag

McCartysville Volunteer Band playing patriotic tunes, including Sousa marches

Presentation of the Youth Writing Contest winners (this year’s theme is ‘fortitude’)

Actors in costume as American historical characters

Youth chorus and sing-alongs of patriotic tunes

Children’s/Family parade

Free popsicles for all and flags for children

Event info

Santa Cruz

“Independence Day 1911 Celebration” at Wilder Ranch State Park (1401 Coast Road)

Experience an old-fashioned Independence Day Celebration 1911 style with patriotic exercises, a parade, music, and games. Festivities run from 11:00 a. to 4:00 pm.

At 11:45 meet at the apple orchard in front of the Highway 1 tunnel and join in the parade. Bring a musical instrument or noisemaker, dress in 1911 costume, or pull a decorated wagon. Parade walks through the complex to front lawn for flag raising, speeches, and patriotic music.

Historic lawn games, draft horse wagon rides, ice cream cranking, crafts to make, and listen to live 1911 music. There is food and drink for sale; strawberry shortcake, dill pickles, watermelon, root beer and hand squeezed lemon aide, or bring your own picnic. Bratwurst USA will be selling BBQ chicken dinners and other cuisine. Lily’s Roasted Corn and baked potatoes also available.

Walk through the newly renovated historic Meder Ranch house and visit the Ranch animals.

Wilder Ranch State Park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1. The event is free; the day use parking fee applies per car.

Event info

Morgan Hill

Parade & Fireworks

Morgan Hill Community Park, 100 Edes Steet

The 135th Morgan Hill July 4th Parade downtown preceded by 6th Annual Liberty Car Cruise. Decorated vintage and collector cars. At 10:00 am the Parade begins including marching bands and floats

9:00 am: Pre-parade Entertainment

9:30 am: Liberty Parade Cruise

10:00 am: Parade (Downtown streets including Monterey Street & Peak Avenue)

11:30 am: Vintage Farm Engines & Liberty Car Show

In the evening at the Morgan Hill Community Park from 6:00 pm is pre-fireworks entertainment with the fireworks scheduled for approximately 9:30 pm.

Event info


Annual 4th of July Fireworks Display at Gilroy High School on Tenth Street. The 20-minute display will include approximately 400 fireworks and being around 9:30 pm.

Event info


4th of July Parade – Irvington District

The Fremont 4th of July parade rotates between six of the districts of Fremont each year. This year, Irvington District – The parade starts 10:00 a.m at State Street and Capitol Avenue, then on to Paseo Padre Parkway, Walnut Avenue, California Street, and ends on Beacon Avenue.

Event info

San Francisco

Ghirardelli Square

Symphony in Golden Gate Park



Foster City

Half Moon Bay

Menlo Park

Palo Alto

Redwood City

East Bay




Berkeley Marina



El Cerrito







Pleasant Hill


San Pablo

San Ramon

San Ramon Art & Wind Festival 2011

The San Ramon Art & Wind Festival this Sunday and Monday May 29 & 30, 2011 in San Ramon’s Central Park from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm both days.

The Wind part of the festival is kite flying demonstrations throughout both days by professionals from all over the country and Weifang, China the home of the Weifang International Kite Museum and Kite Festival

The Art part of the festival features a wide range of artwork including paintings, sculpture, woodwork, toys, and jewelry, hand painted clothing, stained glass, music, photography and more.

The festival includes entertainment on three stages and two large kids’ activity areas with rides, slides, face painting, a rock-climbing wall, hamster balls, and fun crafts for the kids to make.

This year 26 food booths operated by local non-profits that raise much needed funds for their organizations and projects in the area. Goodies include gyros, peach cobbler, barbecued pork sandwiches, Caesar salad, tri- tip sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy, nachos and more.

San Ramon Central Park

Sunday and Monday May 29 – 30, 2011
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Admission: Free

Parking: There are two main parking lots that provide easy access to the festival.
The dirt lot is located on the corner of Camino Ramon and Bollinger Canyon.
The Iron Horse Middle School parking lot is located at the intersection of Alcosta and Woodland.  Parking at each of these lots is $5.00.

Festival Map (PDF)

New Year’s Eve 2010 Free Transportation

Bay Area transit systems (excluding AC Transit) provide free New Year’s Eve bus, train and light rail service to help get you home safe.

VTA offers free bus and light rail service from 7:00 pm on Friday until 3:59 am Saturday.

VTA will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Friday and a Sunday/Holiday schedule Saturday with extended New Year’s Eve Light Rail service.

Last Light Rail trip leaves…

Mountain View at 10:51 pm
Winchester at 1:07 am
Alum Rock at 1:36 am
Santa Teresa at 1:55 am

These VTA commute bus lines will not operate Friday, December 31: 101, 102, 103, 104, 120, 121, 122, 140, 168, 182, 304, 321, 328, 330, DASH and Light Rail Commuter Express trips.

More information including Express Line 180/181 here.

Caltrain offers free rides after 11:00 pm New Year’s Eve with four extra post-midnight southbound trains.

These extra trains will depart the San Francisco station at 12:45 am, 1:15 am, 1:45 am and 2:15 am, making all local stops to the San Jose Diridon station.

Caltrain will operate a Sunday schedule on New Year’s Day.

Note that Caltrain does not allow open alcohol containers on trains after 9:00 pm.

More information here or call 1-800-660-4287

SamTrans offers free rides on New Year’s Eve from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am.

San Mateo County Transit District’s paratransit service providers, RediWheels and RediCoast, also provide free rides between 11:00 pm and 2:00 am.

More information here or call 1-800-660-4287

SF Muni travel, including cable cars, is free from 8:00 pm New Year’s Eve until 6:00 am New Year’s Day.

Additional Metro service from 8:00 pm to 2:15 am from West Portal to Caltrain and until 4:00 am from Embarcadero to West Portal Station.

Extra service on Muni Owl Lines (1:00 am to 5:00 am): 5 Fulton, 14 Mission, 22 Fillmore, 24 Divisadero, 38 Geary, 90 Owl, 91 Owl, and L and N Owl motor coach service. Frequency shortened from 30 to 15 minutes. Note: Extra Owl service is subject to change, based on operating conditions.

More information here.

BART has no special fares for New Years Eve; however, operates extended service until 3:00 am.

New Year’s Eve BART details here.

A Merry Little Christmas

I have my ticket for the A Merry Little Christmas concert held this weekend at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church.

I’m looking forward to taking some time out of all the hustle and bustle to enjoy some Christmas sounds.

An iPad will be raffled at each concert!


December 11 at 8 PM
December 12 at 3 PM

Buy Tickets $20 each

Christ the Good Shepherd Church

1550 Meridian Avenue San Jose, CA 95125 – (408) 266-8022

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