2020 GENERAL UPDATE
Many events have been canceled due to the pandemic, including many annual events, while others have gone virtual or socially distanced. Remember to check ahead and read all instructions before you attend any of these events.
Schools and churches often have patches, but this year they are significantly scaled back. Grocery stores and hardware stores are open and regularly have pumpkins for sale, and you might spot a pumpkin or two among the other squash at a farmers market. ABC Tree Farm’s Pick of the Patch Pumpkins have reduced locations this year but still have patches throughout the Bay Area. This year, they’re offering a pumpkin delivery service within the San Francisco Bay Area, so you can remain home and still participate.
Halloween events by area in Santa Clara County & Silicon Valley
Magical Glass Pumpkin Patch – TBD, check back on that page for updates
VinoPaint Dia de Los Muertos Memory Box Painting ONLINE – Friday, Oct 16th 6pm and Wednesday, Oct 21st 5pm
VinoPaint Virtual Creative ZOOM Painting Class: Pumpkin Harvest – Wednesday, Oct 28th 5:30pm
Wildlife and Harvest Day at Blackberry Farm – Saturday, Oct 24th 10am – 3pm, in-person is canceled for 2020, but a virtual Wildlife and Harvest Day with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society is happening
Queen’s Pumpkin Patch – Open every day in October
Drive-In Movie: Frankenweenie and State of the City – Saturday, Oct 3rd 6pm
Witchy Walk-A-Bout – Saturday, Oct 31st 2pm – 4pm, no Covid-19 updates
Mark your calendars – December 12th begins the annual “Season of Hope” free concert series at the St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica in San Jose. Performances are at 7:30 pm nightly from Dec 12 – 23 and last one hour. All are welcome!
Find the complete list of who’s performing on which night on the website page for the Cathedral Basilica of San Jose’s Season of Hope Concert Series. A variety of musical styles and performers, many from schools, will perform. The final night features harp music. The Cathedral is located at 80 S Market Street, San Jose, CA 95112.
Happy holidays, one and all!
A San Jose tradition since 1976, the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival is a very enjoyable non-profit fundraiser that appeals to just about everyone in Silicon Valley!
This year’s event runs Sunday September 15th from 10am – 6pm at Almaden Lake Park (located at Almaden Expressway and Coleman Road, near the base of Almaden Valley and nearly touching the Blossom Valley area of San Jose).
This one day event is sponsored by the Almaden valley Women’s Club and the proceeds all go to charitable causes. The website states that “All proceeds of the festival are donated to non-profit organizations and schools in our community and also support merit-based scholarships to deserving students.”
To get all the details, please visit the Almaden Valley Women’s Club website. I hope to see you there!
There are several outdoor wine events that take place each spring here in the Valley of Heart’s Delight (and more in summer and in autumn!). Here are a few which are coming up:
And of course there are many places throughout Santa Clara County where you can wine taste without any kind of festival or big event. These wine walks tend to be a lot of fun as there are plenty of vendors there, making for great shopping and browsing.
In April, travel back in time to the early- to mid-20th century and celebrate Santa Clara Valley’s heritage with the Saratoga Historical Foundation and the City of Saratoga’s Blossom Festival.
When the hills of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the surrounding regions were covered with fruit blossoms every year, a Blossom Festival was held with parades, food, games, and theatrical performances. These massive celebrations saw visitors come from miles around to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the festivities.
When is the Saratoga Blosssom Festival?
This year, the Saratoga Blossom Festival will take place on April 13 from 10am-4pm in the Saratoga Heritage Orchard & Civic Center area. from 10am-4pm, the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area will be host to a new Blossom Festival. The event is free and family friendly. Children may enjoy kids craft and activity tables and a petting zoo. History buffs can rub elbows with costumed characters from Saratoga’s by-gone-days, see vintage vehicles, motors, and tractors, and swing to a live band playing tunes from the 1930s-40s. Foodies might enjoy gourmet food trucks, prune and apricot tasting (the prize crops of the Valley of Heart’s Delight), and docent-led orchard tours. There will also be artists, craftspeople, entertainment, and more!
Join us in the orchard under a snowfall of pink and white flower petals and celebrate the beauty of the changing season at the Saratoga Blossom Festival!
Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area
13777 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga, CA
April 13th from 10am-4pm, free to all!
Happy Lunar New Year, Happy Chinese New Year to All!
Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and there are interfaith services in Los Gatos and Saratoga going on and welcome all. In both of these places, the venue rotates from one house of worship to another each year.
In Los Gatos, the interfaith prayer event is Tuesday, November 20th at 7 pm, and it takes place at the Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos, 16575 Shannon Road.
In Saratoga, the Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will take place on Thanksgiving morning, from 10-11 a.m. (November 22nd) at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 13716 Saratoga Ave, Saratoga. This is the 53rd year for this gathering!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at one of these events!
Greet the morning with the sweet smell of fresh Garlic in the air – the Gilroy Garlic Festival is back!
If you’ve ever caught the vivid aroma of the stinking rose early in the day it’s likely a breeze coming over the southern Santa Clara County city of Gilroy, the Garlic capital of the world. Whether you love or hate the pungent allium, this herb is a favorite for many foodies in Silicon Valley and around the world.
Gilroy celebrates their favorite bulb one weekend of the year during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the last weekend in July. This year it’s back for the 38th annual event held on July 29, 30, and 31, 2016. So what to should you expect from “summer’s ultimate food fair?” Food, food, food, fun, shopping, music, and more!
Gourmet Alley is “all about the food” – classics like garlic bread, garlic fries, calamari, scampi, and sausage are available at the booths, and at the end aisle, watch the Pyro-Chefs stoke up five foot tall blazes from their frying pans. Weird food lovers will enjoy a plenitude of flavors from other booths around the festival, including free samples of garlic ice-cream, alligator and buffalo meat, or ice cream in a half cantaloupe. There’s also the range of standard festival food stalls, beer, wine, coolers, and non-alcoholic chilled drinks.
Mark your calendars! Please join us for the Almaden Music in the Park series every Thursday in July! The evening hours are 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Graystone Park.
Here’s the 2018 lineup:
7/5- Rock the Heat
7/12- The Houserockers
7/19- Old Scholl Rock n Roll
7/26 Long Train Runnin’
Many people bring picnic suppers to enjoy. Layered clothing is often a good idea as sometimes our summer evenings can become breezy or cool.
A few other Realtors at Sereno Group and I are sponsoring the month long event. At our table, under the green awning, we give away water bottles and red vines. Please stop by and say hello! (And if you are one of my blog readers, I really would love to meet you, too!)
Almaden Music in the Park crowd July 7 2016
These musical evenings are open to everyone, without cost to the general public. In the few years in which I’ve been a co-sponsor, I’ve noticed that the first week is nicely attended, but the audience grows each time and by the last night, it’s a large crowd with loads of dancing. So don’t wait – go to the first Almaden Music in the Park concert and make as many of them as you can!
Graystone Park address: Camden Ave & Mt Carmel Dr, San Jose, CA 95120. Street parking.
Last Father’s Day, mid June 2017, we trekked to South County to do some fruit picking and fruit tasting at Andy’s Orchard in Morgan Hill. I highly recommend it, though the website for Andy’s Orchard says that their cherry harvest has been smaller than usual this year. They are again offering this event on Father’s Day 2018, but do check their website (see link below) to make sure that the tour you want is not sold out.
We walked through the orchard during the earliest available time slot since it was a heat wave weekend. The orchard had all kinds of varieties of cherries (I remember one with a funny name, the Black Republicans), but also pluats, nectarines, and a wide number of stone fruits, too. We were encouraged to taste as we went, and had no trouble complying. Many of us had buckets that we filled (and paid for the fruit later). It was so interesting to try one type of cherry after the next and to learn about how the trees are cared for.
Next was the open air tasting station, where we were able to enjoy and compare a huge number of apricots, peaches, nectarines, pluats, apriums, cherries, etc. Had we known when we walk the orchard how much more food would be there for us, we might all have had a little more restraint. By the time we got to the tasting stations, I was already pretty full and well past the amount of fruit I should have had for that period of time.
Take a look at some of the photos to give you a sense of the vast offerings! What it does not well convey is how delicious the fruit was!
We picked a variety of cherries, many types of which we’d never heard of before.
After that, we headed to a covered area (the shade was much appreciated as it was a toasty day) to check out the fruit tasting stations. Included were plums, pluats, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and all sorts of hybrids that were new to me.
Closeup of one of the fruits offered for tasting. In most cases, the fruit was presented in whole AND pre-sliced for easy munching.
And here’s a shot of the whole fruit and the samples.
Can’t wait to take visiting relatives back there!
You can learn more about Andy’s Orchard and check out their event schedule at their website: https://andysorchard.com/