Town launches new Independence Day event in Los Gatos
Since the Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday this year, the town of Los Gatos is getting an early jump on the holiday by celebrating Independence Day on July 1 with a Red, White and Blue Block Party from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on North Santa Cruz Avenue.
Don’t fret if you’re a fan of the annual San Jose Wind Symphony Concert: It will be held at 4 p.m. July 4 at Oak Meadow Park.
“We’re splitting the Fourth of July holiday into two events,” organizer Shelayne Hammack explained, “the block party on July 1 and the wind symphony on July 4.”
The block party means North Santa Cruz Avenue will be closed to vehicles July 1 from Bachman Avenue to Main Street.
The July 1 event will be family-friendly, with activities for all ages, Hammack said.
“Our goal is for the event to have a patriotic, community feeling and draw people to the downtown,” Hammack said. “We’ll have a trackless train running down North Santa Cruz for kids, a dunk tank, face painting, bounce houses and a rock climbing wall.”
There will be lots of art activities, too. The Daughters of the American Revolution will be helping
kids make yarn dolls that they can take home with them, and the town is hosting an arts and crafts booth where kids can create pictures using flower cut-outs. The finished pieces will hang in the town council chambers in July and August as part of the Art in the Council program, Hammack said.
The New Museum Los Gatos will also host art-related activities.
The absence of vehicles on North Santa Cruz means “parklets” can be set-up in the street as rest areas or to accommodate more fun and games.
“The library is setting up a big parklet and will host children’s story times,” Hammack said.
The July 1 event offers downtown businesses an opportunity to attract customers.
“We have nearly 40 businesses popping out to the sidewalk and on-street parking areas with sales, a beer garden and other activities—they’re really getting creative,” Hammack said.
Residents are encouraged to walk or bike to town, if possible. The Los Gatos Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission is providing a free bicycle valet, so people can stash their bikes and enjoy the festivities.
Bicyclists, especially children, are encouraged to participate in the Star Spangled Stroll that takes place on North Santa Cruz at 3 p.m.
“When I was a kid, all the neighborhood children dressed up their bikes with streamers and flags on July 4 and we rode around the block,” Hammack said. “It made the holiday festive, and that’s what the town wants, too. So, the Kiwanis club will have a bike decorating booth.”
There will be live music throughout the day by the Country Cougars, the Peninsula Banjo Band and the Atlas Vocal Studio.
The Sizzling Seniors dance troupe is also set to perform on July 1.
Complete details are available at losgatosca.gov/blockparty.
The Fourth of July schedule is much simpler: A flag raising ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. by the Oak Meadow Park bandstand, followed by the San Jose Wind Symphony’s patriotic pops concert.
Although the Billy Jones Railroad and Carousel will close at 4 p.m., concert-goers can grab a burger or hot dog at the concession stand that will remain open during the concert.
Concert-goers are welcome to bring lawn chair, blankets and umbrellas, and all Oak Meadow picnic areas are open to the public on the Fourth of July.