Celebrating the 4th of July Near Willow Glen

Aside from a strong tradition of block parties, Willow Glen doesn’t have Fourth of July festivities of its own, but fortunately there are some great options nearby for the day itself and everybody’s favorite part of the fourth: fireworks!

The Rose Garden’s “Rose, White and Blue” parade and San Jose Giant’s post-game fireworks show are both right in Willow Glen’s backyard and can be enjoyed for free. Here is some information about each of them, along with some other options that are a short drive away.

Kidical Mass Concert and Bike Ride

For two years Treehouse in the Glen on Lincoln Avenue has hosted a 4th of July kid’s Concert featuring the very fun PapaHugs Band. This year they’re combining it with their monthly Kidical Mass in the Glen ride, which as a special treat will meet up with the “Rose, White & Blue” parade in the Rose Garden!

“Rose, White and Blue Parade”

Enjoy a family holiday filled with History, Patriotism and Roses! The Rose, White and Blue Parade and Festival held annually on 4th of July in San Jose, California is a revival of the historic Rose Carnival of 1896, later known as The Fiesta de Las Rosas Parade in the 1920’s.

Enjoy an old fashioned family-style parade as it winds through the Rose Garden neighborhood ending on the grand avenue of the The Alameda. This homespun parade features live bands, dance groups, home-made floats, kids on bikes, antique cars, and more. Following the parade attendees will enjoy the picnic on The Alameda featuring food and drink from local restaurants under the shade of our trees on The Alameda together with live music.

Other Daytime Festivities

  • Morgan Hill is well known to serve up one of the best 4th of July celebrations in the area. This year the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest features a car cruise/show, parade and evening fireworks.
  • Santa Clara is throwing a big “All City Picnic” at Central Park from 8:00am to 5:00pm. It features a pancake breakfast, live entertainment, food, music, carnival games, face painting, and swimming.
  • Cupertino is also sponsoring public festivities for the fourth. There’ll be some ceremonies and a pancake breakfast followed by a children’s parade, and then in the afternoon a BBQ and live music featuring the Groove Kings.


With all due respect to mom and apple pie, nothing’s as American as a minor league baseball game with post-game fireworks, and that’s what’s on tap at nearby Municipal Stadium as the San Jose Giants host the Modesto Nuts on Monday the 4th itself and the next day. Both games start at 6:30 with the fireworks show immediately after the game. For more info visit the San Jose Giants site. You can also watch the fireworks from the Happy Hollow parking lot. Parking costs just $10, and they’ll be selling concessions and glow sticks so come set up camp and enjoy the show!

In years past adjacent properties such as Kelley Park and SJSU’s stadium complex have let people park for free to enjoy the show, and it’s a safe bet they’ll be doing so again, but I haven’t been able to find any confirmation that that’ll be the case this year as well.

Other Fireworks Shows

  • California’s Great America will NOT be doing fireworks on July 4, but they put on a really nice show every Saturday during July and August, and will be doing an extra show Sunday, July 3.
  • Morgan Hill puts on one of the biggest fireworks shows in the area, drawing oohs and ahhs from a crowd of over 20,000 people.
  • Milpitas is putting on a fireworks show called “Red, White and Boom! at their Sports Complex. You can bring a picnic dinner and enjoy an evening of music by JamFunkShus.
  • Shoreline Amphitheatre: If classical music is your thing, join the San Francisco Symphony at Shoreline Amphitheater. for a fireworks spectacular set to stirring patriotic songs and marches.

Dancin' on the Avenue Panorama
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