Rockets’ red glare, carnival games, hamburgers and hotdogs and great entertainment – it’s all part of Santa Clara’s annual 4th of July All City Picnic.
For more than 40 years the city has celebrated Independence Day with a daylong picnic in Central Park, most years capped by a spectacular fireworks display. The event draws thousands of visitors, many of whom staked out their spots for the night’s fireworks early in the day.
And there was plenty to keep picnickers entertained before the fireworks. In addition to carnival games, there was a Cosmo Jump, face painting, swimming at the International Swim Center and live entertainment all day long. There were also plenty of edible treats.
All-American hamburgers and hot dogs from Santa Clara Kiwanis. Sausage and crispy French fries from Santa Clara Elks. Hearty tri-tip sandwiches from Santa Clara PAL. For those with a sweet tooth, Wilcox Instrumental Music Boosters offered Cookie Turtle Sundaes.
In the evening, a diverse assortment of food trucks offered everything from several varieties of Asian Fusion cuisine to tacos and middle eastern kebabs. The Miss Santa Clara Auxiliary served up strawberry shortcake from and Millikin Elementary School had Starbucks bottled coffee.
Jim and Marlys Lee, and Earl Bagwell from the Santa Clara Veterans Memorial were there displaying the Lee’s prized WWII jeep – “very few of them were brought back after the war” – and signing up subscribers for memorial paving bricks. For a donation of $125, bricks can be engraved with the name of a veteran. With Jim Ash and Ray Gamma, the Lees were part of the Memorial’s founding committee instrumental in 2001, developing the design and raising the $260,000 to build it.
As the crowd gathered in the evening for the fireworks, The Megatones and Big City Review kept them entertained with hit tunes.
After dark, the City’s annual fireworks show wrote a spectacular finish to the day. Drawing a record crowd, many said that it was the best fireworks show the City has ever presented.