Best Annual Events in the South Bay

Looking for something to do in the South Bay? With so many offerings in the area, weve curated some of the annual events you can’t miss. Less researching and more enjoying your time in the area. Enjoy!

*Things change, so please check in with the organizers of these events for details.


Join on one of the biggest Vietnamese New Year Festival in San Jose. The Vietnamese New Year takes place at Eastridge Mall and features live entertainment, lion and dragon dance, contests, carnival rides and games, food booths, and more.


Be part of the story at Japantown Immersive, a festive open street event reinventing the way audiences experience art, directed in collaboration with Epic Immersive.


Palo Alto’s Childrens’ May Festival has grown into one of the major events in Palo Alto, featuring a parade on University Avenue with kids walking their pets, riding their bicycles, pulling their wagons or showing off their homemade floats. 


Kick off the summer at the Art & Wine Festival in Downtown Sunnyvale.


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4th of July Fireworks Spectacular with San Francisco Symphony

One of Northern California’s longest-running fireworks events is at Mountain Views Shoreline Amphitheatre on July 4th, a special celebration with the San Francisco Symphony. At dusk, one of the area’s largest fireworks displays begins off with a bang, set to symphony music above the backdrop of Shoreline Amphitheatre.

More info:

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Los Gatos Art and Wine Festival

On the second weekend of July, downtown Los Altos hosts one of  the Bay Areas largest midsummer events. The  two-day Los Gatos Art + Wine Festival showcases 300 artistshandcrafted works, attracting makers from a dozen states. Concerts on two stages, kid-zone, food and California wines poured by the glass.

More info:

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Gilroy Garlic Festival

On the last full weekend in July, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is a major community event organized by the Garlic Capital of the World.” In keeping with more than 40 years of tradition, theres a festival queen and a python-chef cook-off, plus every kind of food imaginable. Garlic ice cream and garlic fries are fan favorites.

More info:


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San Jose Jazz Summer Fest

For more than 30 years, Summer Fest has been attracting jazz lovers…plus blues, R&B, Latin, New Orleans, and more. With the main stage centered at Plaza de César Chavez in downtown San Jose, all six stages for 70-plus performers are within walking distance. Arts & crafts, food Dates: Aug. 12-14, 2022. 

More info:

Also in August:

  • For two days, Downtown University Avenue becomes home to 300 fine art and contemporary craft displays, Italian street painting, kids’ art studio, sculpture plaza, stage and street entertainment during the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts.


The Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival takes place in the 52-acre Central Park and features over 160 art vendors, 25+ food groups, 3 entertainment stages and large children’s area. All proceeds go to local non-profit organizations.


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Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Half Moon Bay is home of the pumpkin. On a peak harvest weekend in mid-October, this Main Street festival salutes pumpkins, carving skills, art, food, wine, and community. The heaviest of the giant gourds — typically over a ton — is crowned the winner after a weigh-off and then The Great Pumpkin Parade is on.

More info:

Also in October:

  • Love Donuts? Who doesn’t. Come out for the sweetest event in Silicon Valley. Donut Fest curates our favorite donuts and guests can simply enjoy a Sunday Funday while sampling donuts, enjoying beer, coffee and more with a fun-filled tasty event.


Downtown Ice in San Jose is the only rink in the world that offers skating in and around a circle of 32 palm trees.

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

You so deserve a vacation. 

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