Top 10 Festivals In San Jose, California

festivals in san jose

Tucked away among the rolling green hills of Silicon Valley is the city of San Jose. A Bay Area beauty that’s a major hub of the country’s technological and computer software industry, San Jose offers a diverse landscape of cultures and traditions. If you want to get a true feel for the city then a great way is to explore one of its many fabulous festivals. This bustling town’s cityscape is awash in cultural, artistic, and musical expressions and these community events reflect those elements. So before you buy your plane ticket to this appealing destination you must scroll down to see this list of the top festivals in San Jose, California.

1. San Jose Jazz Winter Fest

Jazz musicians
Source: Pexels

As a companion piece to the city’s wildly popular Summer Fest celebration, the annual San Jose Jazz Winter Fest is just as joyous an event and worth investigating. A much more low-key affair than Summer Fest, this event is comprised of a series of wonderful concerts packed with an assorted group of musicians that span the realm of endearing living legends to buzzworthy new artists. The San Jose Jazz Winter Fest is for any avid music fan with discriminating tastes who enjoys witnessing jazz music pushing new and exciting boundaries.

San Jose Jazz Winter Fest

Address: San Jose, CA

Website: San Jose Jazz Winter Fest

Takes place: February

Price: 15 - 38 USD

2. SubZERO Festival

festivals in san jose | subzero festival
Source: queenbpinoy on Instagram

A one-of-a-kind event that could only occur in San Jose, the eclectic SubZERO Festival is a rip-roaring presentation of Silicon Valley’s underground arts scene. The best and biggest art and music festival in San Jose, SubZERO Festival exudes a genuine indie spirit that showcases a blend of accomplished artisans, expert technologists, and talented musicians gathered to create a mashup environment of musical merriment and techno wonder. Needless to say, there are fantastic live music performances along with fabulous eats and cold craft beer.

SubZERO Festival

Address: San Jose, CA

Website: SubZERO Festival

Takes place: June

Price: Free

3. San Jose Greek Festival

Delve into authentic Greek culture, food, and music at the stupendous San Jose Greek Festival. Relish an atmosphere filled with absolute joy when you visit this open-market-style festival that’s a true crowdpleaser. Marked by irresistibly warm hospitality, delicious local Greek cuisine made from old-world family recipes, and energetic live music accompanied by award-winning dance groups, this celebration offers the ideal ingredients for an extraordinary neighborhood party you won’t ever forget.

San Jose Greek Festival

Address: 1260 Davis St, San Jose, CA 95126

Website: San Jose Greek Festival

Takes place: May to June

Price: Free

4. Dia San Jose

Held in the historic Cesar Chavez Park, Dia San Jose is the area’s largest Day of the Dead celebration and you would be foolish to miss it. Dia San Jose is a one-of-a-kind event where revelers commemorate the Mexican holiday: deceased souls of loved ones are welcomed back for a momentary reunion filled with dynamic entertainment, lively dancing, melodic singing, people dressed in eye-catching costumes and makeup, and more. Dia San Jose never strikes a somber tone and hits all the right upbeat notes for this uniquely Mexican tradition.

Dia San Jose

Address: 1 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113

Website: Dia San Jose

Takes place: October

Price: 10 USD

5. Obon Festival

San Jose Obon Festival 2009 1.1
Source: Photo by user Noelle Gillies used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A massive yearly festival and bazaar, the Obon Festival takes place in San Jose’s fabulous Japantown. For two days, visitors can taste a variety of delectable Asian cuisine from a large collection of food booths, enjoy fine cultural displays and game booths, and watch fun demonstrations. The highlight of the festivities comes in the evening when audiences are treated to cultural performances by the acclaimed Chidori Band, San Jose Taiko performers, and more than 1,000 talented, traditional Japanese dancers!

Obon Festival

Address: N. 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Website: Obon Festival

Takes place: July

Price: Free

6. Silicon Valley Jazz Festival

Victor Gould #sanjosesuite World Premiere

Posted by Maria Nunes on Saturday, 15 August 2015

Listen to 12 bands in 2 days in a wonderful park setting at the glorious Silicon Valley Jazz Festival. If you’re a music lover then this is the place to be. Enjoy top-quality classical chamber music along with performances by top-notch local musicians as well as some of the country’s top-tier headliners. Even local school groups are featured at this delightful celebration of stellar music. For cool refreshments and great eats, there’s plenty of sudsy beer, fine wine, and food trucks providing an array of scrumptious grub.

Silicon Valley Jazz Festival

Address: Santa Cruz Ave & University Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Website: Silicon Valley Jazz Festival

Takes place: October

Price: Free

7. San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival

San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival has been at the forefront of bringing the best and biggest names in blues music to the city of San Jose. What began as a small endeavor at San Jose State University in 1981 has blossomed into one of the longest-running events in the Bay Area. Past performers have included the legendary Bo Diddley, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and more. With this festival adding frothy brews that include more than 40 tasty handcrafted beers along with choice Southern-style cuisine to the mix, you’re assured a grand time.

San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival

Address: 1 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113

Website: San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival

Takes place: June

8. Italian Family Festa

Italian Family Festa is one event you’ll want to mark on your calendar. Exuding a jubilant feel, this all-things-Italian celebration allows attendees to feast on cheesy pizza, hearty pasta, and sweet cannolis. Visitors can also enjoy such features as lively Italian flag throwers, robust wine tasting, entertaining grape stomping, fabulous cooking demonstrations by an expert Italian chef, arts and crafts, and great music. You don’t have to be Italian to love everything about this splendid fun-loving festival.

Italian Family Festa

Address: 635 Phelan Ave, San Jose, CA 95112

Website: Italian Family Festa

Takes place: August

Price: Free

9. San Jose Bark in the Park

festivals in san jose | san jose bark in the park
Source: emily_saeng on Instagram

If you have an adorable furry best friend you want to show off then head over to the charming San Jose Bark in the Park. Touted as the largest canine festival in the United States, San Jose Bark in the Park boasts a gleeful environment offering popular dog costume contests, a delightful dog/owner look-a-like contest, fun tail-wagging contests, and a wide range of other engaging activities to keep you and your four-legged amigo entertained. There’s lots of food and drink available and even dog-centric goodies.

San Jose Bark in the Park

Address: E William St & S 16th St, San Jose, CA 95112

Website: San Jose Bark in the Park

Takes place: September

Price: Free

10. Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the Park exhibit 6
Source: Photo by user Oleg Alexandrov used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Christmas in the Park is a definite wintertime favorite in San Jose. Surrounded by handsomely adorned tree lightings and attractive holiday displays, this annual event transforms the historic Cesar Chavez Plaza into a breathtaking winter wonderland that’ll make your eyes pop. As you make your way through this dazzling showcase you can view twinkling lights, fanciful trains, whimsical snowmen, and plenty of other holiday-themed items. A standout feature is the over 500 Christmas trees decorated by local schools, community groups, and benevolent businesses that can be admired throughout the park. A selection of vendors is on hand to provide holiday-inspired food and drink.

Christmas in the Park

Address: 1 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113

Website: Christmas in the Park

Takes place: Usually held November to January

Price: Free

San Jose's fun-filled festivals

From an eclectic blend of ethnic traditions to an array of fantastic music performances to outstanding holiday exhibitions, San Jose’s splendid festivals offer a prime glimpse into this city’s captivating makeup. If you desire more than the usual tourist spots then don’t let the chance to visit one of these stellar festivals slip by when visiting this enticing California city.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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As a child, Catherine's family took a trip to the World's Fair New Orleans and her mom asked what she wanted to see. She exclaimed, "Everything!" She's been working on that endeavor ever since.

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