Big crowds expected for local parades

July 3, 2009 7:22:00 PM PDT
San Jose cancelled its annual Fourth of July America Festival and fireworks display because of a lack of funding, but that certainly doesn't mean Independence Day will be a bust in the South Bay. Many other celebrations will fill the gap.

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Santa Clara is expecting much bigger crowds on Saturday for its all-day community picnic and fireworks show, possibly as many as 50,000 people as a result of other cities cutting back. The main attraction will be a 25-minute fireworks show.

"They shoot directly toward the crowd as you are sitting on Kiely Boulevard, or any of the parking areas or grassy areas along the Kiely Boulevard park side," says Recreation Superintendent Marilyn Dippell.

Food stalls are being set up the night before and by early morning, people will be staking out a prime spot to see the fireworks.

"A lot of people put blankets out early, the day before, and it just covers the whole park," says Santa Clara resident JoAnn Chamberlain.

"You can go into the shopping center over here in front of the doughnut shop and see in the parking lot, they've got blankets," says Santa Clara resident Ted Chamberlain.

Fremont is also expecting big crowds for its annual Fourth of July parade, which kicks off at 10 a.m. With no city funding, the $40,000 in expenses comes from local businesses and from small donations collected on Paypal.

"The $5, $10, $20 contributors, which has actually been a mainstay, we have over $1,500, $1,600. We've picked up with PayPal just in the last month," says 2009 Fremont Parade chair Jan Giovannini-Hill.

In all, over 90 floats will be featured with 17 from the community, including a first-time entry from the Warm Springs Home Health group.

"This is the symbol of the Filipino-American friendship, and one of the reasons we have a lot of nurses, a lot of medical practitioners in the area is because of that long-time friendship," says Carlito Liamzon from Warm Springs Home Health.

The San Jose Giants (minor league) will have a fireworks show after the game.

With so many cities foregoing Fourth of July celebrations, the City of Santa Clara realizes it will serve as a magnet, drawing a lot of people, but it will have to look hard at the budget and decide after this celebration whether they can afford it again next year.

Links:
City of Santa Clara Fourth of July All-city Picnic and Fireworks Spectacular
San Jose Giants

Full list of Fourth of July events

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