Thanksgiving Day in San Jose

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season all over the world but is of special significance in the United States of America. The fact that it is held on the fourth Thursday of November every year was decided by legislation. Abraham Lincoln himself acknowledged the holiday with its essence of gratitude, directed at powers that helped the nation's continued existence through the turmoil of the Civil War. This honored past is commemorated on Thanksgiving Day, along with its function as the harbinger of the Christmas season, implying a time of all round fun and festivity. Every region in the vast continent of America brings to the festivities the belief and culture of its people. In the Bay Area, the ethos is more or less similar, but the city of San Jose has its own unique charm.

Image Source: Flickr - Dianne Rosete

Here are some ways in which you can experience Thanksgiving in its true spirit in the city of San Jose, California:

1. Christmas in the Park


An annually held winter event in downtown San Jose, it lasts tentatively from the end of November to January 1st. At the Plaza de Cesar, more than 500 Christmas trees decorated by community groups and local schools are put on display. Christmas related exhibitions, mostly done by children, adorn the face of the Park Plaza. Several treats and trinket shops surround the 55 feet tall community giving a tree, and the event welcomes more than 650,000 visitors every year. Described as 'San Jose's biggest production' the event is a culmination of all local efforts and is a remarkable thing to witness. Admission to the event is free, but donations are encouraged to somewhere balance the 13 million dollars spent on arrangements. The ice rink and rides like the merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, and others are a source of continued enjoyment. 

2. Winter Wonderland in San Jose

The Winter Wonderland amusement park in San Jose is arguably the best in the whole of the United States of America. Open on the weekend after Thanksgiving, it is free for all patrons and offers a range of rides and amusement to enthral the hearts of children and adults alike with its old-fashioned carnival setup. While the entrance is free, unlimited wristbands to avail the rides are available for $20 a day. Among its vast array of mazes and obstacle courses, the 60-foot Ferris wheel occupies a special place. The wheel has varying spinning speeds to accommodate people from all age groups. It is open from 3 PM to 6 PM on Black Friday and ends with its spectacular tree lighting ceremony.

3. La Tocada Music Festival


The La Tocada Music Festival in San Jose offers a unique and unforgettable experience on the Thanksgiving weekend. Held on the November 24th, the festival incorporates a range of musical entertainment throughout. Lineups in previous years have included artists such as Molotov, El Tri, Maldita Vecindad, Mago de Oz and many others. It starts sharp at 6 PM and is held at the San Jose State University campus. As expected, the location bubbles with the youth of the State and promises to be the source of some great memories for anyone deciding on attending. 

4. Harvest festival San Jose


In the transformation of Pre-Christian to Christian society, many of the pagan festivities were taken into the manifold of Christian celebrations with slightly altered dates and sentiments. Thanksgiving, distinctly Christian, harks back to one of the pagan harvest festivals that were usually held October month. The celebration of the Harvest festival in San Jose is, in a way, remembering the conglomeration of history and tradition. The Harvest festival opens on the day after Thanksgiving, on Black Friday, and is held at the San Jose Convention Centre throughout the day. Hundreds of vendors offer fine art, jewelry, clothing, specialty food, and toys. It is not a commercial set up but more homely and local, with arrangements for live entertainment. There is a nominal entry fee, but one ticket will grant entry into the fair for all three days for which it will last. 

5. Yamaguchi Downtown Ice

The Yamaguchi Downtown Ice is presented by the Sobrato Organisation and opens on November 18th and lasts through Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas, until January 16th. Located at the Circle of Palms in 120 S, Market Street, it is named after Yamaguchi; the 1992 Olympics figure skating champion. The beautifully lot palm trees make up the background in the skating exercise and promise an unforgettable experience. Special hours apply during Thanksgiving, and the rink is open from 11 AM to midnight, daily. Come with your family and friends and feel the joys of figure skating first-hand. 

San Jose, therefore, has a range of activities and events which will help in making amazing Thanksgiving memories with your family, for the rest of your lifetime.


Happy-go-lucky gourmand met boho femme met snoozy miss, proud of her playlist and closet; very particular about her chai, sleep and movies ...