Dear Neighbors,
Allow me to take a moment to provide you with a synopsis of the 3rd Annual July 4th Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show! For those of you who attended, you already know that it was another successful event! The food, entertainment, booths for non-profits and vendors, and the beautiful fireworks display all came together wonderfully.
I believe that it is important to provide a safe place within District 10 for all of us to gather together and celebrate the birth of our nation. Unfortunately, there are several individuals who still choose to occupy parks and streets with fireworks displays. Although I know these folks just want to have fun, the use of illegal fireworks is very dangerous for those who are setting them off, as well as to innocent bystanders. Illegal fireworks also pose a threat to private and public property, especially given the drought conditions that have existed in recent years. This year we attracted an estimated 30,000 people to view fireworks over Almaden Lake; a much safer and exciting alternative than unsafe, individual firework shows.
A special thank you goes to Craig Cutright and Kenny Chee, owners of Devastating Pyrotechnics! They outdid themselves again this year and provided a spectacular fireworks show! I also thank the Almaden Valley Women’s Club for being our fiscal agent and, specifically, Carina Beal, for her hard work and dedication in making this event prosper!
The District 10 staff and I work vigorously throughout the entire year to put the July 4th Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show together. There are many components that go into organizing this event, from getting sponsorship and event approval from the City of San Jose, obtaining funds from private donors to cover most event expenses, obtaining several permits, and organizing all of the event-day details. We are very happy to be able to provide this event for you, your families, and friends to enjoy!
The July 4th Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show is produced with private funding, which my office raises from our generous sponsors, and a grant from the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Cultural events, like the Festival, are paid for with money from the Transient Occupancy Tax, or “TOT”, for short. The TOT is a tax added to the cost of a visitor’s hotel room, paid by those staying at San Jose’s hotels, so the festival does not use money from the City’s General Fund. TOT monies are specifically earmarked for cultural events in San Jose—like the July 4th event!
Our sponsors are the backbone of the July 4th Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show. Without San Jose businesses generously donating to this event, it would not happen. Please consider patronizing these businesses and thanking them for supporting the 2016 edition with their generous contributions!
Top Sponsors:
Yellow Checker Cab—50+ years doing business in San Jose!
Cinnabar Hills Golf Club & Brandenburg Golf Museum
County of Santa Clara
City of San Jose-Office of Cultural Affairs
Other Important Sponsors:
Almaden Valley Women’s Club
Naprotek, Inc.
Davidson Foundation
Forest Consulting, LLC.
California Waste Solutions
Amato’s Pizzeria
Republic Services
Del Grande Dealer Group (DGDG)
Hunter Storm Properties
CA Apartment Association
R & C Brown Associates
Diamond San Jose Enterprises
Skips Tires of San Jose
Bozzuto Insurance
Santa Clara County Association of Realtors
Almaden Valley Senior Association
Silicon Valley Group
Solar City
Signature Flight
JSM Enterprises
WMH Corporation
Sunday Friends
Amir Ibrahem Photography & Graphic Design
Almaden Valley Times Newspaper
Councilmembers Don Rocha (District 9), Tam Nguyen (District 7), and Chappie Jones (District 1)
We had many District 10 volunteers who graciously gave of their time and specifically recognize three volunteers who assisted my staff throughout the year: Bob Vonderwerth (Playa Del Rey) who worked directly with our fireworks Pyrotechnic team—Devastating Pyrotechnics—and also coordinated the sale of waters and sodas as a fundraising tool for the event. Raylene Fedor (District 10 Leadership Coalition) provided assistance with obtaining security, lining up the food trucks, and obtaining permits. Marilyn Rogers (VEP and District 10 Leadership Coalition) provided organization for the Veterans Walk and outreach. Bob, Raylene, and Marilyn also recruited volunteers to help with the set up and take down of the event, as well as event-day helpers.
This event would not have been possible without the help from additional volunteers - from helping with set up, tear down, clean-up, to assisting as needed on the event day. A big THANK YOU to these special individuals who showcased patience and work ethic: Kim, Brandan, and Correy Moore; Samuel Hirst; Rich Giammona; Jennifer Wu & Family; Gwen Harl; Ginny & Bob Baird; Debra Suydam; Josie Supencheck; Ken Hankoff and his son Nathaniel; Michelle, Tony and Jadon DeOcampo; Juliana Khamis & Family; Fred Latimore; Scott Hodgdon; Rebekah Souza; Brendan Lin; John Salah; Mary Kay Werth; Tom Trudell; Katherine Decker; Joell Hanson; Virginia Thomas; Dorothy Courtney; Seamus Gann; Aiko Fadness; Rick, Mathew, and Steven Dexter; Robin Hayr and Cheyanne Segura for taking on the responsibility of the Letters to the Soldiers Tables, and any and all other volunteers we may have forgotten to mention!
Of course, the event would not be complete without food, and this year we were blessed with participation by terrific District 10 businesses like Sweet Rendezvous (located in Sunrise Plaza)--serving Mariannes and Lourdes ice cream; Almaden Kiwanis serving hot dogs; Dippin Dots ice cream; Miss Oh La La - serving popcorn and cotton candy; and the food trucks of Falafel Fresh & Gyro, Los Jarochos Grill, and Gold Rush Eatery.
Our entertainment included District 10 residents the Snarky Cats and Pete the Magician.  Also performing were Lyric Theater, San Jose’s own theater company that performs at the Montgomery Theater, the School of Rock, a children’s music education provider, and even the District 10 Chief of Staff who led patriotic songs, Shane Patrick Connolly!
Thank you, as well, to the City departments involved in another safe, sanitary, and successful festival for attendees, including Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services, Public Works, SJPD, SJFD, DOT, Environmental Services. We are also grateful to the waste services provided by the San Jose Conservation Corps, and parking provided by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and extra service hours provided by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
Our booths included: San Jose Veterans Center; San Jose Parks Dept.; LDS Church; Just Serve; Lyric Theater; Sons In Retirement; Almaden Neighborhood Church; Tulip Kids Academy; District 10 Leadership Coalition; Playa Del Rey; VEP; Boy Scouts; Whole Brain Health Initiative; Almaden Lions; Letters to the Soldiers; Santa Clara Valley Water District; First Aid/Info; Johnny Khamis’ District 10 office; and, Sunday Friends.
In addition to helping decrease the use of illegal fireworks, another goal for the 3rd Annual July 4th Family Fun Festival and Fireworks Show, was to bring awareness to our own San Jose Vet (Veterans) Center located at 278 N. Second Street, San Jose, CA 95112.  This year, Veterans gathered near the booths and paraded through the festival via a pathway demarcated with red ribbons, as spectators stood cheering and waving American flags. The Veterans, led by District 10 resident, Katherine Decker, walked to the stage where Veterans Jerry Williams and Maria Bucmaniuk addressed the crowd. It was very touching presentation. I was honored to have the San Jose Vet Center join us. They provided all of us with a reminder of what July 4th truly represents. It is their work and that of all active-duty service personnel who have come after them, which has kept, and continues to ensure, our nation’s safety and freedom – allowing us to honor the spirit of Independence Day each year.
Office of Councilmember Johnny Khamis, City of San Jose, District 10 

200 E. Santa Clara St 18th Floor, San Jose, CA 95113
408.535.4910| | 

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