Sensational summer: The hottest months call for the biggest events

downtown live gilroy arena
Arena performs during the Downtown Live concert series in Gilroy on June 23. Photo: Erik Chalhoub

Summer is back, and in more ways than just the heat.

After 2020’s cancellations and a sort-of-back 2021, summer has returned in full bloom for 2022.

From live music, to parades, art camps and more, we’ve compiled a list of some of the many summer activities that are on tap for this year.


Free Movies Under the Stars

Hollister Recreation announced its lineup for this summer’s Free Movies under the Stars at McCarthy Street Park, 230 McCarthy St.

Showtimes are at 7pm:

• July 15: Sing 2 

• Aug. 12: Luca

Food vendors will also be in attendance.

Gilroy Gardens

Gilroy Gardens is now fully operational for the summer, with its Water Oasis area open for the hot days.

The park’s Father’s Day Family Camp Night returns June 18-19. On June 18, guests will enter the camp facility for an overnight family camp experience, and then experience the park on the next day.

The Independence Day Celebration returns July 2-4, with more details to be announced soon.

For information, visit

Gilroy Garlic Festival events

Tickets for the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s concert with KRTY at Clos La Chance Winery on July 13 are now on sale. 

KRTY will bring in award-winning Nashville songwriters Wendell Mobley and LeeThomas Miller, who have written songs for country music superstars Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton and others. 

Tickets can be purchased at

Recreational swim

The City of Gilroy’s recreational swim program has returned after last being held in 2019. 

The program is held at the Christopher High School Aquatics Center, featuring various swimming opportunities including group swimming lessons in the morning and late evenings with open swimming times in the afternoon. 

The return of swimming at Christopher High does not include the re-opening of the water features, slides and diving boards, but city officials say those amenities could be available in future offerings.

For a list of classes and open swim hours, visit

The Morgan Hill Aquatics Center’s recreational swimming runs through Aug. 14. 

Hours are Monday-Friday, 12:30-4pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-5pm.

For information, visit

San Benito County Rodeo

The San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo runs June 24-26 at the fairgrounds, 9000 Airline Highway in Tres Pinos. For information and tickets, visit

Morgan Hill Freedom Fest

The Morgan Hill Freedom Fest returns with a weekend full of Fourth of July festivities.

The event features a parade, fireworks show, patriotic sing, classic car show, family music festival and more.

For information, visit

Local School schoolchildren, the Patriotic Singers, sit atop one of the winning floats in the 2015 Morgan Hill Freedom Fest Parade. Photo: Jeff Bentz

Fourth of July Kiddie Parade

Hollister Recreation’s Fourth of July Kiddie Parade returns. 

The parade line up/check in starts at 9am on San Benito Street in front of the Veterans Memorial Building. Parade begins at 10am. 

Decorate your bikes, trikes, wagons and scooters and join the fun.

Gilroy’s Annual Fireworks Show

Gilroy’s annual fireworks show takes place on July 4, with the fireworks beginning around dusk at 9:30pm and originating from Gilroy High School. Fireworks can be viewed from nearby neighborhoods and at Christmas Hill Park.

Digital NEST

Digital NEST is partnering with the Gilroy Public Library to bring youth four weeks of free summer programming. 

Youth attending the following programs must be between the ages of 14-18 and must present a completed Digital NEST consent form on the first day of class. 

Classes will run three days a week for two hours per day beginning July 11 and ending Aug. 5 from 2-4pm.

The schedule of classes is as follows:

• Mondays from 2-4pm, Upstairs Computer Lab: “Summer Sounds” (Intro to Music Production): Over the course of four weeks, students will learn how to compose their own beats and will learn the fundamentals of drum programming, working with samples, sequencing and arranging, and basic engineering skills. No experience or equipment is required for the entry-level class. Class size is limited.

• Tuesdays from 2-4pm, Upstairs Quiet Study Room B: “The Sound Off” (Podcasting): Learn, create, and produce your own content in a small group setting. Complete a podcast and gain production skills along the way. No experience or equipment is required for the entry-level class. Class size is limited.

• Fridays from 2-4pm, Upstairs Community Room: “Gilroy Gaming Society: GG’s” (Gaming): Retro Arcade gaming for fun and prizes. Street Fighter tourneys, high score challenges and more. All games are played on an authentic two-joystick, eight-button arcade deck and are restored to their original arcade counterparts and upscaled to 1080p and presented on a large projection screen.

For information, contact [email protected].

Murder mystery party

The GardenShoppe, 364 Seventh St. in Hollister, will host a murder mystery party, taking place on July 23 from 6-9pm. 

Somewhere in the Tropics between the Port of Confusion and the Bay of Dissaray, you will find that murder meets mayhem and the intrigue begins. While most vacation at exclusive Caribbean Resorts to get away from their troubles, for one unfortunate soul it will mean the end of their travels altogether. 

This is The GardenShoppe’s kickoff summer event with more to come. The $30 ticket price includes a tri-tip barbecue with potato salad, beans and dessert. This is an over-21 event only. No outside beverages are allowed on the property at any time.

For information and tickets, visit

Summer Reading Program

The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) invites patrons of all ages to participate in the free Summer Reading Program, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.” 

The event, which runs through July 31, encourages all readers to explore the world through reading and get out into the outdoors.

“The pandemic has forced a lot of people to scale back family vacations or weekend trips, but SCCLD’s Summer Reading program can introduce you to free and simple ways to explore all of the wonders that Santa Clara County has to offer,” said Mike Wasserman, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and chair of the Library Joint Powers Authority Board. “The library has planned wonderful in-person and virtual programs that can educate and entertain you—from guided hikes, learning about animals of the Americas, musical performers, book clubs and more.”

“Studies have found that students who participate in summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year and they read with confidence,” County Librarian Jennifer Weeks said. “Libraries aren’t just a place to get books or other materials—they’re a place to have fun while learning. Join in something new this summer, like learning about ‘Van Life,’ taking a discovery walk, hearing how to create a podcast, or trying your hand at painting.”

Participants can earn a reward for reading five books and completing one activity this summer. Completion rewards will be available starting on Aug. 1.

To sign up, visit and register for Summer Reading.

Gilroy Rodeo

The Gilroy Rodeo returns Aug. 12-14 at 2365 Dunlap Ave. For information, visit

Third Friday Art Walk

6th Street Studios and Art Center hosts Art Walks every third Friday in downtown Gilroy from 5-8pm.

The event features art stops with artists, entertainers, musicians and more.

For information, visit

Art Market

6th Street Studios and Art Center, 64 West Sixth St. in Gilroy, holds an Art Market on the last Saturday of every month from 10am to 2pm.

Local artists and artisans are on hand to sell their wares.

For information, visit


Downtown Live

Downtown Live, an eight-week long music series that began June 16, runs every Thursday from 5-9pm in downtown Gilroy. 

Hosted by the Gilroy Downtown Business Association, the event features rock and R&B dance classics from various local bands. Grab dinner before the show at any of the restaurants downtown and help support local businesses.

Friday Night Music

The Morgan Hill Friday Night Music series runs from June 17 to Sept. 2 from 5:30-9:30pm at the Downtown Amphitheater, 17000 Monterey Road.

The lineup is as follows:

• June 24: The Billy Martini Show

• July 1: Shane Dwight

• July 8: Neverland

• July 15: Faithfully LIVE

• July 22: Entourage

• July 29: Daze on the Green

• Aug. 5: The Lost Boys

• Aug. 12: Houserockers

• Aug. 19: American Mile

• Aug. 26: Super Bad

• Sept. 2: Carnaval

Hollister Concerts

The Hollister Concerts summer series runs June 18 to Sept. 17 at Pepper Tree Ranch.

Gates open at 5pm, with the bands starting at 6:30pm.

The lineup is as follows:

• July 16: Long Run, Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

• Aug. 6: Petty Breakers, Turn the Page

• Aug. 27: Queen Nation, Idol X

• Sept. 17: Bonfire, Damage, Inc

For information and tickets, visit


Gilroy Center for the Arts Camp

Instructor Susan Graeser will teach the basics of drawing and painting in acrylics to children. 

Graeser is known for her paintings of landscapes of the Sierras of California and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, as well as iconic California landmarks.

Camps take place June 21-22 and June 28-29 from 10am to noon at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, 7341 Monterey St. Cost is $100 per child, and all materials are provided.

For information, email Graeser at [email protected].

San Benito County Arts Council Summer Camp

The San Benito County Arts Council is now enrolling students in Summer Art Camp

Summer Art Camp is a way for students to try different artistic styles, mediums and techniques in a condensed three-day workshop format. 

Art Camps take place at The Art Depot, 35 Fifth St., Suite D, located in the historic train depot in downtown Hollister. The cost is $60 per student, per camp with a $10 sibling discount. All materials will be provided.

The San Benito County Arts Council is offering Art Camps this summer. Photo courtesy of San Benito County Arts Council

Camps run Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Ages 5-7 attend 10-11:30am; ages 8-13 attend 12-1:30pm; and ages 11-14 attend 2:30-4pm.

• Week 1: Paint Party Camp, June 28-30

• Week 2: Creating with Clay Camp, July 5-7

• Week 3: Exploring Watercolor, July 12-14

• Week 4: Making Mosaic, July 19-21

• Week 5: Portrait Camp, July 26-28

The Arts Council will also be offering single session Paint Parties for ages 8-13, every Monday and Friday, 1-3pm, beginning on July 8.

For online registration or to view the full class schedule and descriptions, visit

Single camp scholarships available for qualifying San Benito County students. Email hei[email protected] to inquire about a scholarship application.

Central Coast YMCA

Sometimes the best vacation is the “Staycation,” and the Central Coast YMCA offers everything from summer camps and summer sports leagues to Family Fun Nights and Splashin’ Bash Pool Parties.

The Central Coast YMCA will host summer day camps at seven different locations in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, with most running through Aug. 12 (San Benito camp started June 13), with registrations now being accepted.

In addition to summer camps, the Y also offers such summer events and activities as:

• Summer sports leagues

• Swim lessons

• Parent’s Night Out

• Kids Zone

• Flick and Float

• Family Fun Night

• Splashin’ Bash Pool Party

• Birthday parties and rock climbing wallFor information, visit

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