San Jose

Downtown San Jose Fourth of July Fireworks Show Returns After Six-Year Absence

VTA managers estimated 80,000 people attended the downtown San Jose fireworks show, the first fireworks show downtown after six years of dark skies on Independence Day.

When the fireworks started, people at Discovery Meadow celebrated. It was a moment they've been waiting for since 2008 when the annual show was canceled due to budget cuts. The Rotary Club of San Jose raised $200,000 to host the event this year, and restart the tradition.

"You've got to do fireworks every 4th of July. That's like apple pie, haha," Mark Mercado of San Jose said.

This show was a tradition for the Mercado family until it was canceled.

"Every 4th of July, we all knew that if we weren't going to be anywhere else, it'll be here once a year," Mercado said.

"Seriously, no where to go so we started staying home and looking to see where somebody was throwing their fireworks out their backyards," Patsy Mercado added.

The Mercado's and thousands of other families downtown were thankful the Rotary spent time and money getting their tradition back. It was a two year process. Some of the $200,000 raised was money from the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Set up started at 8 Friday morning. Pyro techs from the east bay prepared 1400 shells in all. Some of them launched 500 feet into the air according to Pyro Spectaculars volunteer David Birkhead.

"We have over 100 shells that are going to go off in the finale. I've never seen anything like this," Birkhead said before the show.

Many, couldn't wait to see them hoping to restart their tradition.

VTA also used the event as a test run, to prepare for busy ridership at Levi's Stadium after 49er games. One manager said it went better than expected.

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