music in the park san jose

Learn to dance on Cinco de Mayo

The San Benito County Arts Council will host an outdoor Cinco de Mayo Latin Night Dance Party from 5-7:30pm May 5 on San Benito Street. The festivities will take place between Fourth and Fifth streets. 

Learn Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Cumbia in a fun and social atmosphere. All levels of dance experience are welcome. No partner or prior experience is needed. The event is free. 

Dance lessons will take place from 5-5:30pm, with social dancing taking place from 5:30-7:30pm. 

Organizers of the Latin Dance Night event include the San Benito County Arts Council, San Benito County, City of Hollister, Hollister Downtown Association, Las Micheladas Bar & Grill and La Catrina Mexican Grill. 

Palacios named to dean’s list

Ryanne Palacios, of Hollister, was named to the 2023 fall semester dean’s list at Simmons University in Boston. To qualify for dean’s list status, undergraduate students must obtain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, based on 12 or more credit hours of work in classes using the letter grade system.

Help update wildfire protection plan

Authorities are in the process of updating the Wildfire Protection Plan for San Benito County, and have invited the public to an online meeting May 8 to learn more about the process and ask questions. Members of the public are also invited to help identify community priorities for the Wildfire Protection Plan. 

The meeting is scheduled for 6-7:15pm May 8 on Zoom. To register and view/participate in the meeting, visit

A Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is a community-based plan focused on identifying and addressing the local threats of wildfire, says a press release. Updating San Benito’s CWPP can help residents understand current wildfire hazards and risks for communities and resources, identify and prioritize areas for wildfire risk reduction projects, create opportunities for funding and increase collaboration among residents, fire management agencies and local businesses. 

Collaborators on the update include the San Benito Fire Safe Council, San Benito Agricultural Land Trust, San Benito Resource Conservation District, San Benito Office of Emergency Services, San Benito County Cattlemen’s Association, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension, City of Hollister Fire Department, California State Parks, Amah Mutsun Land Trust, Bureau of Land Management, CAL FIRE and National Park Service. 

The consultant team supporting the local CWPP update includes Environmental Science Associates (ESA) and Spatial Informatics Group, says the press release.

Gavilan presents Cabaret, the musical

Gavilan College’s Theatre Arts Program will present the musical Cabaret for the spring production. 

The show opens at 8pm May 3, with subsequent performances on May 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. An afternoon performance is scheduled for 2pm May 11, says a press release from Gavilan College. Performances take place at Gavilan Theater, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd. in Gilroy.

Cabaret is an amazing musical that combines wonderful character-driven songs and iconic dance numbers,” said Dr. John Lawton Haehl, Gavilan’s Theatre Arts Program Director. “The book by Joe Masterhoff, based on the works of Christopher Isherwood, is full of characters struggling to survive in a rapidly changing society. It creates amazing opportunities for our talented students to entertain us. Join us for our cabaret at the Gavilan Theater!”

General admission is $25, and students and seniors can be admitted for $15, says the release. 

Tickets can be purchased at the door, or online. Online purchases include a processing fee. 

Student and Senior admission are $15. 

Tickets can be purchased at the door for the above prices, or online with a processing fee. 

Playing the lead role of Sally Bowles is Grace Zendejas, now in her final semester at Gavilan College, before transferring to a university in the fall, the press release continues. Zendejas played Sandy in Gavilan’s Spring production of Grease, the musical, as well as Ariel Moore in San Benito Stage Company’s summer 2023 production of Footloose

First year Gavilan Theatre major, Caroline Drayton, will play the role of Fritzie, as well as the understudy for Sally Bowles and Willkommen. Drayton currently serves as the Vice President of Gavilan Theatre and Dramatic Activities Club, T.A.D.A. She has performed in numerous South Valley Community Theatre productions, as well Ann Sobrato High School’s Theatre Society production. She was last seen in their 2023 musical Into the Woods, as The Witch. 

To purchase tickets for Cabaret and for more information, visit

Visit Aromas for Garden Tour

Winter’s gone and sunny spring days prompt us to step outside and work in our gardens. Don’t worry, expert advice is near. Seven private gardens will be open to the public from 10am-4pm May 11. The Garden Tour is an opportunity to explore the green hills of Aromas, gather ideas and information from local people who put on their gloves and dig in.

Your self-guided tour begins when you buy a booklet map at the Aromas Community Grange on Rose Avenue. Try to be there at 10am if you want to see all seven gardens before 4pm. The booklet has descriptions and a picture of each unique garden to help you choose where to go. After a wet winter, all the gardens are at their vibrant best.

Our gardeners are proud of their gardens and happily share information about propagating, feeding, watering, trimming, gophers and so on. Some people specialize in bee-friendly plants, some in drought tolerant plants. Most of our gardeners grow vegetables and fruit as well as beautiful flowers. 

Walking through the various gardens, you will come across working artists. Maybe you will find and decide to buy that perfect Mother’s Day gift you’ve been looking for. 

Artists’ works include professional photography, stained glass, layered greeting cards, pressed flower items, little clay creatures, paintings and prints, sculpture, Jewelry and books by local authors.

Aromas sits at the corners of three counties—Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito. Coming from the north (Watsonville) or south (Hwy 101), just take Highway 129 and turn at the Rogee (Aromas) exit, cross the bridge and drive straight into town. 

Contributed by Joyce Oroz

Annual Life Skills Art Show

Students, families and community members are invited to attend the reception for the Annual Life Skills Art Show, from 5-7pm May 17 at the Art Depot, 35 Fifth Street in downtown Hollister

The exhibition, hosted by the San Benito County Arts Council, features artworks from Hollister High School special needs students and adults with disabilities from Hope Services who participate in the Arts Council’s Life Skills Art Program. 

The exhibition will run from April 30-May 17.

As part of the Arts Council’s Arts in Education Program, Life Skills Art is led by teaching artist Louise Roy to engage students in a wide-range of art-making activities, projects and collaborative learning, says a press release from the Arts Council.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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