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Festivals Set To Return To Fremont, San Jose – CBS San Francisco

FREMONT (KPIX 5) – After last year’s pandemic hiatus, organizers of upcoming festivals in Fremont and San Jose are preparing in light of mounting concerns about the Delta variant.

Last year the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest went virtual and the Fremont Festival of the Arts was completely canceled. This year they’re coming back, but with a few changes.

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One of the largest outdoor festivals west of the Mississippi, the Fremont Festival of the Arts relies heavily on all kinds of vendors to attract nearly half a million people over two days.

In previous years, vendors had everything from jewelry to clothing to food, but this year the festival is struggling to get them.

“The events industry has been hit very, very hard, so a lot of people have either taken other jobs or taken the opportunity to retire,” said Cindy Bonior of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce who runs the festival.

SkyDrone 5 on the Fremont Festival of the Arts 2019. (SkyDrone 5 / CBS)

“The sad thing is that unfortunately we won’t have margaritas this year because the seller is no longer in business,” Bonior told KPIX 5.

Despite the fact that there will be fewer vendors, organizers say the festival will be self-expanding, with more space between the stands for social distancing.

“I think that people at our festival feel safe,” says Bonior.

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The San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is also changing its presence.

“We have emphasized our outdoor program, so this year we have a little less indoor stage offers,” says Brendan Rawson, the director of the jazz festival.

In addition to moving the indoor stages outdoors to allow for greater social distance, fans might also notice fewer acts present. Live performers are especially in demand as venues across the country relax pandemic restrictions.

“That part of the list of all artists was particularly challenging for us,” said Rawson.

Festival organizers said they are working with local health officials as COVID cases in the Bay Area are on the rise due to the Delta variant.

Organizers said they hope the outdoor events will allow them to continue as planned while it is safe.

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The San Jose Jazz Summer Fest takes place August 13-15, while the Fremont Festival of the Arts is scheduled for the last weekend in September.

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