Vasona Park’s Fantasy of Lights (Light Festival)

21st Annual Fantasy of Lights logo, from the SCCP event page.

The 21st annual Fantasy of Lights show at Vasona Lake County Park begins soon!  Occasionally people call me to ask about it – please note that I do not run the event – I am only posting information about it. Full info can be found on the county’s park website – see link below.

When: The Fantasy of Lights runs from Tuesday December 10th to December 30th, 2019 from 6 – 10pm. Prior to that, Saturday December 7th and Sunday December 8th ONLY it is the Fantasy of Lights Walk-Thru event which runs 4pm to 9pm. The Fantasy of Lights is closed on Christmas Day.

Where: Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road (near University Avenue) Los Gatos, CA

How much: The cost varies. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Walk-Through Tickets: (Dec 7 & 8 Only)

$10 – Adult (13 & up)
$5 – Child (ages 4 – 12)
FREE – 3 years or less

Drive-Through Tickets:

$20 – per Vehicle (up to 12 riders)
$50 – per Oversize Vehicle (capacity 13+)

More details:

Please visit the Santa Clara County Parks page for the Fantasy of Lights to get more information on bus rides, special events and more! And why not ride the Billy Jones train to see the lights (you’ll get many but not all of the lights) Departing from it’s station in Oak Meadow Park Thursday through Sunday nights in December.

(More questions? PLEASE do NOT call me about this event – I’m a Realtor in Los Gatos, I’m not in charge of this venue! Please contact the SCC Parks Dept and check out their website for the Fantasy of Lights! The Vasona phone number is (408) 355-2201.)

Please visit Live in Los Gatos for year round events, neighborhood information, photos around the town, interesting real estate market data, haunted places and even some historical tidbits.

 

Los Gatos is a wonderful place to visit during the holidays, but it’s also a great place to live year round! If you are interested in buying a home in Los Gatos (or selling one), please contact me, Mary Pope-Handy. I’m both a Realtor in town and a resident myself, working full time in helping nice folks to buy & sell homes here and throughout the west valley.

If you aren’t familiar with the area, here are a few things to know!
Buy a home in Los Gatos (info on neighborhoods, school districts, homes for sale to browse online, links to important local sites & info)
Relocating and buying a house in Los Gatos
Los Gatos real estate on Facebook
Los Gatos real estate market statistics & trends for houses
Los Gatos realty trends and stats for condos & townhouses

 

 

The Cornucopia Fruit Stand

Perched at a slight angle on Winchester Boulevard, the Cornucopia Fruit Stand is a celebrated remnant of the town’s agricultural heritage that you can still enjoy. Established in 1976, Cornucopia continues selling seasonal produce almost year-round. Spring and summer mean fresh fruit and veggies, and for the holidays it’s a great spot for top-grade Christmas trees.

This weekend my family and I stopped by the Cornucopia Fruit Stand in Los Gatos to stock up on some Halloween pumpkins. If you’re still looking for a squash for your porch, Cornucopia has a plethora – from Sugar Pie Pumpkins for carving to the fancy Cinderella pumpkins! And what would a pumpkin patch be without some festivity? Los Gatos’ Original Great Pumpkin Patch (as they proudly call it) is decorated with painted pumpkins (also for sale), instagrammable photo spots, friendly scare crows, and classic Halloween stand-in cutouts for the kids.

 

14288 Winchester Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95032

Hours: 10AM – 6PM
Phone: (408) 374-6453
2019-10-27 Cornucopia Fruit Stand Los Gatos 5 decorated pumpkins
You can also visit Cornucopia Fruit Stand on their Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.
2019-10-27 Cornucopia Fruit Stand Los Gatos 6 Betty Boop pumpkin

Los Gatos: a town that loves dogs

Pizza My Heart dog tie ups in Los GatosThe irony is not lost on the locals that our town is named for cats (Los Gatos is Spanish for The Cats) and yet the townsfolk and the area’s businesses seem to cater to dogs and their human friends and family.  Much  of Silicon Valley is dog-friendly, but Los Gatos seems to be especially supportive to dogs.

If you are new to Los Gatos, and you have a canine companion in your home, you may be delighted to learn that there are many places where Fido will be welcome (even if left outside).

  • A stroll down North Santa Cruz Avenue or nearby streets reveals that this is a dog-friendly community. You can’t miss the number of dog water bowls available!
  • A few places, like Wells Fargo Bank and Pizza My Heart, have leash holders.
  • Los Gatos even shares a dog park with our neighbor to the north, the City of Campbell. (Here’s a list of a number of local dog parks, not just the Los Gatos & Campbell one.)
  • Patio dining is easy to find in Los Gatos. I believe that most or all of the restaurants, cafes, wine bars,  etc. permit dogs in the outdoor areas. I’m a little surprised that the chain restaurant, Lazy Dog, has not found a way to open a restaurant in Los Gatos. As far as I know, the nearest one is in Cupertino.
  • Periodically, there are doggie events, such as the Paws & Pedals fundraiser (or in the past, the Howling Halloween dog costume party – which sadly has been discontinued).

Due to health code reasons, the Los Gatos Sunday Farmer’s Market is not one of the happenings which can welcome pets. Luckily, if you bring along a friend, it is easy enough to spend time with your pooch at the adjacent Town Park Plaza and to have someone else visit the food stalls and make your purchases for you. The same is true for grocery stores or inside eating establishments. While service dogs or other animals are welcome, pets are not, again due to health codes.

Horsehoes in Los Gatos?

All right, neighbors, where in Los Gatos can you find these beautiful horseshoes embedded in concrete? The first individual to email me the correct answer / location will win a prize! See below for the details.

Horseshoe in concrete in Los Gatos

Although clearly this is in concrete, it’s not a sidewalk – the town does not embed items into the sidewalk. Here’s another one, if you look closely, you can see it’s not the same as the one above:

Los Gatos horseshoe in concrete

With this second one, you can see that the horseshoe is adjacent to a large tree. Does that help?  Maybe one more, yet another:

A third horseshoe in Los Gatos

With this last one, it does appear that the horseshoe is next to a walkway or maybe a sidewalk. What do you think?

The first person who emails me the correct answer will get a $10 Starbucks gift card  – please email me at mary@popehandy.com and put the word Horseshoe in the subject line. Please also provide your first name 🙂

Wildfire Evacuation Route signs being installed

Wildfire Evacuation Route in Los GatosThe Town of Los Gatos takes its responsibility for minimizing risk from flood, fire, earthquake, or other disasters seriously.  A few months ago, I began to notice “Flood evacuation route” signs.  First I noticed it along Blossom Hill Road, close to the Highway 17 over crossing, and later on Lark Avenue.  (Lexington Reservoir  is located further down the highway and a break in the dam would bring tons of water screaming down the highway 17 corridor.)  Seemed like a wise idea, given that we have that and also Vasona Lake right here.

Additionally, though, last week I saw a “Wildfire Evacuation Route” sign too.  It was located on Prospect Avenue and Kimble Avenue, across from the new Sorellas housing development which is currently under construction by Summerhill (formerly the Holy Names Sisters convent and Casa Maria Montessori School).

If you live in a woodsy or mountainous area, the odds are good that your property is located in a zone earmarked as high risk for wildfires, and you’ve been notified that brush must be cleared 100 feet away from your house or structure annually to create “defensible space”. (Some of the best Los Gatos real estate can be found in those areas!) What isn’t always so apparent is where to go in the case of a wildfire.  These new signs should help to improve safety in case of a serious fire.

You may not know that the town has some helpful resources online, too.  You can find them here:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/1359/Fire-Safety-and-Wildfire-Preparedness

CalFire flier on creating 100′ of defensible space around your home (pdf)

Other helpful info:

Flood evacuation information on the town’s website

72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit Checklist (pdf)

“Los Gatos Prepared” revised

Statement of purpose on the Los Gatos Prepared page:
Empowering Community Self-Sufficiency towards the ultimate goal of every resident and business in Los Gatos having the awareness, skills, and resources necessary to be self-sufficient in the event of an  earthquake, fire, flood, or possible flu pandemic

Los Gatos historical walking tour app: LOST GATOS

Michael Kane as Mountain Charlie 2007 Historic Walking Tour in Los Gatos
Michael Kane as Mountain Charlie in the 2007 Historic Walking Tour in Los Gatos

Locals may remember that a few years back, there was a wonderful “Los Gatos History Walk” put on every year or so.  Town residents would don garments from a bygone era and take on the persona of legendary Los Gatos figures for a few hours. Both fun and educational, it provided a sense of the town’s past – both the buildings and the people’s.  It was absolutely wonderful while we had it.

Today, there’s an app for that!  It’s called Discover LOST Gatos and as of this writing, there are 3 different tours:

  1. The Heart of Los Gatos (approximately a 35 minute walking tour with 12 stops)
  2. Los Gatos: The Gem City (a 45 minute walk with 12 stops
  3. The Cradle of Los Gatos (50 minute stroll with 13 stops)

The Mercury News did a nice article on this and will fill in the details on who’s behind this wonderful idea.

http://www.mercurynews.com/los-gatos/ci_30098778/los-gatos-discover-lost-gatos

As for me, I just downloaded it to my phone and look forward to getting to know our beautiful town a little more.  You can find it online wherever you get your phone’s apps – just search for LOST Gatos.

April is Green! It’s "Keep Los Gatos Beautiful" Month

DocumentDid you know that April “Keep Los Gatos Beautiful” Month? There’s a lot of emphasis on the town being “green” too. Events include:

For detailed information on these events and MORE, please see the Los Gatos town newsletter, “Keep Los Gatos Beautiful”. Check out the Town’s Environmental Services page or sign up for the Growing Greener newsletter to stay up to date throughout the year.

 

(Originally posted April 04, 2014, updated for this year April 5, 2016)