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Milestone Celebrations Promise a Marvelous May

Now that the days are getting longer, people are eager to get outdoors and enjoy all that Palo Alto has to offer, from the City’s signature May Fete celebration and Party in the Park to Family Movie Nights. Read on for more details on these and other family friendly activities.

2022 May Fete Parade & Fair

For nearly 100 years May Fete has been one of the most anticipated festivals on the community calendar. After two years in lockdown, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate community by participating in the parade, attending the fair, and other ways to experience this beloved annual Palo Alto event.

Here are more details to get you ready to make the most of the festivities!

2022 May Fete Parade

The 98th annual May Fete Children’s Parade marches into Palo Alto on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. This year’s theme “What emPOWERS you?” pays tribute to the resilience of Palo Alto’s youth and focuses on sustainability.

Feeling creative or want to be in the spotlight? Gather your family, friends or community group and show off your float-making skills for the chance to take home big prizes. No group? No problem! You’re invited to walk with the City of Palo Alto’s Friends, Family and Pets category.

Starting at University Ave and Emerson St, the Parade route will head down University, turn right on Waverly St and end at Heritage Park. The parade will include bands, youth groups, cars, vehicles, and other entertainers.

Judging will occur during the parade, based on criteria including creative tie-ins to the parade theme and amount of youth participation involved. Create a non-commercial float to be eligible to win a 1st place prize of $500, a 2nd place prize of $250, or a 3rd place prize of $125. The contest is sponsored by the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation.

Register your interest in being part of the parade here. Don’t want to be in the parade but want to volunteer? We’re looking for teen Volunteers to help with day-of-tasks for the parade. If you are interested or know someone who is, please fill out our Teen Volunteer Application.

May Fete Fair

Following the parade, check out the fair until 1 p.m. at Heritage Park, featuring live music, booths from over 30 community organizations, games and prizes for kids and delicious treats from local food trucks. Sponsored by Kiwanis of Palo Alto, this year’s May celebration will also feature new additions, such as electric vehicles and a month-long Palo Alto Puzzle hunt, that’s sure to get the whole family involved in the fun. Learn more here.

But wait, there’s more! This is such a special year, we’ve expanded the festivities with a new month-long event — the Palo Alto Puzzle Hunt.

Palo Alto Puzzle Hunt

Over four weeks — from Saturday, May 7 through Monday, May 30, participants can take part in this free event, filled with puzzles for you and your family and friends to solve together. Enter drawings each week for a chance to win prizes during the series, which includes a scavenger hunt that encourages contestants to explore many of the wonderful sites this city has to offer. There will be one final drawing, if you’ve completed them all, for a grand prize filled with Palo Alto goodies.

Learn how to play and enter to win here.

To learn more about the festival, go to, which includes a history of this incredible Palo Alto tradition.

Party in the Park

During the pandemic, the City and its partners were busy creating new attractions for Palo Altans to enjoy as COVID-19 restrictions eased. To mark these milestones, the City is hosting Party in the Park on May 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where we’ll celebrate the official grand openings of the expanded Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) — including its new outdoor Voyage Solar System Model exhibit that is free to the public — and the newly renovated Rinconada Park.

Come connect with our community at Rinconada Park and enjoy a ribbon-cutting ceremony with City and JMZ officials, a speaker’s program, family friendly entertainment, animal encounters and free tours of the JMZ, and the Voyage Solar System Model exhibit, a free outdoor 1- to 10-billion scale model of the solar system.

You can also take advantage of new amenities at Rinconada Park, such as the new playground, a more accessible area with amenities inspired by the Magical Bridge, new picnic area, and new outdoor elliptical machines and stationary bikes.

You can refuel during the festivities with great food trucks and free ice cream while supplies last. Read more updates on our social media channels.

Family Movie Nights Premier May 20

As the weather warms up, the evenings are perfect to stretch out on blankets with your family and friends and watch fun flicks. The City’s Family Movie Nights, which take place on select Fridays from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., are free and will feature the following animated movies.

May 20: Disney’s “Encanto” follows the adventures of a Colombian teenage girl who must face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers. The film features the voices of Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero and John Leguizamo. Learn more here.

June 17: Universal’s “Sing 2,” which features Buster Moon and his friends, who must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Scarlett Johansson. Learn more here.

July 22: “Luca” is set on the Italian Riviera, where an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human. The main characters are played by Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Emma Berman. Learn more here.

Find out more details about event facilities, amenities, and more here.

Palo Alto Children’s Theatre Presents Roger’s & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

Enjoy the talents of local youth in Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s rendition of Roger & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”

Taking place May 12–28 at the Outdoor Magic Castle Stage, the musical features the beloved fairy tale, adapted for the stage with great warmth, and more than a touch of hilarity! Audiences of all ages will adore this musical tale of dreams that do come true. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased here.

Looking Ahead into Summer

Open Studios — The Cubberley Artist Studio Program

Meet up to 23 artists and immerse yourself in their works of art at the Cubberley Artist Studio Program’s Open Studios event on Saturday, June 4 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can also take part in some hands-on art activities! Learn more about the free event here and the artists in residence here.

Celebrate Independence Day with the City

The City of Palo Alto invites you to our free July 4 summer event, which takes place at Mitchell Park on Monday, July 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come enjoy live music, a variety of food trucks, and fun games and activities for the kids. Bring your own chairs, picnic mats, and reusable water bottles. Keep checking here for updates with more details.

Find out about other upcoming City events and important meetings — such as City Council and committees — on our City calendar here.

Learn about other spring activities and summer camps and classes.



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