The reopening of Alum Rock Park in San Jose is a breath of recent air

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San Jose made many day hikers happy on Thursday when it reopened Alum Rock Park, the 720-acre natural gem located in the city’s eastern foothills. The park had been closed since the end of March amid fears that people looking to escape from protection orders might be overcrowded.

However, with restrictions easing a bit in Santa Clara County and reopening golf courses and other outdoor recreational activities, it made sense to give people access to Alum Rock again. Of course, COVID-19 is still with us so there are still restrictions when planning a visit.

Parking and toilet facilities are limited and drinking fountains will remain closed so you will need to bring your own water. The picnic tables and barbecue areas are also prohibited, and you cannot bring your own items. Social distancing is a must with people who are not in your household either.

People aren’t the only ones getting a little more space this week. San Jose has also reopened 13 dog parks, including Butcher Park, Selma Olinder Park, Watson Park, and Ryland Park. People still have to be half a meter apart (and wear face covers) when using the dog parks, but the pooches will likely get closer. Don’t forget to bring your own water for you and your dog as the fountains are still closed.

For more information about the reopened parks in San Jose, visit the city’s website at bit.ly/prnsreopens.

JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL GOES ONLINE: Another big event in downtown San Jose, the 39th annual Juneteenth Festival this weekend, went online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the change, the African American Community Service Agency put together a tremendous lineup for Saturday’s virtual celebration.

The celebrations include a grand opening and welcome Marcus Washington, Co-anchor of “Today in the Bay” from NBC Bay Area; “Black Queens,” a discussion about African American women telling their own stories; a cooking demo with Chef Shawn Osbey; a webinar on strengthening the black economy and housing construction hosted by real estate agent Shawneequa Badger; and a headline performance by platinum-selling singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton at 4:30 p.m.

You can find more information about the listing at www.sjaacsa.org/juneteenth/home.

ALL BUT THE FILMS: If you’ve been craving the taste of movie popcorn since the beginning of Shelter-in-Place, there is good news for you at Campbell. Pruneyard Cinemas’ Cedar Room Lounge reopens at 4:00 p.m. Friday, offering roadside service for a variety of theatrical snacks – hot dogs, nachos, candy and, yes, popcorn – as well as takeaway cocktails. Of course, you’ll need to have your own movies available at home (or maybe take everything to Capitol Drive-In, which has movies but no concessions).

You can check the menu and order it online at www.pruneyardcinemas.com from Friday morning.

“Who knew that movie popcorn would be so popular, but that’s why we got calls,” said Pruneyard Cinemas’ marketing guru Dan Orloffwho, like any good promoter, suspected that it could be the 100% coconut oil the corn popped in, or maybe the real butter it was topped with. And he’s right; that sounds pretty good

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