San Jose’s best-known public gathering space is an oval of green at the center of downtown on Market Street between San Fernando and San Carlos streets. Originally called Plaza Park, it was renamed in honor of farm labor leader Cesar Chavez in 1993. Between 1889 and 1958, the park was the site of the ornate San Jose City Hall, which is commemorated today by a cornerstone. The park is known as the site of the annual Christmas in the Park display, the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and several other cultural and civic festivals throughout the year. But it may be best loved by the children of San Jose for its playful, interactive fountains — where families gather throughout the summer months to cool off.
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