Nighttime New Orleans’ themed festivities come to California’s Great America in July. (Courtesy photo)

Great America offers new events, refurbished water park

Spring fiestas, Monster trucks, South Bay Shores on tap for 2020

California’s Great America’s upcoming 2020 season, announced at a gathering at the Santa Clara amusement park on Thursday night, includes spring parties celebrating Hispanic culture, Monster Jam trucks, New Orleans’ style festivities and refurbished water rides.

“There will be something new every time you come,” said perky spokesman Brad Irish, who hosted a slide and video presentation showcasing this year’s plentiful offerings.

Spring Fiesta programs include Dia del Nino (April 25–26) with kid-friendly activities; Cinco de Mayo (May 2–3) with folkloric dance; and a Latin music festival (May 9–10) showcasing Bay Area performers.

Running June 20-July 12 is Monster Jam Thunder Alley, in which guests can ride in a Monster Jam truck as well as meet drivers or hang out in a themed kids play area and garage.

Carnivale at Orleans Place, a nighttime Mardi-Gras-inspired festival with regional foods, floats, costumed street performers and a parade, takes place every evening from July 18–Aug. 2.

In addition to the new events, South Bay Shores Waterpark, which replaces Boomerang Bay and opens this summer, includes a complex with six new slides as well as renamed rides, new eateries and updated cabanas.

Other popular seasonal attractions will return, too. Red, White & Brews, with live entertainment, gourmet barbecue, fireworks and craft beer, takes place June 27–28, July 4–5 and July 11–12.

Halloween Haunt, with a new maze called Shadowlands, as well as new live shows, scare zones and more monsters, runs select nights in September and October. WinterFest, popular holiday festivities with themed entertainment, food and drink and millions of glittering lights, is slated for select nights in November and December.

The park, which officially opens on March 21, is open weekends only in March. Hours (subject to change) expand in April and May. The park will be open daily from May-22 though Aug. 30.

Gold Season Passes (about $92), which include unlimited visits to the park and South Bay Shores, are on sale now at

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