Expect a grand show Thursday afternoon as the famed 1st Battalion Pipes and Drums Scots Guards perform in downtown San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

The Scots Guards are in the Bay Area to perform over Labor Day weekend at the 149th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, where they were a real crowd-pleaser in 2009.

But with their midweek arrival, the opportunity arose to have them play the free concert in San Jose, courtesy of the Caledonian Club of San Francisco, which hosts the Pleasanton games.

The Scots Guards will leave the Fairmont Hotel just before noon, marching across Market Street to the fountains in Plaza de Cesar Chavez and then up to the stage at the plaza's north end. So grab a lunch and get a good spot for the show.

Of course, if you miss them Thursday, you can catch the Scots Guards at the Scottish Games, where they'll share the spotlight with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band. They'll be marching in both Saturday and Sunday afternoons with a huge assemblage of 30 North American pipe bands. For more information, go to www.thescottishgames.com.

PARTY FOR A CAUSE: Jay Meduri, owner of San Jose's Poor House Bistro, reminded me that the second annual Lil' Easy Backyard Party is taking place Sept. 6 at the New Orleans-themed restaurant on Autumn Street.


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It's a fundraiser for the Stroke Awareness Foundation that's held in memory of Sally Meduri, Jay's mom, who died in 2012 following a stroke. She enjoyed being at the Poor House -- and why not, it used to be the family home -- and Meduri thought the party would be a way to honor her memory that she would get a kick out of.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with two stages featuring nine bands. The Chris Cain Blues Band, Lara Price's Girls Got the Blues and Quinn Deveaux and the Blue Beat Review are just a few of the offerings. Seating starts at $40 (VIP seats including brunch are $20 more), and reservations are required. Get a spot by calling 408-292-5837 or emailing manager@poorhousebistro.com.

DOWNTOWN SOUNDS: The T Clemente Band will be rocking things up in Cogswell Plaza in downtown Palo Alto for a lunchtime crowd on Thursday. The show is part of the Cogswell Concerts series that has been taking place this summer at noon every Thursday through Sept. 11.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.