Events in the Fall


Labor Day Weekend Capitola Begonia Festival Main Beach, Capitola, 831-476-3566 or  From Sept. 3-6, this local favorite dazzles the senses once again. Dive into a stellar weekend-long event that’s always been one of the summer’s best offerings—sand castle-building, a nautical parade, a fishing derby and more. Perfect for the entire family.

Sept/3 First Friday Art Tour  The First Friday Art Tour is a Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts event, managed in conjunction with the participating Art venues. The event takes place year-round and illuminates some of the most talented local artists from local galleries. Log onto the event website for full details, but this one is a must-do. (Most First Friday galleries are open between noon and 9pm.)

Sept/12 Santa Cruz Kite Festival Main Beach, Santa Cruz. More details can be found at  Amazing kite fliers from around the globe do what they do best on Main Beach. There’s also choreographed team flying, demonstrations and more.

Sept/11-12 26th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival Capitola Village, Capitola, 831-475-6522 or  More than 200 artists, 16 wineries and three stages of musical acts. Inspire your young one’s love of art in the kids’ craft area. An all around smorgasbord of art, wine and entertainment. Festivities run 10am to 6pm.

Sept/17-22 114th Annual Santa Cruz County Fair 2601 East Lake Ave., Watsonville 831-724-5671 or  The Santa Cruz County Fair offers six memorable days of fun, including a large carnival full of rides for the whole family, funky foods, live animals and much more. One of summer’s biggest draws and still going strong after more than a century.

Sept/24 FashionART Runway Show Trunk show:11am- 7pm. Runway show: 7:30pm, Civic Auditorium Santa Cruz. (Benefits Los Amigos de los Ninos of California, Inc.). Visit  What was once a small cozy affair has ballooned into an exciting fashion show, complete with top-notch designers and a theme that boasts “art” as fashion.

Sept/27 Surf Shop Challenge Steamer Lane  This new local surf shop surf competition is bound to bring out the masses.


Oct/2-3,9-10 & 16-17 Open Studios Various studios in Santa Cruz, 831-475-9600 or  The most prominent artists’ showcase of the year. Here, local artists are unveiled during guided visits over three weekend dates. Expect to locate some great finds. 11am-6pm.

Oct/6 Wednesday Night Sailboat Races Santa Cruz Harbor, Santa Cruz, 831-425-0690 or  Sailboats race against the backdrop of the setting sun. The perfect setting. Begins at 6:30pm. Through October.

October 9-10 Classic Car Show Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or, 831-426-7433  A vivid array of automobiles grace the Boardwalk in this annual event. Plan a whole weekend around this spectacular car show.

Hot Rods on the Beach Beach Street parking lot, opposite the Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, 831-423-3720 or  Cars—and plenty of them. This local nonprofit car show benefits the Santa Cruz Police Officers Association. 10am-5pm.

Oct/9 2010 Fireworks Extravaganza Seacliff State Beach, Aptos 831-685-3317 or  The sky bursts with grand  fireworks. Best of all, spectators can support local schools and enjoy a beautiful day of food- booth hopping and enjoy live entertainment. 1-10pm.

Oct/16 39th Annual Santa Cruz Youth Band Review March Downtown Santa Cruz, Boardwalk.  Wild, spirited and unforgettable. The youth bands begin a trek from Downtown Santa Cruz to the Boardwalk. Some of the finest bands from high schools near and far come to attend the event. 9am.

Oct/19-24 O’Neill Coldwater Classic Santa Cruz. For full details on the week’s events, visit  It’s not just local any- more. The quintessential surf competition now reaches as far as South Africa. But it got its start here and it’s one fest not to miss.

Oct/30-31 Halloween Bash Weekend/ Harbor Beach Open Volleyball Harbor Beach,  Santa Cruz, Yes, you can mix volleyball and Halloween, expecially on this beach, and especially in October when the weather here is traditionally perfect.

Oct/30 Capitola Village Children’s Halloween Parade Capitola Village, Capitola,  It’s too fun—and too cute—to pass up. Indulge. Bring the kids. 2 p.m.

Oct/31 Halloween Parade Capitola Village, Capitola 831-475-6522 or  A great fright night. Bring the kids and watch ghosts, goblins and fairy princesses as they cavort with spirits of all kinds in the annual Halloween Parade. After the parade, enjoy trick or treat bags, face painting and pumpkin carving. Parade begins at 2pm.

Oct/31 Trick or Treat on the Wharf

Santa Cruz Wharf, Santa Cruz, 831-420-5273 or  The most frightening part? You’ll get a a major sugar high. The Parks and Recreation Department’s Halloween celebration on the Wharf is a magnet for any groovy ghoulie, traveling or otherwise. 4-6pm.


Nov/5 A Taste of Santa Cruz Cocoanut Grove, Santa Cruz. Visit for full details  Food, chefs, wine, more food, more chefs, more wine. You won’t go away hungry here, as more than 100 local enterprises convene for one of the best food and wine bonanzas around. A great event to check out the local chefs and what they are creating.

Nov/20 Wineries’ Passport Program Various wineries in Santa Cruz 831-685-VINE (8463) or  Uncorked and uninhibited. Wineries open their doors to the public, inviting a rare opportunity for sampling wine, barrel tastings, and providing tours throughout.  The Passport Program offers a chance to meet winemakers as well as see what it takes to run a winery. 11am-5pm.

Nov/27 Surfin’ Santa

Capitola Beach, Capitola.  The dude in red gets wet. Fun ensues. Stop by. It all unravels at noon.

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