This Weekend in Santa Cruz: August 4th – 6th, 2017

santa cruz sunset. photo by valerie lemke

Photo by Valerie Lemke

There is plenty on tap for Santa Cruz this weekend.

It’s that time of year to celebrate a certain sweet red fruit that happens to be Pajaro Valley’s biggest crop. You can also enjoy a free concert at the Beach Boardwalk from a popular 80s rock band,  go on an art tour or even attend two launch parties. Top off your weekend with some local craft beer and good food. These are just a few of the things on tap for this weekend.

Have fun!

See our picks for the top events each day this weekend:



When: 8/4 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Cost: Free

Grab your favorite beach blanket or chair and head out to the sand. The Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach concert series is in full swing with this popular chart-topping rock band from the SF Bay Area. Hits include “Rescue Me” and “Mean Streak.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

two gentlemen of verona

When: 8/4 at 8:00 pm and 8/5 at 2:00 pm
Where: The Grove at DeLaveaga Park
Cost: $20 – $55

Come and see this comedy adventure about two men on a journey of self-discovery to Milan who soon find that they may have to choose between their friendship and love. Two clowns and a dog join the cast in this unusual and fun Shakespeare performance.

Get more info here.

First Friday Santa Cruz

First Friday Santa CruzWhen: 8/4 times vary
Where: Various venues throughout the county
Cost: Free

An art-filled Friday is on the calendar with this monthly art tour. Start the weekend out with a creative experience, and view the work of Santa Cruz County’s local talented artists.

Get more info here.

Here are a couple First Friday ideas to get you started:

Also on Friday

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Bearskin Book Launch

bearskinWhen: 8/5 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Where: Wilder Ranch State Park
Cost: Free

Join local fantasy author Tannara Young for the launch or her new eBook, “Bearskin.”  There will be raffle prizes, treats, and a short reading along with an opportunity to meet and get an “authorgraph” from the author. Located at the Cowboy Cabin north of the main ranch house.

Get more info here.

Craft Beer and Mole: 1st Saturdays at CBC

mole and beerWhen: 8/5 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Corralitos Brewing Company
Cost: Free

How about mole nachos, mole bowls or a cactus and kale salad with that local craft beer? On the first Saturday of each month through October, Corralitos Brewing Company will be serving food along with your favorite beer choices. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.

Get more info here.

26TH Annual  Church Street Fair

When: 8/5 – 8/6 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: Free

Spend a day outside enjoying a celebration of Santa Cruz culture through music, food, dance, activities for kids, art and wine. Non-stop performances throughout the day will demonstrate our diverse local culture with traditions from around the world.

Get more info here.

Watsonville Strawberry Festival

When: 8/5 – 8/6 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Where: Historic Downtown Watsonville
Cost: Free

It’s that time of year to celebrate the wonderfully sweet red fruit that just happens to also be the largest crop in the Pajaro Valley. There will be music, food, vendors, family activities and even a pie eating contest.

Get more info here.

When Dove’s Cry: The Prince Tribute Show

When: 8/5 at 8:00 pm
Where: Don Quixote’s
Cost: $10 adv./$10 door

This Prince tribute band of  eight members gives more than an impersonation as they perform the “Purple Rain” album in its entirety along with greatest hits and more from their 70 plus song playlist.  Ages 21 & up.

Get more info here.

Ralph Anybody’s KPIG 25th Anniversary Extravaganza

When: 8/5 at 7:30 pm
Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Cost: $25 – $40

A night out with top live local music and comedy to celebrate Ralph Anybody’s 25 years on the air. Performances by The Carolyn Sills Combo, Michael Gaither, Sherry Austin with Henhouse and comedian Richard Stockton. This show will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Doors open at 7:00.

Get more info here.

Mountain Jam 2017

When: 8/5 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Loma Prieta Playfield and Gazebo
Cost: Free admission

This free family-friendly music festival features several local bands playing several genres of music for a good cause. Enjoy live music, games and activities, BBQ picnic fare, and a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit local school music programs as well as local homeless shelters.

Get more info here.

BHODY Kid’s Week Event!

When: 8/5 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: BHODY Downtown Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Bhody is hosting their first ever Downtown Santa Cruz Kids Week Event! There will be light refreshments for kids and their parents, a Junior Artist Area to draw and color, a kids fashion trunk show, and DIY canvas bag painting. Be sure to RSVP to reserve a canvas bag for your child.

Get more info here.

Community Bridges 2nd Annual Farm to Fork Gala Dinner

When: 8/5 from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Aptos Village Park
Cost: $125 – $1,200

Community Bridges’ second Annual Farm to Fork Gala Dinner is an opportunity to eat, drink, and make a difference. Feast on a locally-sourced gourmet dinner, enjoy live music, and get your bids ready for the live auction! This event supports programs that that reach 22,000 local children, families, and seniors.

Get more info here.

Also on Saturday

santa cruz instagramKeep up with us all weekend long, and see which events we’re attending, by following Santa Cruz Life on Instagram.


Cabrillo Festival Orchestra Free Family Concert

family concertWhen: 8/6 at 1:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: Free

This year’s annual free concert will feature the full orchestral premier of “Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland” with 15 short and entertaining scenes for the entire family.

Get more info here.

Sunday Art & Music at the Beach – Speak Easy 3

When: 8/6 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Esplanade Park
Cost: Free

This ongoing summer art and music series will feature live music this week from the local swing band, Speak Easy 3. Spend an afternoon listening to good music and viewing the artwork on display from talented local artists.

Get more info here.


When: 8/6 at 7:00 pm
Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Cost: $20 – $25

Join this local favorite band in the celebration of the release of their newest CD. Enjoy an evening of their unique style of funk, reggae, Latin, jazz, and soul as they play all of their originals, plus more. Doors open at 6:30.

Get more info here.


See Description Under Saturday Section


See Description Under Saturday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

What: The Saw Festival
Where: Tom Scribner Statue / Roaring Camp
When: 8/12 – 8/13

A musical festival of saws! The festival starts Saturday with a free acoustic jam at the Tom Scribner Statue in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz, followed by a potluck and jam at Roaring Camp. The festival continues on Sunday at Roaring Camp with more music by some of the best saw players from all over the world, workshops, a saw-off contest, and more.

Get more info here.

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About Valerie Lemke

Valerie Lemke is a transplant from the Bay Area to Santa Cruz County over 25 years ago, and hasn't looked back since. She is a local freelance writer and photographer who loves writing about and photographing one of the most beautiful regions in the world, the Central Coast.