This Weekend in Santa Cruz: August 18th – 20th, 2017

santa cruz wharf

We’re kicking off the weekend with several musical events to choose from and a food truck event in San Lorenzo Park.

Summer festival season continues with a celebration of art, wine and beer in Scotts Valley, and a day of Polynesian culture at the annual Polynesian Festival and Aloha Outrigger Races on the Santa Cruz Wharf.

Throw in an inspiring body positivity event at the MAH, the championship bout of the 2017 Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ season, Coco Montoya at Moe’s, and storytime in the park and we’ve got ourselves a pretty stellar weekend. Enjoy!


Gin Blossoms

When: 8/18 at 6:30 pm & 8:30 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Cost: Free

Step back into the 90’s with a performance by the Gin Blossoms as part of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Summer Concert Series.  The Gin Blossoms, known for their original sound and raw energy, are most famous for the popular song, “Hey Jealousy.”  Heard of it? The hit came from their breakthrough album, New Miserable Experience, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of that album. So don your best acid wash and plaid and get ready to sing along to one of the great American rock bands of the nineties.

Get more info here.

Mountain Community Theater Presents: A New Works Night “David Copperfield, the Musical”

When: 8/18 – 8/20 at 8:00 pm & 8/20 at 2:00 pm
Where: Park Hall
Cost: $7 General Admission

The Mountain Community Theater is Santa Cruz County’s longest continuously running community theater company, which puts on live theatrical performances early spring through late fall. Currently on the docket is David Copperfield the Musical, adapted from the Charles Dickens novel about a man’s life from childhood to maturity. The story is often thought to be about Dickens himself as he navigates through the ups and downs of hardships and happiness. Leave the smaller ones at home since there are some mature themes, and come early since seating is first come, first served.

Get more info here.

Food Trucks in San Lorenzo Park: Surf & Hawaiian

When: 8/18 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: San Lorenzo Park
Cost: Free Entry

The Polynesian Festival may be Sunday, but you can get in the aloha spirit early at Food Trucks in San Lorenzo Park. Bring your ukulele for a uke-a-long community jam and prepare to learn a Polynesian dance—sounds like a great way to work up an appetite for the many food, beer, and wine vendors lined up. Beach blankets, chairs, and festive attire encouraged!

Get more info here.

August for Abbey

When: 8/18 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Equinox Winery
Cost: Free Entry

If you haven’t tried Equinox Winery’s 1998 Blanc de Blanc Cuvee de Chardonnay, now is your chance! And you’ll be contributing to a good cause, too. Sip on some fantastic bubbly and wine at this special event for Abbey Swegles, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. 50% of daily sales go directly to Abbey’s healing fund. There will also be a silent auction with donations from local businesses and freshly shucked oysters from Bill the Oysterman.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Yellow Submarine Sing-a-long

When: 8/19 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Rio Theatre
Cost: $10

Head to the Rio for a  sing-a-long screening of Yellow Submarine this weekend. This quirky film is  an animated musical fantasy inspired by the music of the Beatles. The film received wide spread acclaim and was thought to give rise to modern animation when it was released. The sing-a-long event is put on by the Santa Cruz Performing Arts and will be led by the talented and esteemed Ben Jammin and Arindam Krishna Das. And don’t forget to dress in your best groovy, surreal style because prizes will be given for the most inspired costumes.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Summer of Body Love

When: 8/19 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
Cost: Free

What does it mean to truly love and accept your body? That is the question being asked at the Summer of Body Love event, where the goal is to celebrate body diversity and provide resources and information on how to feel more self-love. The day is filled with inspiring speakers, music, food, drinks, apparel, and interactive stations to keep you busy all day long. There will also be a screening of “Embrace the Documentary,” about a woman’s journey to embrace her body as a vehicle rather than an ornament. Get inspired to love yourself and explore essential self-care practices at the newly remodeled museum space downtown.

Get more info here.

18th Annual Art, Wine & Beer Festival

When: 8/19 – 8/20 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Where: Skypark
Cost: $25 & $33

The  premier Scotts Valley Art, Wine & Beer Festival will be a fun-filled two-day event held  on the lawn in beautiful Skypark. Take your pick of award winning beer and wine, and with glass in hand cruise around the park to explore art, amazing food, and live music. Saturday brings a Cops ‘N Rodders Car Show and Sunday is Dog Day, which includes contests for best dog costume and most impressive dog tricks. Choose from the basic or premium tasting kit and stay all day! 

Get more info here.

The Home Team Championships/Groms

When: 8/19 at 4:30 pm
Where: Civic Auditorium
Cost: $16-$32

Don’t miss out on the final derby of the 2017 Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ season! Arrive early to see the junior skaters and stay for the home team championship to follow. Since it’s the last chance to see local roller derby until next year, you’ll want to get your tickets now before they sell out, and witness the reigning Redwood Rebels go head-to-head with the Steamer Janes. It’s sure to be a tough fight for the title that’ll have you on the edge of your seat.

Get more info here.

Free Community Day

When: 8/19 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery, Capitola Mall
Cost: Free

Enjoy a free day at the MOD thanks to Kumon of Santa Cruz, an after-school academic enrichment program. Visit the tinker workshop, listen in at the sound lab, and explore the wonders of Santa Cruz County with your child—interactive experiences are the MOD’s specialty.

Get more info here.

Mountain Community Theater Presents: A New Works Night “David Copperfield, the Musical”

See Description Under Friday Section

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.


25th Annual Polynesian Festival & Aloha Outrigger Races

aloha races and Polynesian festival

When: 8/20 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: 21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Cost: Free
Outrigger Races 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Polynesian Festival 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Experience the aloha spirit at one of Santa Cruz’s most beloved events. Get your team together for exciting outrigger canoe races (new and novice paddlers welcome), or come cheer on your friends. Then stroll down the wharf for Hawaiian and Polynesian crafts, dance, food and more.

Get more info here.

San Lorenzo Park Outdoor Storytime

When: 8/20 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Bookshop Santa Cruz
Cost: Free

Join Billie Harris, actress with Shakespeare Santa Cruz and Cabrillo Stage, as she reads at the final outdoor storytime of the summer at the San Lorenzo Park reading bench. In celebration with Bookshop’s 50th anniversary last year, they commissioned three “artful reading benches” to create reading spots for children in local parks and brought reading to life with their series of outdoor storytimes. Children’s books with environmental themes will be featured this Sunday, which is cosponsored by Coastal Watershed Council.

Get more info here.

Coco Montoya

When: 8/20 at 4:00 pm
Where: Moe’s Alley
Cost: $20 advance, $25 day of show

Celebrating the release of his Alligator CD, “Hard Truth,” blues favorite Coco Montoya returns to Moe’s as part of the Afternoon Blues Series. Coco Montoya is known for his “icy hot” guitar style which he learned from Albert Collins when he was a drummer for his band, but has developed with his own hard-edged sound and style. “Hard Truth” may be his best work yet with soulful vocals and his signature unpredictable guitar playing, his music is always funky and passionate.

Get more info here.

Sunday Art & Music at the Beach

When: 8/20 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Esplanade Park
Cost: Free Admission

This is what a Sunday afternoon is all about, a little art and a little music with the Monterey Bay as your backdrop. View and purchase quality artwork from local artists including painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry and mixed media. Live music on the Esplanade Stage runs from 2-4pm to add to the experience.

Get more info here.

Mountain Community Theater Presents: A New Works Night “David Copperfield, the Musical”

See Description Under Friday Section

18th Annual Art, Wine & Beer Festival

See Description Under Saturday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Eventparks & rex pool party

Bring the whole family—yeah, your dog too!—to Simpkins Family Swim Center for an end-of-summer celebration benefitting County Parks youth programs and Animal Shelter programs. Nevermind the great food, beer, and activities lined up for kids and adults, your pooch can get pampered at the doggie day spa and go hot dog bobbing.

Get more info here.

What: Parks & Rex Pool Party!
Where: Santa Cruz County Parks Department
When: Saturday, August 26 at 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM PDT 

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About Leslie Chavez

Leslie Chavez moved to Santa Cruz to study literature at UCSC some years ago and loved it so much she decided to stay! She now works in travel and tourism and enjoys writing about the things that make Santa Cruz so great! You can find her running along West Cliff, hiking in the redwoods or exploring the newest restaurant or happening around town. Follow her adventures here.