This Weekend in Santa Cruz: September 1st – 3rd, 2017

labor day 2017 santa cruz eventsIt’s a holiday weekend of firsts and lasts as summer begins to wind down and September makes a grand entrance.
Celebrate a special grand opening downtown, or head to the beach for the last installment of a summer concert series.

There will also be a final farewell this weekend to a favorite flower-filled festival that marks its 65th year. There’s a lot of local history to be shared, as well as a host of food and entertainment choices that will keep you satisfied on this long weekend.

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

Friday

Art Twistory: The Merry Widow(s)

When: 9/1 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Cost: $10 donation appreciated, $5 students and seniors

Enjoy a fun evening of art and history with a twist. Learn about the background of the legendary “Merry Widow” and her impact on society at this pictorial presentation.  You might even want to wear your own Merry Widow to the event.

Get more info here.

Papa Doo Run Run

When: 9/1 at 6:30 pm & 8:30 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Cost: Free

Labor Day weekend kicks off with the last of the Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach summer concert series. This legendary band will have you rocking to classic tunes of the 60s and 70s as well as their famous re-creations of hits from the Beach Boys.

Get more info here.

Capitola Begonia Festival

capitola begonia festival

When: 9/1 – 9/3 at 5:00 pm
Where: Capitola Village
Cost: Free

Don’t miss the finale of this locally favorite festival! Join the celebration that will mark the 65th and final year. Watch the begonia-covered floats as they parade down Soquel Creek on Sunday, share your memories of the festival, enjoy a sand sculpting contest, a fishing derby, music and more.

Get more info here.

Abbott Square Grand Opening Weekend (Thursday – Sunday)

abbott square grand openingWhen: Thursday, 8/31 through Sunday, 9/3
Where: Abbott Square
Cost: Free

Five restaurants and two bars are making their grand entrance to the newly completed Abbott Square. The four day grand opening celebration kicks off on Thursday with Salsa Night and continues through Sunday with a different themed event each evening. Festivities will include live music, free-t-shirts, exhibitions, and street performances.

Friday night is First Friday: Community Night and there will be a ribbon-cutting and ball-drop ceremony, a community drum circle and live music and dance performances.

See more info for Saturday and Sunday night’s events below.

Get more info here.

First Friday Santa Cruz

When: 9/1 from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: Various Venues throughout the County
Cost: Free

Start your long weekend with an evening of local art on this monthly tour. Enjoy a relaxing night viewing the work of our very talented artists from all around the county.

Get more info here.

Fiddle Extravaganza

When: 9/1 at 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Cost: $22.50 – $26.50 Children 8 and under are FREE!

It’s sure to be a fun evening of music and dance at this 34th annual concert by Alasdair Fraser and the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School. More than 170 musicians will fill the auditorium with music at this lively event for the entire family.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Saturday

Wings Over Watsonville 2017

When: 9/2 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Watsonville Municipal Airport
Cost: Free

Watsonville hosts their annual fly-in this Saturday with activities for pilots, aspiring pilots and enthusiasts. Tours of historic and antique aircraft, sky dive jumps, intro flights, food vendors and more. Parking on runway is $10.

Get more info here.

Grizzly Bear Festival at Rancho Del Oso Nature And History Center

When: 9/2 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
Where: Rancho del Oso Nature & History
Cost: Free

Did you know that grizzly bears once roamed the Santa Cruz Mountains? Visit the “ranch of the bears” coastal section of Big Basin for a celebration of the bears that once lived there. There will be a ranger-led hike, family activities and a talk for all ages.

Get more info here.

9th Annual Songfest for Prostate Cancer Awareness

When: 9/2 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Cost: Free

Come to the 9th annual night of live music and support an important cause with the goal of raising awareness for prostate cancer. Doors open at 4:30.

Get more info here.

Abbott Square Grand Opening Weekend: Music Night

abbott square grand openingWhen: Saturday, 9/2 from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: Abbott Square
Cost: Free

The third night in Abbott Square is all about music. Come on down for live performances from The Trolley Drops, Papiba & Friends, and Pan Dulce.

Get more info here.

Capitola Begonia Festival

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.

Sunday

Free Guided Tour of the UCSC Farm

When: 9/3 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Where: University of California, Santa Cruz Farm and Garden Gate House
Cost: Free

Get outdoors on Sunday for this monthly docent-led tour through the UCSC Farm and Garden. Learn how to make fertile soil, control pests naturally, recycle waste into your garden and more. No reservations necessary.

Get more info here.

Abbott Square Grand Opening Weekend: Boogie and Bubbles

abbott square grand openingWhen: Sunday, 9/3 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Where: Abbott Square
Cost: Free

Parents, you won’t want to miss this one. Anyone who loves bubbles (and who doesn’t love bubbles??) will want to head to Abbott Square on Sunday for Boogie and Bubbles day. Scheduled activities include giant bubble making, live music, and a family funk dance party. Kids will also enjoy bubble print making, face painting and hula hooping. See you there!

Get more info here.

Capitola Begonia Festival

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event

Get more info here.

What: 32nd Annual Ohlone Day Celebration
Where: Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
When: Saturday, September 9, 2017

Go back in time and learn about the Ohlone People and how they have lived in this area throughout history, past and present. Enjoy traditional dancing, music, basketry, fire-making, stories and history that is fun and educational for all. Event is free. Day-use parking fee is $10.


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About Valerie Lemke

Valerie Lemke was 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.

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