This Weekend in Santa Cruz: September 30th – October 2nd, 2016

this-weekend-in-29Photo courtesy of Christine Marie Chen aka @Bayareaknitter

It’s a little hard to go into the weekend events knowing our Santa Cruz Mountains residents are facing the Loma Fire. We are sending out our very best thoughts for safety for all, especially the firefighters working hard to contain it.

This weekend’s lineup features a grand opening celebration, 150th birthday beach party, a multicultural film festival, and the first weekend of Open Studios Art Tour.

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


5th Annual Watsonville Film Festival


When: 9/29 – 10/2
Where: Fox Theater
Cost: Free to $70

This 4-day film festival begins on Thursday, September 29, and features a newly-restored historic venue, over 40 films, special events with filmmakers, and more. Festival passes and individual tickets are available.

Get more info here.

Redwood Chamber Choir’s Premiere Concert Series! Debut Concert

When: 9/30 at 7:00 pm
Where: Pacific Cultural Center / Ashtangà Yoga Institute
Cost: Students / Seniors $15.00, General – Advanced Purchase $20.00 (Must be purchased at least 12 hours in advance; General admission otherwise $25)

This debut performance features choral music from three living composers considered to be modern day shamans. If you can’t make Friday’s performance, a family-friendly concert is planned for Saturday and a free community concert on Sunday, both in Ben Lomond.

Get more info here.

A Flea In Her Ear


When: 9/30 – 10/1 at 8:00 pm
Where: Park Hall, Ben Lomond
Cost: $20 General Admission, $17 Seniors/Students, $10 Youth 12 and Under

Mountain Community Theatre presents a new version of George Feyadeu’s farce, A Flea in Her Ear, filled with comedic shenanigans and PG-13 fun. Opening Night includes a champagne reception after the show and for the budget-minded, Community Night is Friday, October 14—tickets will be 2-for-$20.

Get more info here.

River Health Day

When: 9/30 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: San Lorenzo Park
Cost: Free; Sign up and reserve your spot

Help native plants thrive by removing invasive species from the lower San Lorenzo River. This is a great volunteer opportunity that will directly impact the ecosystem along the river.

Get more info here.

DIEGO’S UMBRELLA + Coffee Zombie Collective

When: 9/30 at 9:00 pm
Where: Moe’s Alley
Cost: $12 advance, $15 day of show

Local favorite Coffee Zombie Collective will get this Friday night dance party started, and Diego’s Umbrella will keep it going with their exciting Gypsy Rock sounds incorporating punk rock, flamenco, and klezmer.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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4th Annual Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale


When: 10/1 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center in Watsonville
Cost: Free

The plant sale begins at 9am and features 45 different native plant species. Habitat Festival fun starts at 10am and is jam-packed with fun activities for the whole family including a kids zone, live animals, nature walks, story telling, face painting, presentations, and workshops given by experts. ZunZun will provide lively, interactive music for all to enjoy.

Get more info here.

Mammograms and Massages Event-Two Locations

When: 10/1 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm or 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Dominican Breast Center and Watsonville Community Hospital
Cost: Free

Come for the mammogram, stay for the free chair massage (and possibly a bone density screening too). Complimentary refreshments and raffle prizes round out this day of preventative care in Santa Cruz County.

Get more info here.

Big Trees Scottish Gathering and Highland Games


When: 10/1 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Where: Roaring Camp Railroads
Cost: Adults (18-64): $17 ($20 @ the gate), Veterans & Seniors (65+): $15 ($18 @ the gate), Juniors (13-17): $15 ($18 @ the gate), Children 12 & under: FREE

The clans are gathering in the highlands of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Roaring Camp to be exact. Immerse yourself in Celtic music and dance, a craft and food marketplace, and the very heart of the festival, games and heavy athletics.

Get more info here.

Harvest Faire & Steam Festival


When: 10/1 – 10/2 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Roaring Camp Railroads
Cost: Free Admission

Bring the kids to make scarecrows and candles, pan for gold, pick pumpkins, and explore the world of steam-powered machines. Admission to this 2-day festival is free; steam train tickets sold separately and include free pumpkin picking on Bear Mountain for all children.

Get more info here.

Open Studios Art Tour: Weekend One


When: 10/1 – 10/2 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Various locations
Cost: Free

Open Studios is an invitation into the creative workspaces of local artists throughout the county. Plot your own self-guided tour or simply follow the green signs around town. The first weekend of October features South County artists, the second weekend showcases North county artists, and the third weekend is an optional encore weekend for artists throughout the county.

Get more info here.

City of Santa Cruz 150th Anniversary Beach Party

When: 10/1 from 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: Main Beach
Cost: Free

Time to celebrate Santa Cruz style with a beach party and fireworks show in honor of our city’s 150th birthday! A whole day of festivities is in store on Main Beach including kids zone activities, a great musical lineup of local favorites (Extra Large, Coffis Brothers, James Durbin and more), and the grand finale fireworks show at 9pm.

Here’s a great insider tip: If you’d like to avoid crowds on the beach, join the Fireworks Watching Party at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.

Get more info here.

A Flea In Her Ear

See Description Under Friday Section

5th Annual Watsonville Film 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.


Hive & Hum Grand Opening


When: 10/2 from 1:00 pm to  5:00 pm
Where: Hive & Hum, 415 River Street
Cost: Free

This looks like the place to BEE on Sunday! Buzz on over to Hive & Hum’s Grand Opening celebration for giveaways, jam sampling, honey tasting, secret nectar cocktails, live entertainment, and guest presentations, including a special guest appearance by 13-year-old Beekeeper, Jake of Carmel Honey Company.

Get more info here.

Pottery & Glass Seconds Sale


When: 10/2 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Cabrillo College
Cost: FREE

Over the last 30 years, the Pottery & Glass Seconds Sale at Cabrillo College has gained a loyal following, yet remains a bit of a local secret. Over 50 jewelry, pottery and glass artists as well as other craftspeople will have their works for sale at bargain rates. Items are overstock, seconds or experiments. This is a great opportunity to start your holiday shopping early.

Get more info here.

Jessie Street Marsh Awareness Festival

When: 10/2 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Jessie Street Marsh
Cost: Free

Take a tour of the marsh and learn about the restoration efforts surrounding this piece of land near Ocean Street and East Cliff Drive. There will be children’s activities and tamales.

Get more info here.

5th Annual Watsonville Film Festival

See Description Under Friday Section

Harvest Fair & Steam Festival

See Description Under Saturday Section

Open Studios Art Tour Weekend One

See Description Under Saturday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event


What: Open Streets Santa Cruz
Where: West Cliff Drive
When: 10/9/16 from 9am to 2pm

Open Streets returns to West Cliff Drive on Sunday, October 9th! Walk, bike, dance, and play your way up and down the car-free stretch of road between Lighthouse Field and Natural Bridges State Park. This family-friendly event also features free activities, music and dance performances, and community outreach booths.

Get more info here.

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About Christine Candelaria

Christine Candelaria is a local mom of four who enjoys sharing her Santa Cruz adventures. You can follow her #santacruzlife on Instagram at @theaumsmama.

  • Candie says:

    That really catupres the spirit of it. Thanks for posting.

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