Santa Cruz Events

Santa Cruz County has great events all year long, and we'll keep you up to date on the best events, right here.


Santa Cruz knows how to celebrate holidays, as is evidenced by the massive influx of visitors with each major holiday. HIghlights include 4th of July in Santa Cruz, Halloween, and the Christmas holidays.

Recurring Events

Santa Cruz is home to some great recurring events. The First Friday of each month is an art lover's dream, while bargain hunters love the Santa Cruz Antique Faire, held the first Sunday of each month.
During the summer months you can enjoy weekly outdoor events like the Wednesday night Movies on the Beach, Thursday night Beach Parties at the Crow's Nest, Friday Night Bands on the Beach, Sunday Art & Music in Capitola, and many more.

Annual Events

Over the years Santa Cruz, Capitola, and the surrounding communities have developed some amazing annual events. Summer is the unofficial event season, but you can find great events year round.
Favorites include Woodies on the Wharf, the Capitola Rod & Custom Classic Car Show, the Wharf to Wharf Race, the newly added Pleasure Point Street Fair, Begonia Festival, Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Restaurant Week, the Santa Cruz County Fair, the Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour, Santa Cruz Film Festival, the Santa Cruz Greek Festival, and Santa Cruz TEDx. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
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This Weekend in Santa Cruz: Wharf to Wharf Race, Derby Doubleheader & Thomas the Train

Another summer weekend in Santa Cruz, and as usual, there’s no shortage of events to take part in.

It’s too late to enter the Wharf to Wharf Race, but that doesn’t mean you can’t head down to the race to watch.  Speaking of watching, Derby fans are going to be watching, and cheering, this Sunday as the Santa Cruz Derby Girls play a matinee double header at the Kaiser Permanente Arena.

Here are our top picks for this weekend:

Santa Cruz Events: July 26-28

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Hell on Wheels: The Santa Cruz Derby Girls

Santa Cruz Derby Girls

Part Mardi Gras on wheels and part rockabilly hockey without the puck, women’s roller derby is the type of sexy, sporty, full-contact entertainment that fits Santa Cruz perfectly.

These are your Santa Cruz Derby Girls and they go by stage names like Pippi Hard Socking, Inflict Her Pain, Shamrock N. Roller, Liv N. Letdie, Sharon D. Payne and Bettie the Kid.

The names may be in good fun, but on the flat track, they’re all business. The action is real, the outcome matters and Santa Cruz loves every second of this hip-checking, thigh-bruising sport on skates.

Players wear a mouthpiece, helmet, as well as elbow, knee, and wrist pads, which only slightly absorb the inevitable crashes that occur in a full contact sport on quad skates. As you would expect, injuries are common for roller derby skaters.

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Santa Cruz Wharf to Wharf Race 2013

Santa Cruz Wharf to Wharf Poster 2013

Today, the Wharf to Wharf Race is known far and wide as a picturesque six-mile run from Santa Cruz to Capitola.

What many people don’t know is that the race’s famous concept — running from one town’s wharf to another’s — started out as a mistake.

In 1973, a race from the Santa Cruz Wharf to the Capitola Esplanade was scheduled as one of many events to celebrate a Capitola building’s commemoration as a California State Historical Landmark.  273 people participated, and many of them had trouble finding the intended finish line, and instead ran to the Capitola Wharf.

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