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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Santa Cruz Labor Day Weekend Events

Santa Cruz EventsLabor Day weekend marks the final performance in the Shakespeare Santa Cruz summer season.  This comes days after the announcement that Shakespeare Santa Cruz will close its doors after this year’s Holiday production.

This weekend also has plenty of other great events, including the always popular Capitola Begonia Festival.  Here are our picks for the long weekend:

Grateful Dead Tribute Band at Don Quixote’s

When: Friday 8/30

Santa Cruz has a deep connection to the iconic band the Grateful Dead.  This Friday, Bay area band Stu Allen & Mars Hotel will perform the Dead’s seminal work at Don Quixote’s in Felton.  The show is 21 and up only, and you can buy tickets in advance or at the door for fifteen dollars.

Friday Night Bands on the Beach

When: Friday 8/30

Former Disney Land in-house band and Beach Boys touring companion Papa Doo Run Run will perform in the final Bands on the Beach of the season.  As always, the concert is totally free — just show up to the Boardwalk and savor the last tunes of summer.

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This Weekend in Santa Cruz: Aug. 23 – Aug. 25, 2013

Santa Cruz Edible Gardens TourFrom music and movies to green-thumbed gourmet, the different events and activities happening this weekend in the Santa Cruz area are bountiful.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best ones:

Bands on the Beach: Eddie Money

When: Friday 8/23

The Boardwalk has been offering tickets to paradise all summer with its free concert series, so it’s only fitting that Eddie Money will be filling this season’s second-to-last slot.  As always, these events can get pretty busy, so try to use alternative transportation if possible

8th Annual Wellness Fair

When: Saturday 8/24

Every year the local College of the Botanical Healing Arts puts on a Wellness Fair in the heart of downtown.  The events includes alternative medicine guest speakers, free samples of health foods and products, and hands-on demonstrations.  Lather on some hemp sunscreen and go join in the fun.

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Capitola Begonia Festival: 61st Annual Event

Capitola Begonia Festival

The following is a guest post by Lin Banks.  Lin was the original Webmaster for the Begonia Festival and was the event organizer from 2001 – 2012.  She currently donates her time & talent as Webmaster for the Capitola Foundation.

Capitola is known for its beautiful beaches, great shops, and restaurants, but it’s also known for some of the best community events around.

The best of the best is the Capitola Begonia Festival, Santa Cruz County’s oldest and most beloved annual event.

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