This Weekend in Santa Cruz: March 23rd – 25th, 2018

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There are some big events happening this weekend such as an award show that celebrates the best of our locally creative entrepreneurs, as well as a farewell concert and send-off for a Santa Cruz favorite homegrown singer. (Hint: His first name is James, last name is Durbin!)

Get a head start on egg hunts, march for beer, attend a sheep shearing, watch some basketball, celebrate science and listen to a concert of harps and much more. Check out what we have on tap for you!

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


Food Trucks A Go Go: Swing into Spring!

When: 3/23 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Skypark, Scotts Valley

Swing your way into the weekend with a fun food truck event at Skypark in Scotts Valley. Food Trucks A Go Go is joining forces with Swing Set Lounge to bring you swing lessons, swing dancing, a beer and wine garden, and six awesome food trucks, including Holopono, Saucey’z, G’s Mexican Tacos, Drunk Monkey, Aunt Lali’s, and Bruxo Food Truck!

Get more info here.

The 2018 NEXTies Awards

2018 Nexties

When: 3/23 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Rio Theatre
Cost: Early bird tickets – $20 Regular price – $25 The week of – $30

It’s time to roll out the red carpet for Santa Cruz County’s biggest awards event! The NEXTies are back to celebrate the brightest and most innovative doers in a variety of industries within our community. Enjoy food and drink and an evening of outstanding inspiration. See you there!

Get more info here.

Operation Surf Returns to Capitola

When: 3/22 – 3/28 
Where: Capitola Beach

Operation Surf is back, welcoming another group of wounded military heroes. Operation Surf combines the healing power of the ocean with compassionate mentorship to help active duty and wounded veterans overcome challenges and instill hope. The event will take place at Capitola Beach and Cowell’s. Check their website for details and keep up with the action by following @OperationSurf on Instagram and Facebook.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Iowa Wolves

When: 3/23 at 7:00 pm
Where: Kaiser Permanente Arena
Cost: $26 – $85

A fun evening of basketball is in store as our very own Santa Cruz Warriors take on the Iowa wolves for an action-packed game. The team will be hosting “Charitible Jersey Night” and will be wearing commemorative jerseys for auction to benefit the Homeless Garden Project. Come out and support our local NBA G league team!

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Learning Center Science Festival

When: 3/23 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Learning Center
Cost: Free

Celebrate science and bring your family to the Learning Center’s 5th Annual Science Festival. Plenty of experiments, hands-on activities, and 3-D printing will keep you busy. There will be a bounce house, food and even a chance to win prizes in a raffle.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Paddlefest

When: 3/23 – 3/25
Where: Steamer Lane

All eyes will be on Steamer Lane this weekend for the 2018 Santa Cruz Paddlefest. Surf kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders, and waveskiers will race at Steamer Lane all weekend, with the finals taking place on Sunday. Intermediate racers will surf Cowell’s waves Saturday and Sunday. The 5k/10k Race takes place on Saturday and starts and ends at Cowell’s.

Get more info here.


When: 3/23 at 9:00 pm
Where: The Catalyst
Cost: $15 IN ADVANCE / $20 AT THE DOOR

Did you hear the news that James Durbin and his family are moving to Nashville, TN?! Catch his farewell show with The Lost Boys at the Catalyst and help give him an unforgettable send-off. Good luck on your new venture, James, and come back and visit soon! This event is 16 and over.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Downtown Santa Cruz Beer March

When: 3/24 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: 1130 Pacific Ave.
Cost: $30/35

Explore downtown and march for beer! Check in for a wristband, a beer glass and a passport card with a map of participating locations to taste some local craft brews. There’s even an Instagram contest! Early bird tickets are recommended in case event sells out.

Get more info here.

Sheep to Shawl Fair

When: 3/24 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Live Earth “Lower” Farm, 1275 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville, CA
Cost: $5.00/person; children under 3 are free

Bring the family and enjoy a day of learning how wool gets made into clothing, toys, and art. There will be live music from the Banana Slug Band, music with Musical Me, family yoga with Watsonville Yoga, and a lamb petting zoo. Rain or shine!

Get more info here.

Women Brewers of the Monterey Bay Can Release

When: 3/24 from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

Check out the brand new release of a collaboration beer representing the women brewers of the Monterey Bay. The Amazon Zinger is a Saison brew with Lemon and Ginger. The release will take place here on the same day that Emily Thomas and Taylor Settanni will be introducing the brew at FemAle Brew Fest in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

Get more info here.

A Taste of Cuba – Book Talk, Slide Show & Film

When: 3/24 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building
Cost: $10  – $35

Lead author, Cynthia Carris Alonso will host a talk and slide show about her book on the cuisine of Cuba. She will share the details of her journey through Cuba as she documented and photographed her dining and cuisine experiences along the way. Documentary film “Embargo” to be shown at 6pm-8:30 with a Q&A session to follow.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Paddlefest

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.


Aptos Egg-Stravaganza

When: Sunday, March 25 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Aptos Village Park
Admission Per Person: Spare Change for LEO’s Haven or Book for Live Like Coco; Please RSVP.

This springtime celebration will feature food trucks, a bounce house, face painting, a petting zoo, photo opps with the Easter bunny, and of course, an egg hunt—actually 3 hunts organized by age. Come on out and support this community event that benefits two wonderful organizations, Leo’s Haven and Live Like Coco.

Get more info here.

Capitola Mall Bunny Hop

When: Sunday, March 25 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Capitola Mall
Cost: $5 Donation per family

Hop on over to the mall for a fun-for-the-whole-family celebration. Meet the Easter Bunny and the Easter Fairies, and enjoy an afternoon of fun activities including face painting, balloon twisters, crafts, and more. This event benefits Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services.

Get more info here.

Looking for more egg hunts, Sunday Brunch ideas, and all the best Easter events in Santa Cruz? We’ve got you covered. Hop on over to our 2018 Easter Events Guide.

13th annual Santa Cruz Harp Festival

When: 3/25 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
Cost: Free

Spend a musical afternoon celebrating harps! Hear historical and modern music from all over the world on many different kinds of harps. A fantastic lineup of musicians will be performing. There will also be a harp “petting zoo” at intermission. Before the show, enjoy a free interactive harp art project from 11am-1pm.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Paddlefest

See Description Under Friday Section

Also on Sunday

Upcoming Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Kids Day 2018

What: Kids Day 2018
Where: Downtown Santa Cruz Pacific Ave. sidewalks
When: April 15 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: Free

Mark your calendars as Downtown Santa Cruz prepares to turn into a fun zone once again as Kids Day 2018 hits the streets. Bring the kids and enjoy exhibits, activities and plenty of entertainment. Get a sample of local kids’ programs such as sports, dance, education, art, theater, science and more. Many stores will be offering activities and specials.

Get more info here.

Garden Planting and Wool Day

What: Garden Planting and Wool Day
Where: Wilder Ranch State Park
When: April 28 from 10:30 to 3:00 pm
Cost: Free; $10 Day-use parking

Spring is in the air and it’s time to plant the garden and shear the sheep at Wilder Ranch! Learn how wool is made and see the demonstration of “sheep to shawl”. You can also help plant the heirloom garden just as they would have in 1900. Farm and garden craft activities and games for the whole family.

Get more info here.

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About Valerie Lemke

Valerie Lemke is 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.