This Weekend in Santa Cruz: September 9th – 11th, 2016

This Weekend in-22

The second week of September packs a lot for everyone so if you were away for the holiday weekend, now’s your chance to make up for it.

Dive into the wide array of events including the much-loved Greek Festival downtown and Capitola’s Art and Wine Festival. The 4th Annual Mole & Mariachi Festival is also sure to be a hit.

There are plenty of kid-friendly things to do and some free historic and cultural events. Get out your planners now!

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


35th Annual Santa Cruz Greek Festival


When: 9/9 – 9/11 
Where: 223 Church Street, Downtown Santa Cruz, between Cedar and Center Street
Cost: FREE Admission

With great food, lively music, and festive dancers in traditional costumes, it’s easy to see why it’s Santa Cruz County’s voted “Best Street Festival.” This 3-day event features a taverna with Greek wine, beer and spirits, as well as vendors showcasing ethnic jewelry, pottery, and clothing. Fun!

Get more info here.

Community Free Day

When: 9/9 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Seymour Discovery Center
Cost: Free

The Seymour Marine Center opens its doors to the community for free today. Exhibits are constantly changing so it’s great to check it out – bring the kids. There are interactive displays and you can observe and learn about local marine climate, geography and sea life.

Get more info here.

A Streetcar Named Desire presented by Jewel Theatre Company


When: 9/9 – 9/10 at 8:00 pm and 9/11 at 2:00 pm
Where: The Colligan Theater
Cost: $37 – $43

This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee William is definitely a great production to see live on the stage given the emotional volatility of the main characters and the lively scene set in the French Quarter of New Orleans after World War II.

Get more info here.

Home/Work Grand Reopening “Find Your Inner Hippie”


When: 9/9 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Home/Work, 1100 Soquel Ave
Cost: Free

Home/Work has moved to Midtown and they’re inviting you to celebrate. Browse their creative collections for the home and workspace. They’ll have a tarot card reader, spirit animal spritzers, photo booth fun, and beer and tapas for all to enjoy.

Get more info here.

City of Santa Cruz 150th Anniversary Event: Open House Tour


When: 9/9 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Civic Auditorium
Cost: Free

Sure you may have seen concerts or the Derby Girls here but ever wonder about the history or inner workings of the Civic Auditorium? As part of the city’s 150th anniversary celebration, you can take a free tour beyond the bleachers and learn about the facility’s past as well as future plans.

Get more info here.

Also on Friday

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Mole & Mariachi Festival 2016

mole & mariachi festival 2016

When: 9/10 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
Cost: Free Admission, $10 Tasting Kits

If you’re a fan of Mexican food, in particular mole sauce, the Mole & Mariachi Festival is not to be missed. Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park will transform to a mole kitchen as competing chefs concoct their own versions of the delectable sauce sometimes made with chocolate for visitors to sample. The event will feature live music and dance, kids’ activities, a raffle, and a variety of craft vendors.

Get more info here.

Capitola Art & Wine Festival

When: 9/10 – 9/11 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Where: Capitola Village
Cost: Free

Art and wine for the grownups and a mini Art & Juice Festival for the kids means weekend fun for the whole family—just steps from the beach! This year the festival will feature a Local Artisans Marketplace with locally made food and crafts. Entertainment includes Extra Large, Beach Cowboys, House Rockers, and The Lost Boys featuring James Durbin.

Get more info here.

Snapshot Stories


When: 9/10 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
Cost: Free

Want to check out Santa Cruz history while also becoming a part of history? Bring historical family pictures with you depicting Santa Cruz scenes and event helpers will scan them and return them to you along with digital copies on USB. Your family archives will become part of the library’s local historical collection. How cool is that?

Get more info here.

31st Annual Ohlone Day Celebration

When: 9/10 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Cost: Free; Day-use parking fee is $10

Ohlone Day is filled to the brim with living history activities for all ages. Observe Ohlone demonstrators and participate in traditional songs, stories, art, dance, games and more.

Get more info here.

Rock Out! Rock Climbing Fundraiser


When: 9/10 from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Pacific Edge Climbing Gym
Cost: $20 Suggested Donation

Dig into your costume box and don your leg warmers, florescent wear, shoulder pads and put on your side pony tail or mullet wig as the Pacific Edge Climbing Gym goes back to the 80s. It’ll be a fun night of climbing and music with proceeds going to the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz.

Get more info here.

The Age of Love documentary film

When: 9/10 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Louden Nelson Community Center
Cost: $10 – $15

You’re never too old to date and this documentary illustrates that succinctly by following a group of 70 to 90 year olds at a speed dating event. An hour-long social mixer will follow the screening with activities to get you talking about the film. Sign up to participate in a future senior speed dating event. (Attending the screening is not limited to this age demographic).

Watch trailer here.
Get more info here.

Santa Cruz World Arts Festival Family Days

When: 9/10 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Aptos Library, 7695 Soquel Drive, Aptos, Ca., 95003
Cost: Free

Bring the kids for an hour to the Aptos Library and get your bodies moving to the rhythms of Mexican Ballet Folklórico dance. You’ll all do a little warm up (calentamiento) then follow Malena Vega learning some basic footwork (técnica), rhythmic patterns and vocabulary.

Get more info here.

Joe’s Bar Pig Roast


When: 9/10 at 6:00 pm
Where: Joe’s Bar in Boulder Creek
Cost: $15

Enjoy an old-fashioned Pig Roast with all the trimmings, plus live music and a raffle with some great local prizes. All proceeds benefit Valley United Churches.

Get more info here.

35th Annual Santa Cruz Greek Festival

See Description Under Friday Section

A Streetcar Named Desire presented by Jewel Theatre Company

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.


San Francisco Comedy Competition

When: 9/11 at 9:00 pm
Where: Crow’s Nest
Cost: $10

The 41st San Francisco Comedy Competition comes to the Crows Nest Sunday night. This contest discovered comedic greats like Louis C.K., Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams and Dana Carvey. Get ready for belly aches as the top five in this competition do their best to have you rolling over with laughter and go on to win the title of best comic by judges.

Get more info here.

VIVA Paella Dinner Benefit


When: 9/11 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Aptos location
Cost: $75

Feast on paella prepared right before your eyes! This benefit dinner support the Teen Kitchen Project’s efforts to cook and deliver nourishing meals to local families in crisis due to life-threatening illness. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to dine for a cause and enjoy a taste of Spain.

Get more info here.

35th Annual Santa Cruz Greek Festival

See Description Under Friday Section

Capitola Art & Wine Festival

See Description Under Saturday Section

Also on Sunday

Featured Upcoming Event


What: Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival
Where: Roaring Camp Railroads
When: September 17 & 18 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Head to Felton for a 2-day music festival in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains. George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, G Love & Special Sauce, Sheila E., and Ozomatli are a few of the performers ready to rock the crowd. Weekend and single-day passes available, as well as discounted youth tickets.

Get more info here.

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About Keri Robinson

Keri Robinson has grown up coming to Santa Cruz and is proud to have made it her permanent residence as of 2011. She is a writer and blogger, active within the community. When not adventuring with her dog, kayaking, climbing or running she can be found at a local coffee shop, chronicling her adventures. Check out Keri's personal site to see more of her work.