Woodies on the Wharf

22nd Annual Woodies on the Wharf: June 25, 2016

2016 woodies on the wharf poster

2016 Woodies on the Wharf poster by Paul Forney


June 25, 2016

10:00 AM - 3:30 PM


Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf



Eras can often be define by their popular cars.

What would the 2000s be without the Hummer, the 80s without sports cars, the 60s without VW Vans?  This is the time of year when Santa Cruzans honor the iconic cars of the pre-60s decades.

That’s right, it’s time for another Woodies on the Wharf event.

Woodies on the Wharf is exactly what it sounds like — Santa Cruz Woodies, a local chapter of the national Woodies Club, show off their pre-1952 wood-bodied automobiles, and invite others to do the same.  The idyllic location of the Santa Cruz wharf just adds some extra eye candy to the day.

The first Woodies on the Wharf, in 1994, featured around three dozen woodies, already making it the second-largest round-up of woodies in the world.  The event has grown to over 200 woodies, and Santa Cruz Woodies expects the momentum to keep going in the years to come.

“We grew up with these cars,” Rowland Baker, co-founder of Woodies on the Wharf, has said.  “Many of them were running to the beaches here in the 60’s while we were trying to ride our bikes with our longboards under our arms.  When a few of us got together and thought about having a display of old woodies as they related to the Santa Cruz Surf culture, we never thought it would grow into one of the largest gathering of wooden cars in America.”

The woodies will be displayed in all their glory from 10 am to 4 pm, and it’s expected to be one of the busiest days on the Wharf all year.  You could easily spend the whole time checking out classic cars, but that’s not all there is to do at Woodies on the Wharf.

There’s live music, t-shirts and other memorabilia for sale, and the entire 100-year old Wharf to enjoy as well.  There’s also a raffle with tons of great prizes.

The raffle is representative of how much Woodies as an organization gives back to the community.  This list shows where the proceeds from all those raffle tickets go, and Woodies is also known for supporting state parks and lifeguard programs.

But possibly one of the best features of Woodies on the Wharf — after the cars, of course — is the accessibility.  Attending the event is completely free, and the Woodies are even smart enough to have a free bike valet service for all the car enthusiast who also love to pedal.  The Wharf is within walking distance from many hotels for out-of-towners, including the Dream Inn and Casablanca Inn.  Parking is extremely limited, so if you can’t walk or ride your bike then hop on the trolley from downtown for the quaintest 25 cent ride you’ll take all year.

Priuses (or is it priui?) may be all the rage in Santa Cruz these days, but to some it seems like not so long ago when woodies swarmed the beach on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Thanks to Woodies on the Wharf, we get a chance to see that happen again.

2016 Woodies on the Wharf

2016 woodies on the wharf poster


The event ends with the parade off the wharf, which starts promptly at 3:30 p.m. This is arguably the highlight of the entire event.


As in years past, there will be a raffle with great prizes. Hundreds of prizes are given away, with top prizes including beach bikes and surfboards. 

Since Santa Cruz Woodies is a not-for-profit organization the raffle proceeds are used to support a variety of Santa Cruz charities. You can find a list of the charities and foundations who benefited from last year's Woodies on the Wharf here. Keep these great charities in mind when deciding how many of those raffle tickets to buy at the event.

Sunday Woodie Cruise

If you miss the event on Saturday, or just want to get another look at these beauties in action then you’ll get one more chance on Sunday.

The day after the Woodies on the Wharf event, on Sunday, the woodies take a cruise through town. This woodie parade begins at the Ocean Pacific Lodge, located at the end of Pacific Ave. at the roundabout. The cars make their way up to West Cliff Drive and head north before returning back to pass the Boardwalk and ultimately over to the Harbor.

Getting There

Given the popularity of the event, it’s always a great idea to walk or bike to the wharf if you’re close enough. In true Santa Cruz fashion, a bike valet will be available (free of charge).

2016 Woodies on the Wharf Begins in...

Woodies on the Wharf
Woodies on the Wharf in Santa Cruz
Woodies on the Wharf. Photo by Jeremy Lezin

Photo Credit: Jeremy Lezin  

Woodies on the Wharf in front of Marinis

Photo Credit, unless otherwise noted: Santa Cruz Woodie Club

Woodies on the Wharf Videos

21st Annual Woodies on the Wharf 2015

by Clay Coleman

Woodies on the Wharf 20th Anniversary in 2014

by Drew Storms

2013 Sunday Woodies on the Wharf Cruise

by Rowland Baker

Meet Surfer Girl

by Kenrg

Share Your Woodies on the Wharf Experiences. Use Hashtag:


Need a Place to Crash?

Coming from out of town?  Here are some recommended hotels, each within walking distance to the wharf:

  • Beach Street Inn & Suites
  • Dream Inn
  • Sea & Sand Inn
  • West Cliff Inn

Sea & Sand Inn

sea and sand inn
  • 5 minute walk to Main Beach / Boardwalk
  • Ocean View Rooms