Central Coast Events, Spring 2020

By Tiobe Barron

Spring heralds a flurry of activity in the natural world, and with how breath-takingly beautiful this part of the world is this time of year, whether you’re passing through California, or have lived here your whole life, you’ll want to get out and enjoy it too. Here is just a smattering of the events happening around Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties this spring.



• Bonnie Raitt, March 20, 8 p.m.

Blues legend Bonnie Raitt, popular for her hits such as “Something to Talk About” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” brings her Dig in Deep tour to the Chumash Casino for one night only.

Cost: $69 to $99
Where: Chumash Casino, 3400 CA-256, Santa Ynez
Tickets and more: www.chumashcasino.com/entertainment

• 23rd annual Celebration of the Whales, March 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Commemorate the seasonal migration of California’s gray whales with this family-friendly festival featuring live music, raffles, chalk art, and more.

Where: Channel Islands Maritime Museum, 3900 Bluefin Cir, Oxnard
More: www.channelislandsharbor.org

• The Hunt, March 28, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Hop on over to Plaza Park for Ventura’s largest Easter egg hunt! Different age groups gets different time slots to search, and face painting, arts and crafts, and jumpers will be available to keep your little bunnies chipper.

Where: Plaza Park, Chestnut and E. Thompson Blvd, Ventura
More: www.thehuntventura.com

• Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, March 31, 7:30 p.m.

University California Santa Barbara Arts and Lectures program presents this lecture with world-renowned conservationist and primate expert Dr. Jane Goodall as she recounts her career spanning six decades studying wildlife.

Cost: $38.50- $88.50
Where: 1317 State St, Santa Barbara
Tickets and more: www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu



• Spring Wild Flour Celebration , April 3 – 5

Inspired by the annual spring wildflower bloom, Cuyama Buckhorn teams up with Tehachapi Grain Project, Sommelier Elena Leibee, Chef Alison Trent and Bakers outpost for a weekend packed with stargazing, yoga, hiking through the superbloom, breadmaking, olive oil tastings, dinner and wine pairing, discussions about heritage grains and milling, a film screening, and more.

Where: Cuyama Buckhorn, 4923 Primero St, New Cuyama
Tickets and more: www.cuyamabuckhorn.com/happenings

• Kandi White at Campbell Hall, April 13, 7:30 p.m.

Join Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Kandi White as she discusses intersectionality, sustainability, and actions we can all take to address the climate crisis.

Where: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, Santa Barbara
More: www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu

• Nature Photography Class, April 16, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Come learn how to channel your inner Ansel Adams in this free offering from Camarillo Grove Park. Participants will learn how to look for wildlife-rich areas, and tips for capturing creatures on film (or the digital equivalent).

Where: Camarillo Grove Park, 6968 E. Camarillo Springs Rd, Camarillo
More: www.conejovalleyguide.com/local-events

• 12th annual Wine 4 Paws, April 18-19, 2020

What’s better than enjoying a glass of wine from an area renowned for its delicious vino? Drinking wine while saving lives! Various participating San Luis Obispo wineries team up in this benefit for the Woods Humane Society.

Where: various vineyards in San Luis Obispo County
Tickets and more: www.woodshumanesociety.org/news-and-events

• 50th annual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, April 18-19, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.

This family-friendly festival is the longest-running Earth Day event in the U.S. Featuring more than 200 eco-savvy vendors and exhibits, a beer garden, and live music, Santa Barbara Earth Day is all about cultivating enthusiasm around climate action and sustainability.

Where: Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St, Santa Barbara
For More: www.sbearthday.org

• Santa Paula Founding Day, April 22, 5- 8 p.m.

Founded on this day in 1902, commemorate Santa Paula’s rich history by visiting the downtown district, museums, or touring the numerous stately Victorian homes.

Where: Downtown Santa Paula
More: www.visitsantapaulaca.com

• Solvang Datsun Roadster Classic, April 24- 25

This Datsun car show kicks off Friday night with a meet-and-greet at the Mendenhall Museum of Gasoline. Datsun aficionados from around the world gather and enthuse at this one-of-a-kind happening.

Cost: varies with event/registration
Where: various locations in Solvang
For more: www.solvangroadstershow.wordpress.com

• Morro Bay Kite Festival, April 24-26, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

In the words of Mary Poppins: Let’s go fly a kite! Let your spirit soar through the spring air with the whimsy of this family-friendly art.

Where: Morro Rock Beach, 200 Coleman Dr, Morro Bay
More: www.morrobaykitefestival.org

• Nature Photography Class, April 16, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Come learn how to channel your inner Ansel Adams in this free offering from Camarillo Grove Park. Participants will learn how to look for wildlife-rich areas, and tips for capturing creatures on film (or the digital equivalent).

Where: Camarillo Grove Park, 6968 E. Camarillo Springs Rd, Camarillo
More: www.conejovalleyguide.com/local-events



• 17th Annual Paso Robles Olive Festival, May 1-3

Sample olive oil ice cream, investigate an olive oil press, watch demonstrations and participate in contests at this weekend ode to the tiny and delicious Mediterranean fruit.

Where: Downtown Paso Robles
For more: www.pasoroblesolivefestival.com

• Bark in the Park, May 2, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Dog costume contests, racetrack, cooling zone, agility course, celebrity dogs, a do-it-yourself dog accessory station, and over 85 vendors of dog-specific goods make this a day you and your favorite wigglebutt are sure to woof. Don’t yet have a canine companion? Bring home one of the adoptable dogs who would love nothing more than to join your family.

Where: Conejo Creek Park, 1379 E. Janss Rd, Thousand Oaks
For more: www.crpd.org/events/bark-in-the-park

• Watercolor Painting at Santa Ynez Valley Botanical Garden, May 2, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Start with a guided tour through the Santa Ynez Botanical gardens learning about landscaping, seasonal blooms and native plants, then let inspiration bloom in a watercolor painting session while enjoying local wine.

Where: SYV Botanical Garden, 151 Sycamore Dr, Buellton
Tickets and more: (805) 990-2105 or www.gypsystudiosart.com

• Sheep Shearing Mission Life Day, May 2, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Get a glimpse into the past as La Purisma Mission docents and staff re-enact activities that sustained life during the early mission years: sheep-shearing, blacksmithing, candle-making, carpentry and more. Visitors get a special behind-the-scenes look at wool production, including family-friendly hands-on activities.

Where: La Purisma Mission, 2295 Purisima Road, Lompoc
For more: www.lapurisimamission.org/events

• Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Libbey Bowl, May 9, 7 p.m.

Swing, daddy! This Central Coast born-and-bred band has been performing for more than 25 years and blends jazz, swing, and dixieland for a distinctly danceable sound. Spend a swingin’ spring evening in Ojai’s historic outdoor Libbey Bowl, located in the heart of downtown.

Tickets: $20-$68
Where: Libbey Bowl, 210 S. Signal St, Ojai
Tickets and more: www.libbeybowl.org

• Mother’s Day lunch train with Fillmore & Western Railway Co., May 10, 11 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Treat mom to a two-and-a-half hour scenic train ride through Heritage Valley aboard an atmospheric, moving piece of history. Relax amid elegant, Orient Express-type ambience while dining on a lunch of chicken cordon bleu with rice pilaf and vegetables. Vegetarian and children’s lunch options are also available upon request.

Where: Fillmore & Western Railway, 364 Main St, Fillmore
Tickets and more: www.fwry.com

• Antique & Vintage Show and Sale, May 15 – 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Fans of Antiques Roadshow rejoice! One need not travel across the country to get a peak at potential antique treasures; Earl Warren Showgrounds is hosting a more local option. Hunt down that perfect conversation piece for your home, peruse potential additions to that special collection, or find a one-of-a-kind gift. Proceeds benefit CALM (Child Abuse Listening & Mediation).

Where: Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara
Tickets and more: www.calmantiqueshows.com

• California Strawberry Festival, May 16 – 17, 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

A veritable strawberry-pa-looza featuring strawberry beer, strawberry nachos, berry kabobs, live music, contests, and even a Strawberryland for kids. Profits from food vendors benefit local nonprofit organizations.

Where: Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave, Oxnard
For more: www.castrawberryfestival.org

• Food Truck Festival, May 23, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Can’t decide what to have for dinner? Have your pick of over 20 different options all in the same locale at this fun, family-friendly festival featuring live music, and lawn games like corn hole and giant Jenga.

Where: Camarillo
For more: (805) 482-1996 or www.conejovalleyguide.com/local-events

• I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, May 23- 25, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Take advantage of the warmer weather with a stroll through Mission Plaza while it plays host to stunning works of chalk art during this Santa Barbara nod to the Italian original. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or a complete novice, you’ll wish this festival happened more than once a year!

Where: Santa Barbara Mission, 2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara
For more: www.imadonnarifestival.com

• Oak Heart Country Music Festival, May 30, 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.

This all-ages concert benefits the Rotary Club of Westlake, and is Ventura County’s largest country music festival. Previous acts include Big & Rich, A Thousand Horses, Danielle Bradbery and Gethen Jenkins.

Tickets: $49.99 – $109.99 (12 years and younger get in free)
Where: 1300 E. Janss Rd, Thousand Oaks
Tickets and more: www.oakheartcmf.com

• Firestone International Beer Fest, May 30, noon to 5 p.m.

Beer lovers, raise a pint to one of the West Coast’s premier suds celebrations! Hosted by the Central Coast’s renowned Firestone Walker Brewing Company, this event brings together 50 of the world’s top brewers to recognize the best in craft beer making.

Tickets: $90 – $200
Where: Paso Robles Events Center, 2198 Roverside Ave, Paso Robles
Tickets and more: www.firestonebeer.com/brewery/invitational-beer-fest.php



• Community Bike Ride Through Downtown San Luis Obispo, June 4, 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

What started as a tradition amongst a handful of friends has grown into a crowd of hundreds gathering to enjoy the downtown scenery with a night bike ride. Everyone is encouraged to come out, bring your bike, obey traffic laws and of course have fun!

Where: Mission Plaza, 989 Chorro St, San Luis Obispo
For more: www.enjoyslo.com/events/2020-06

• Zoo Brew, June 6, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Get your drink on to support your favorite wild things at the Santa Barbara Zoo! More than 30 breweries provide tastings; food and swag will also be available to purchase. 21 and older only admitted to this event.

Where: 500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara
Tickets and more: www.sbzoo.org/event/zoo-brew-3

• Ventura Outrigger Challenge, June 6, 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Hokuloa Outrigger Canoe Club invites you to come participate in or watch their annual open ocean water outrigger race starting at Harbor Cove Beach. The day brings races, games, a beer garden, and more for the whole family.

Where: Ventura
For more: (805) 205-2909 or www.hokuloaoutrigger.com

• Ventura Harbor’s Pirates Day , June 13, 2020

Are you a mermaid or International Talk Like a Pirate Day enthusiast? This is definitely your day! Costume contests, crafts, and shows abound as swashbucklers and privateers transform the harbor for this unique holiday.

Free (but bring your dubloons if ye want grog!)
Where: Ventura Harbor, Spinnaker Dr, Ventura
For more: www.venturaharborvillage.com/event

• Championship Arabian Horse Show, June 18 – 21, 2020

Earl Warren Showgrounds hosts the Arabian Horse Association Region 2 (the Central California chapter) championship show.

Where: Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara
For more: www.ahareg2.org

• Training Clinic at Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Conservation, June 18 – 20, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Meet free-range wild horses and learn humane horsemanship and conservation techniques, as well as how to develop a deeper bond with your horse(s), with Neda DeMayo, Carolyn Resnick and Nancy Zintmaster at this one-of-a-kind workshop at Return to Freedom, a non-profit sanctuary for 43 burros and 500 wild horses.

Where: San Luis Obispo
Tickets and more: email programs@returntofreedom.org and see www.returntofreedom.org/visit/

• Group Surf Lesson, June 20 or June 22, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Ditch the ties and celebrate Father’s Day by taking dad to hang 10! Lovewater Surf Co. provides wetsuits and boards, along with practical and etiquette instruction, to have you enjoying the Pacific as never before.

Cost: $82.50
Where: Choice of beaches in Ventura or Santa Barbara County; see website for choices
Tickets and more: (805) 636-1552 or www.lovewatersurf.com

• Ojai Valley Lavender Festival, June 27, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

France might be the unofficial lavender capital of the world, but Ojai’s love of the aromatic purple plant runs deep. Join the celebrations in this annual free shindig in Libbey Park featuring live music, games, and over 100 vendors.

Where: Libbey Park, downtown Ojai
For more: www.ojaivalleylavenderfestival.org