Summer Events 24′

By Misty Hall

Wine. Sea glass. Rodeos. The ‘90s. Mac ’n’ cheese. What do all of these seemingly random things have in common? 
They’re all being celebrated on the Central Coast this summer! So get your wide-brimmed hats and your 
sunscreen ready, because we’re going to keep you busy all season long!

JULY

Mid State Fair

July 4
Independence Day

Various locations

Get ready for a slew of amazing Independence Day celebrations across the Central Coast! Here are a few of our favorites: the Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks in Solvang (solvangusa.com/events/4th-of-july-festival-fireworks), at the Old Mission Santa Inés, features local vendors, live music, plenty of fun for the kids, and of course, the fireworks! Ojai’s Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks (4thofjulyinojai.com) will include a concert on July 3 in Libbey Park, and then the next day, a Fourth of July parade along Ojai Avenue followed by music, festivities, and fireworks at Nordhoff High School. The Santa Barbara Fourth of July Celebration (santabarbaraca.gov) will light up West Beach with a day-long party on the waterfront. Before the fireworks show, enjoy live music, food, and vendor booths along Cabrillo Boulevard, and lend a hand the next day with a beach cleanup. The Cayucos Fourth of July Celebration (cayucoschamber.com/july4th) kicks things off early with a sandcastle contest that begins before sunrise, followed by a parade, barbecue, street fair on Front Street, and fireworks show.

July 5-6
Surf Rodeo

Ventura; surfrodeo.org

Since 1997, the Surf Rodeo has been an early summer highlight on the Central Coast. Fusing beach culture and music, this is quintessential Ventura. You’ll find a surf contest, bikini contest, more than two dozen live bands, a cornhole tournament, amazing food and drinks, VIP cabanas, and an all-around sun-drenched good time. Bonus: the event supports many nonprofit organizations, such as The Young and Brave, Boys and Girls Club, A Walk on Water, and Soul Profit.

July 6
Endless Summer Block Party 
by 46 West Wineries

Templeton; my805tix.com/e/46summer24

Peachy Canyon Winery will play host to this year’s Endless Summer Block Party by 46 West Wineries. Sample wines from more than 20 wineries along Highway 46 West under the Paso sunshine. DJ Chad will set the tropical vibe at this island-themed event, and local vendors will be serving up delicious fare to keep the party going.

July 10-14
Heritage Days Midsummer Fiesta

Old Town Camarillo; camarillooldtown.org/heritage-days

Head to Old Town Camarillo July 10 to 14 for family fun and small-town vibes. Games, rides, food, local craft vendors, a car show, and live music complement the many tributes to Camarillo’s rich history. Be sure to make time for the Heritage Walk, which takes you on a historic walking tour through some of the community’s most important locations.

July 10-14
Santa Barbara County Fair

Santa Maria; santamariafairpark.com

The first of the Central Coast’s county fairs, the Santa Barbara County Fair kicks off the season July 10 to 14. Come for the carnival rides, petting zoos, and concerts — including headliners Lonestar and 38 Special — as well as the state’s largest junior livestock auction, fair exhibits ranging from art to horticulture, and of course, the food!

July 13
Tequila and Taco Music Festival

Ventura; tequilaandtacomusicfestival.com

Tequila, tacos, and tunes — I mean, does it get any better? This traveling festival comes to Ventura on July 13 and brings with it some of the best tequilas, margaritas and, of course, tacos! You can choose from several levels of tickets, but if you’re a tequila fan be sure to opt for the Tequila Experience to sample six half-ounce tequilas. All ticket holders will have access to incredible food vendors, craft beers, margarita vendors, and live music from Ying Yang Twins, Ozomatli, OutLaw Mariachi, Upstream, and more.

Can’t make it in July? Plan to head to San Luis Obispo’s festival at the Madonna Inn on Aug. 24!

July 17-28
California Mid-State Fair

Paso Robles; midstatefair.com

Paso Robles is the place to be in the second half of July — it doesn’t get any bigger than this on the Central Coast! The Mid-State Fair attracts tens of thousands of visitors, and for plenty of good reasons: a massive carnival (all the rides, food, and games you can handle), rodeos, shopping, exhibits, livestock auctions, live music, and so much more! This year’s headliners are some of the biggest names in entertainment — think musicians like Miranda Lambert, Sublime with Rome, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, and Jelly Roll, and comedians like Nate Bargatze! Get your concert tickets now, because shows are already selling out.

July 18-27
SLO Summer Music Festival

Various SLO County locations; festivalmozaic.org

Hosted by Festival Mozaic, this 53rd annual concert series features a “diverse repertoire spanning centuries and genres.” Find favorites like Bach, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Wagner, and Beethoven — the list goes on — performed by world-class musicians. Helmed by Music Director Scott Yoo for the last 19 years, the SLO Summer Music Festival is headlined by Artist-in-Residence pianist John Novacek and Featured Soloist Sarah Traubel. Much more than just a series of sit-down-and-listen concerts, you’ll also find things like the family-friendly Peter and the Wolf educational opportunities, film presentations, dinners and parties, and unusual venues (we’re lookin’ at you, Boatzart on the Baywood Pier).

July 19-20
California Wine Festival

Santa Barbara; californiawinefestival.com/santa-barbara

Join thousands of oenophiles on the beach in Santa Barbara for a weekend of wine, food, and fun. This festival is a great chance to explore the region’s many wines, craft beers, and incredible food offerings (seriously, so much good food!). Head to the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort on Friday night for epic sunset views that’ll pair perfectly with the rare and reserve wines you’ll taste. Then join the main event Saturday at Chase Palm Park!

July 20-21
Central Coast Renaissance Festival

San Luis Obispo; ccrenfaire.com/get-tickets/

Don thy best corsets and codpieces and get thee to Laguna Lake Park in SLO on July 20-21! Live music, myriad vendors, falconers, pirates, dancers, knight fights (yes, it’s real armor and yes, it’s full-contact!), hands-on activities for the kids (and adults!) and some seriously epic people-watching make for a fully immersive experience you won’t want to miss.

July 25-28
Ventura Music Festival

Various Ventura locations; venturamusicfestival.org

Also running Aug. 2-4

Don’t miss the 29th season of the Ventura Music Festival, featuring the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, singer-songwriter Perla Batalla, piano duo Anderson & Roe, and a slew of other powerhouse musicians. Get ready for bluegrass, contemporary, folk, classical, classical guitar, and more — including a mesmerizing collaboration between pianist Conrad Tao and dancer-choreographer Caleb Teicher.

July 31-Aug. 4

Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Santa Barbara; sbfiesta.org

Perhaps Santa Barbara’s best-known and best-loved event of the year returns for its 100th year on July 31! This centennial Fiesta promises to be one for the ages, celebrating Santa Barbara’s deep Latino history over five days in a party spread across the city with dozens of events. Music, dance, and the arts sit at the core of Old Spanish Days, as do history and education. Explore historic landmarks, do hands-on art projects with the kids, shop hundreds of vendors, stuff yourself with authentic Mexican fare, take in the parade (and the rodeo, and countless live music and folklorico dance events) … there’s too much to list!

July 31-Aug.11
Ventura County Fair

Ventura; venturacountyfair.org

This year there’s something huge to celebrate in Ventura: it’s the county fair’s 150th birthday! The Ventura County Fairgrounds will play host to some huge names that’ll make the Millennial crowd swoon. Things kick off with the I Love the 90s Tour (Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc, anyone?), but the party keeps rolling with the likes of Sublime with Rome, Ludacris, and Gary Allan, among many, many others. Aside from the live music, be sure not to miss fair favorites like rides, food, games, shopping, and exhibits, as well as the cowboy side of the Central Coast — think mutton busting and the PRCA Rodeo!

AUGUST

Central Coast Cider Festival

Aug. 2 to 4
Ventura Music Festival

Ventura; venturamusicfestival.org

See details under July 25-28 listing.

Aug. 10
Surf ‘n’ Suds Beer Festival

Carpinteria; surfbeerfest.com

There’s nowhere better to be in the summer than on the Central Coast beaches — especially if we’re adding tasty brews to the mix! Enjoy the Carpinteria ocean breeze as you choose from a selection of over 75 craft brews, ciders, seltzers, wines, and even kombuchas. Live music will come courtesy of Cornerstone Reggae, The Vibe Setters, and DJ Marco. Keep yourself occupied between tastings with food and merchant vendors as well as awesome lawn games like giant beer pong! This year’s event benefits the Young and Brave Foundation as an added bonus.

Aug. 10
Paso Robles Rotary Winemakers’ Cookoff

Paso Robles; winemakerscookoff.com

Local wineries and breweries team up with gourmet chefs in this food-and-drink-lovers’ paradise. Teams serve up their best flavors to win the favor of both a panel of judges and event attendees. Proceeds benefit the Harlow Ford Scholarship Fund for area high school seniors. What a delectable way to do some good!

Aug. 17-18
Wings Over Camarillo

Camarillo; wingsovercamarillo.com

Wings Over Camarillo returns to the Camarillo Airport Aug. 17 and 18. Whether you’re a huge aviation buff or just want something fun to do with the kids, WOC is the place to be. You’ll find thrilling performances by some of aviation’s greatest living pilots — who fly everything from WWII planes to helicopters and experimental aircraft — and then get a chance to meet the pilots in person! High-tech, hands-on activities will keep the kids busy between performances, as will the many static plane displays, the car show, the many vendor booths, and myriad of food and beverage choices.

Aug. 17-18
Atascadero Cruisin’ Weekend

Atascadero; visitatascadero.com

Back for the 31st year, Cruisin’ Weekend is ready to roll through downtown Atascadero Aug. 17 and 18. Friday night, hundreds of classic cars will cruise down El Camino Real, showcasing beautiful, painstakingly restored vehicles from the 1950s and ‘60s. Whether you’re behind the wheel or watching the spectacle from the sidewalk, it promises to be a vintage car-lover’s dream! Saturday evening, the fun continues with Dancing in the Streets, a huge musical block party with several stages scattered through downtown Atascadero. While you’re grooving to the tunes, check out the many local restaurants and food trucks, as well as beer, wine, cider, and spirits on offer.

Aug. 24
Santa Barbara Farm Day

Various locations; santabarbaracountyfarmday.com

Explore and taste your way across Santa Barbara County during Santa Barbara Farm Day! On Aug. 24, bring the family to tour more than 10 regional farms, showcasing the best Santa Barbara produce — as well as the incredible people behind it all. Among the many highlights is a stop at Restoration Oaks Ranch, where visitors will get a chance to dive into the local wildlife, ecosystems, and agroecology.

Aug 24
Tequila and Tacos Music Festival

San Luis Obispo; tequilaandtacomusicfestival.com

See details under July 13 listing.

Aug. 24
Central Coast Cider Fest

Atascadero; centralcoastciderfestival.com

Head out to Atascadero’s Sunken Gardens for a celebration of all things cider on Aug. 24! The Central Coast Cider Fest will highlight 20-plus cider producers from across the state. Enjoy your sips along with food, merchant vendors, and live music. Not a cider fan? This year will include some local breweries as well!

Aug 24
Macaroni and Cheese Festival

Avila Beach; themacandcheesefest.com

And now for something completely different: The Macaroni and Cheese Festival! More than 25 chefs will converge at the Avila Beach Golf Resort on Aug. 24 to compete for the Silver Fork Award, and the 2,000-plus attendees get a chance to try all their cheesy, carb-y goodness. Wet your whistle in between mac snacks with a selection of beer, wine, and spirits, and groove from one booth to another with live music all day. Sorry kids, this is a grown-ups only event (21 and over). A portion of the proceeds will go to the Woods Humane Society this year.

SEPTEMBER

Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley

Sept. 13-15
Oxnard Jazz Festival

Oxnard; oxnardjazzfestival.com

The Oxnard Jazz Festival is back in action at ‘oloł’koy Beach Park (Oxnard Beach Park) this September! Organizers emphasize that although it’s called the j  azz festival, it’s actually much more than JUST jazz; think Latin, soul, blues, and R&B. Get ready to celebrate them all during a full weekend of tunes, right by the beach. The rich and expansive lineup is complemented by plenty of food, drink, shopping, and activities for the kids, so bring the whole family!

Sept. 14-15
Ventura Art & Chalk Festival

Ventura; venturaartfestival.com

The Ventura Harbor Village is about to get super colorful! Keep your eyes on the ground Sept. 14 and 15, where local artists will have their incredible art on display for the Ventura Art & Chalk Festival. In between checking out the pieces, enjoy vendors, live entertainment, and the harbor’s many shops and restaurants! Hosted by the Ventura Rotary Club, this annual family-friendly event is a fundraiser for various local charities.

Sept. 14-15
Santa Barbara Sea Glass & 
Ocean Arts Festival

Santa Barbara; santabarbaraseaglassandoceanartsfestival.com

All things ocean inspired are washing up on the shores of Santa Barbara Sept. 14 and 15. Local and regional artists converge at Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival at the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge. You’ll discover incredibly creative works of art: beautiful jewelry, home and garden decor, multi-media pieces, and educational opportunities abound here. Come explore the bounty of the sea, and feel good about doing it — organizers are dedicated to sustainability and giving back to the community.

Sept. 26-29
Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ynez Valley; visitsyv.com/taste-of-the-santa-ynez-valley

Santa Barbara County is home to some incredible wines, and some of the best come out of its Santa Ynez Valley. The valley’s six towns host the Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley in early fall each year to celebrate its amazing bounty. More than 100 wineries, breweries, and distilleries will participate in a slew of events over the four-day party that include dinners, reserve tastings, and art and outdoor activities. It’s the perfect excuse to do a deep-dive into the Santa Ynez Valley!

Sept 27-29
Los Alamos Old Days

Los Alamos; lavmc.org/los-alamos-old-days

Step back in time to the 78th annual Los Alamos Old Days on Sept. 27-29. The weekend is chalk-full of events — dinners, dances, a street fair, car show, and tons of fun for the kids. But the main event is really Sunday’s parade along Bell Street. Dubbed the “Greatest Little Small-Town Parade,” it’s a celebration of all things Los Alamos! See our story on Los Alamos in this edition for more details.

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