Noelle Rogers carves a line at the Longboard Union Invitational, May 26-27.
Santa Cruz Blues Festival (May 26-27)
Top names in blues and American roots music for two days at Aptos Village Park. This year’s guests include the Doobie Brothers, Joan Osborne, Los Lobos and more. For details see program in this issue.
Santa Cruz Longboard Union Invitational (May 26–27)
Longboarders from around the state compete at the longest-running contest on the West Coast.
30th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment at Roaring Camp (May 26-28)
The blue and the gray skirmish in redwood-ringed meadows in one of the longest-running Civil War reenactments in the West.
Strawberry Festival (Jun 2)
Strawberry shortcake, parfait and much more at the Walnut Avenue Women’s Shelter.
Redwood Mountain Faire (Jun 2-3)
Celebrating community through art and live music in Felton. With David Lindley, the Brothers Comatose, SambaDa and Dan P. and the Bricks.
Capitola Rod and Custom Classic Car Show (Jun 9-10)
Bitchen jalopies in the Village. Capitola-by-the-Sea. Free.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Friday Night Concerts (Jun 15-Aug 31)
Free live music featuring perennial favorites every Friday night on the beach.
Japanese Cultural Fair (Jun 18)
A celebration of Japanese culture, featuring live music, meditation and traditional activities on Mission Plaza.
Junteenth (Jun 16)
Crafts, music and speakers celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation at Louden Nelson Center.
Loch Lomond Highland Games & Scottish Renaissance Festival (Jun 16-17)
Haggis, the caber toss and mead all meet at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds.
Monterey Bay Blues Festival (Jun 22-24)
Blues and good times at the Monterey County fairgrounds.
Bonny Doon Art & Wine Festival (Jun 23)
Unlimited wine tasting, fine art by local and international artists, demos, raffles, live music and a live and silent auction.
Woodies on the Wharf (Jun 23)
More than 200 wooden-bodied cars on display on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. Free.
Garden Faire (Jun 23)
All things gardening at the Scotts Valley Skypark.
Bikes on The Bay (Jun 24)
Vintage motorcycle show with hundreds of pre-1985 American, British, European and Japanese motorcycles and scooters. Capitola Mall. Free.
Hop ’n’ Barley Festival (Jun 30)
Two dozen Northern California breweries show off their wares in Scotts Valley.
Fourth of July at Roaring Camp (Jul 4)
A ’50s-themed family Independence Day in Felton.
Old-Fashioned Independence Day (Jul 4)
Wilder Ranch hosts an old-timey celebration with hay rides, big band music, a noon parade and plenty of crinoline.
World’s Shortest Parade (Jul 4)
But Aptos’ annual Independence Day fete is long on festivities.
Star Spangled Cleanup (Jul 5)
Save Our Shores invites volunteers to help tidy up the beaches after the party.
Lumberjack Days (Jul 7–8)
Boulder Creek hosts a day of axe throwing, log rolling and chainsaw skills.
Movies on the Beach (Jul 11–Aug 15)
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk shows free films every Wednesday night at 9pm, starting with Lost Boys.
A Chorus Line (Jul 13–Aug 12)
Cabrillo Stage does Broadway with a big, glitzy production of A Chorus Line.
Festival de Nopal (Jul 22)
Food, live music, folkloric dancing and arts & crafts in downtown Santa Cruz, all in celebration of the cactus.
Wharf to Wharf (Jul 22)
Some 15,000 runners compete in the 6–mile run from the Santa Cruz Wharf to the pier in Capitola, with a festive atmosphere lining the route. Free for spectators.
Monterey Bay Reggae Festival (Jul 27-29)
Three-day reggae festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds with over 20 live performances.
Anything Goes (Jul 27–Aug 19)
Cabrillo Stage mounts a production of the Cole Porter musical, chock full of hits like “I Get A Kick Out of You” and “It’s D’Lovely.”
Twelfth Night (Jul 27–Aug 26)
Shakespeare Santa Cruz presents the classic comedy, replete with twins separated at birth and cases of mistaken identity.
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Jul 28–Aug 12)
The West Coast’s premier contemporary music festival runs for two full weeks with multiple performances, free open rehearsals and special events.
Man in the Iron Mask (Jul 28–Aug 26)
World premiere of SSC veteran Scott Wentworth’s story about the Three Musketeers and their final effort to rid the world of their lousy king.
Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge Bike Race (Jul 28)
A quad-busting road ride through the mountains begins in Scotts Valley.
Watsonville Strawberry Festival (Aug 4-5)
A “berry” fun festival celebrating all things strawberry. Live music and entertainment, carnival, food, strawberry pie eating contest in downtown Watsonville.
Cabrillo Music, Food, Art and Wine Festival (Aug 4-5)
Celebrating the artists, craftpeople and performers of Santa Cruz. Coincides with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
Escaping Queens (Aug 10–19)
Cabrillo Stage production is the world premiere of Capitola composer Joe Ortiz’s musical memoir about an exuberantly diverse neighborhood in New York.
Henry IV Part 2 (Aug 10–26)
Prince Hal tries to get serious for his dying father’s sake while Falstaff continues carousing in Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s production of the Bard’s history play.
Scotts Valley Art & Wine Festival (Aug 11-12)
Great food, live entertainment, wine and beer tasting. More than 100 artists’ work will be displayed. Skypark, Scotts Valley. Free.
Summer Gathering of Mountain Men (Aug 11-12)
Mountain men practice manly skills and rough it out in pre-Goretech style in honor of Isaac Graham, who settled the area in the 1830s. Roaring Camp, Felton.
Musical Saw Festival (Aug 12)
35th Annual International Musical Saw Festival, featuring “cutting edge” and classical tunes, at Roaring Camp.
The Mandrake (Aug 21–22)
Machiavelli’s comedy is translated by Wallace Shawn and presented by the Shakespeare Santa Cruz interns as the Fringe Show.
Aloha Outrigger Races & Polynesian Festival (Aug 26)
Hula dancing, slack key guitar, outrigger races, Hawaiian laulau and poi. Santa Cruz Wharf. Free.
Capitola Begonia Festival (Aug 31- Sept 3)
Live dance performances by local artists, sand sculpture contests, float viewing, chalk on the seawall, fishing derby and concerts in the park all weekend. Stockton Avenue, Capitola. Free.