Get ready for dancing in the street, live music, dance performances and hands-on activities for the kids at the annual, Church Street Fair, on August 8 & 9 in downtown Santa Cruz.

The “festival within the festival” celebrates the vibrant performing arts community of Santa Cruz County with two days of non-stop live music and dance on the outdoor Church Street Stage, while dozens of premier artists and craftspeople sell their wares all along Church Street.

While the festival presents a multitude of different crafts, food, and artistic mediums to enjoy, its main focus has always been on music and the performing arts.

World music acts like West African vocal and percussion group, Domu Africa, and world beat pioneers Ashwin Batish & His Sitar Power Ensemble will take to the stage along with hometown favorites, Coffis Brothers & Mountain Men and Crooked Road Céilí Band.

Dance groups, including the Te Hau Nui Hula & Tahitian Dance, Samba Cruz Trio and Shakti Bhakti Ensemble and the student performers of El Sistema Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre will get folks dancing in the street.

A collaboration between the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, the Church Street Fair is fun for the entire family with kid-friendly activities such as the Cabrillo Festival’s Free Family Concert and Orchestra Tour and the Creativity Tent for Kids featuring free hands-on art and music workshops all weekend long.

There will also be a wide assortment of local wine and beer tastings on offer as well as delicious bites from local food purveyors.

Holding it all together will be emcee, Brett Taylor of KUSP radio.

Celebrating its 24th year, the Church Street Fair is a festive part of the annual, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, which kicks off its 53rd season on August 7, with composer, David T. Little’s stirring work, “Haunted Topography.”

Get out to the Church Street Fair for culture, food, and fun the whole family can enjoy, and did we mention it’s free?

Info: Church Street Fair, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. August 8-9. Church Street, downtown Santa Cruz. Free. Photo: Gamelan Anak Swarasanti via Facebook.