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Celebrating in Style: Must-Attend Events and Festivals in Santa Cruz

Posted on 18 Feb, 2021 at 12:00 am - by Alex Dormer


Santa Cruz, California, is not only a city of natural beauty but also a hub of vibrant culture and artistic expression. Throughout the year, Santa Cruz hosts an array of exciting events and festivals that showcase its rich cultural scene. From music and art to food and wine, these celebrations bring the city to life and offer visitors an immersive and memorable experience. In this blog post, we will explore the must-attend events and festivals that make Santa Cruz a destination of celebration.

Santa Cruz Music Festivals

Music enthusiasts will find a haven in Santa Cruz, as the city hosts several music festivals that cater to diverse tastes and genres.

Santa Cruz American Music Festival

Experience the soulful sounds of American music at the Santa Cruz American Music Festival. This two-day event showcases a lineup of acclaimed artists, spanning genres like blues, rock, country, and more. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Aptos Village Park, this festival is a treat for music lovers of all ages.

Santa Cruz Jazz Festival

For jazz aficionados, the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival is a must-attend event. Held at various venues throughout the city, this festival brings together renowned jazz musicians and emerging talents for an immersive celebration of this beloved genre. Enjoy captivating performances, jam sessions, and workshops that showcase the rich history and improvisational spirit of jazz.

Celebrating Art and Creativity

Santa Cruz embraces its artistic side through a variety of art festivals that celebrate creativity in all its forms.

Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour

Step into the vibrant world of Santa Cruz's artistic community during the Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour. This annual event invites visitors to explore the studios of local artists, providing a unique opportunity to witness the creative process and engage with the artists themselves. From painters and sculptors to photographers and jewelry makers, the Art Tour showcases the diverse talents that call Santa Cruz home.

Santa Cruz Film Festival

For film enthusiasts, the Santa Cruz Film Festival offers a platform to celebrate independent cinema and emerging filmmakers. This multi-day event showcases a curated selection of compelling films, spanning various genres and perspectives. Immerse yourself in the world of storytelling through thought-provoking films, engaging Q&A sessions, and panel discussions that explore the art of filmmaking.

Food and Wine Extravaganzas

Santa Cruz's thriving culinary scene takes center stage during its food and wine festivals, offering a feast for the senses.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Chili Cook-Off

Spice up your visit to Santa Cruz by attending the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Chili Cook-Off. Held annually, this festival brings together talented chefs and chili enthusiasts who compete to create the most flavorful and mouthwatering chili recipes. Sample a variety of chili creations, ranging from traditional to unique flavor combinations, and cast your vote for the People's Choice Award.

Santa Cruz Wine and Food Festival

Indulge in the culinary delights of Santa Cruz at the Santa Cruz Wine and Food Festival. This event showcases the region's finest wines, craft beers, and gourmet cuisine, highlighting the local producers and artisans who make Santa Cruz's food and beverage scene so exceptional. Sip on award-winning wines, savor delectable dishes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of the city.


Santa Cruz, California, is a city that knows how to celebrate in style. From music and art festivals to food and wine extravaganzas, the city's vibrant cultural scene comes alive through its diverse and engaging events. Immerse yourself in the music, art, and culinary delights that Santa Cruz has to offer by attending these must-attend festivals. Prepare to be enchanted by the creativity, talent, and flavors that make Santa Cruz a destination of celebration.

About Author
  • Alex Dormer

    Alex is a successful travel blogger; he gives great tips to travel enthusiasts regarding how they can save money on their vacations. He's been to 40 + countries, and he mainly focuses on how to cut down costs during travel. 

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