By Noel Smith
The end of another summer of entertaining family and friends as visitors showing them how truly fortunate we are here is Santa Cruz County to have such a variety of fun stuff to do and see. While the rest of the country has been sweltering and looking skyward at something they called an eclipse, we have had our foggy, cool mornings and sunny, zephyrous afternoons to enjoy. Now is time for lots of celebrations as the summer ends!
68th — and Final — Begonia Festival
Over Labor Day weekend, September 1 – 4, we have the last of our Begonia Festivals here in Capitola by the sea. Be sure to take part as the Capitola Begonia Festival features fun activities that the whole family can enjoy, from a Sand Sculpture contest, a Fishing Derby, Row Boat races, and the Nautical Parade of begonia-laden boats traveling down Soquel Creek and under the bridge. Join in on Children’s Art events, Horse- shoes tournament, or decorate yourself with begonias! Watch as float builders rush to put the finishing touches on their parade entries. Watch a movie on the beach, or dance to the sounds of the bands. All events are FREE!
35th Annual Capitola Art & Wine
The following weekend is the 35th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival Saturday September 9 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday September 10, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission free! Over 160 fine artists and 22 wineries will participate in the 2017 Festival. Try browsing though one of the most picturesque places on the planet looking for that perfect piece of art, decoration or jewelry.
Sample some of the best wine California has to offer from grapes grown in the Mountains of Santa Cruz. Listen to Extra Large, The Lost Boys featuring James Durbin, and The Fundamentals. Feast on gourmet offerings from artichokes to zucchini. If that isn’t enough, Capitola Village is filled with restaurants for every taste, and charming boutiques to satisfy a shopper’s dream.
Relax while the kids create a masterpiece of their own in the Kids Art & Music Area, and kids of all ages will be fascinated by street performances of The Great Morgani and The Surfing Magician. It’s a fun weekend for the whole family all in charming Capitola Village overlooking beautiful Monterey Bay.
Santa Cruz County Fair
Helping to make September the most celebrated month of the year is the County Fair from September 13-17. This is where you get to see all those farm animals, equipment and livestock that is such a part of the history of our region. The 4-H and the FFA youth get to show what they’ve learned and the county’s best apple pie is chosen.
If that is not exciting enough for you, there are the carnival rides, horse shows, professional entertainment and the food to help fill your day. Michael Mezmer is a multiple award winning magician who has performed at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, casinos, amusement parks, on cruise ships, at Fairs, Festivals and in 24 countries worldwide. Don’t miss the Michael Mezmer’s “Danger Magik” show twice daily on the Tank House Stage. See the daily schedule in the Santa Cruz County Fair Guide for show times.
For family excitement, see The Wild West Turkey Stampede races across the Tank House Lawn and the All Alaskan Racing Pigs return to the beautiful lawn near the livestock area, bringing cheering crowds to the Santa Cruz County Fair!
On Sunday afternoon September 17 the last day of the fair, the Charros share their passion for horses as the main Horse Show Arena at the Fairgrounds transforms itself from a competitive horsemanship arena into a performance venue. The traditional Charro show returns with a start time of 4 p.m.
Truly, there is such a thing as a perfect ending to summer.