Whichever time of year you visit, the cultural calendar of Santa Barbara, California, is packed with eclectic events feting everything from food and wine to sun goddesses and the city’s Spanish heritage with signature festivals like epicure.sb, the infamous Summer Solstice Parade and Fiesta’s Old Spanish Days.
Its peak festival season is summer, when visitors can count on a free festival or cultural celebration nearly every weekend. Summer kicks off with the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival (May 28 – 30), a Memorial Day weekend tradition at Mission Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara celebrates its cherished sunshine during the colorful Summer Solstice Parade and Festival (June 24 – 26). Independence Day (July 4) festivities include a parade on State Street, a Pops concert in the Courthouse Sunken Gardens and fireworks on the waterfront. Santa Barbara’s Pacific Pride Festival (July 9) at Chase Palm Park is the region’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer Pride celebration.
The largest Bastille Day celebration west of the Mississippi, Santa Barbara’s French Festival (July 16 – 17) attracts over 20,000 Francophiles for two days of French food, music and dance. Old Spanish Days Fiesta (August 3 – 7) spices things up with a five-day celebration of Santa Barbara’s American Indian, Spanish and Mexican heritage. The annual culinary extravaganza “epicure.sb: a month to savor santa barbara” (October 1 – 31) marks the transition to Indian Summer with 100-plus events including food and drink festivals, cooking classes, winemaker dinners and more.
Considered the northernmost point of Southern California and the southernmost point of Northern California, Santa Barbara spans 100 miles of pristine coastline. Santa Barbara is known as The American Riviera® thanks to its Spanish-Revival architecture, rich heritage, world-renowned food-and-wine scene, stunning natural beauty and near-perfect weather.
For more information about top events in California take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in California.
For more information on events and festivals in Santa Barbara visit www.santabarbaraca.com