Don’t put your festival attire away just yet! September in Santa Barbara is just as festive as peak summer months, with fewer crowds to shuffle through.
The Annual Goleta Lemon Festival is just the place for families and those looking to get their fill of everything lemon-flavored, while wine lovers can sip and swirl their way through Celebration of Harvest. For those who prefer an educational outing, both the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival and Flamenco Arts Festival offer classes to enrich your experience.
But that’s just the start. Here’s your complete roundup of can’t-miss September events:
SB Sea Glass Ocean Arts Festival
All that glitters is not gold — in fact, it may be lustrous sea glass instead. On the weekend of September 9 through 10, visit the Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival for unique crafts and jewelry fashioned from sea glass and ocean-themed art. The only one of its kind in Southern California, the festival celebrates its second year at the Earl Warren Showground and is expected to attract thousands of sea glass lovers and art enthusiasts. Before heading to the festival, see the inspiration behind many of the pieces with a stroll along Santa Barbara’s coastline.
26th Annual California Lemon Festival
You’re in for a lemon-flavored treat at the 26th Annual California Lemon Festival in Goleta, September 16 through 17. For two full days, this festival is family fun at its finest, with arts and crafts vendors, lemon-related treats, a classic car show, and amusement park rides. These are just a few of the many activities planned to pay tribute to the iconic Goleta lemon—which became popular in Goleta Valley in the 1890s when lemon orchards started to flourish there. We recommend satisfying your sweet tooth with a piece of lemon pie, or for those 21+, sip lemon ale brewed by Hollister Brewing Company.
Three cheers for Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company’s FigtoberFest, September 23. Kick off your OktoberFest celebrations at this popular Funk Zone watering hole and enjoy German food, festive music, $5 Figtober Beer, and games throughout the day. We’ll see you there in our finest lederhosen.
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Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival
Fermentation and festival might not be two words traditionally used together, however, in Santa Barbara, the Fermentation Festival is one of September’s top events. On four stages, culinary alchemists, wild fermenters and health experts will give the low-down on the benefits of fermentation. Returning to Rancho La Patera & Stow House in Goleta on September 10, we encourage you to join in on the fermentation fun. DIY Fermentation Stations will guide festival-goers on how they can make traditionally fermented foods. Think spicy heirloom tomato salsa (yum!), fermented zucchini chips, onion relish and more. Don’t miss the DIY Pickle Station, Farm-to-Bar and Bacteria Buddy Passport for kids! But that’s not all. Fermented foods are more than just sauerkraut and kombucha; they include beer, bread, and even chocolate. Sample more than 75 artisanal fermented foods from 50+ exhibitors at this all-ages, experiential gathering.
Flamenco Arts Festival
Celebrate the rich reflection of Santa Barbara’s Spanish culture with four days of Flamenco at the Flamenco Arts Festival, September 28 through October 1. The festivities begin on September 28 with a screening of Flamenco Flamenco, directed by Carlos Saura. Over the next three days, the dancing continues with dance and music workshops, and the U.S. Premiere of UPCLOSE featuring Patricia Guerrero at the Lobero Theatre. If you’ve ever wanted to try and learn the art of Flamenco, this is your chance! Kids and adults are encouraged to put on their dancing shoes for a free introductory class, taught by master dancers.
Taste of Santa Barbara
Brought to you by the Santa Barbara Vintners, this year marks the inaugural Taste of Santa Barbara Wine Country on September 29 at The Fess Parker, a DoubleTree Resort by Hilton. With a glass of wine in hand, bask in the views of a warm September night, while the sound of ocean waves fills the background. This ocean-front and outdoor event will feature over 50 Santa Barbara wineries pouring their new fall releases and library wines, alongside bites from Santa Barbara’s top restaurants. We can’t think of anything paired more perfectly.