Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
During the month of April, Santa Barbara’s events calendar is filled with festivals aplenty. From Founding Day Celebrations to Food and Wine Festivals, you’ll wish you had planned to stay all month long. Here’s a list of five can’t-miss festivals during the month of April.
FOUNDING DAY FESTIVAL
Did you know that located in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara is El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park? Rich in Santa Barbara history, this 5 1/2-acre park preserves the site of the last Spanish fortress, or presidio, founded in Alta (Upper) California in 1782. To commemorate 235 years of history at the birthplace of Santa Barbara, visitors and locals alike are invited to attend the Founding Day Festival on Saturday April 29, 2017. Bring the family to El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, to enjoy a costumed reenactment of the original Founding Ceremony held in 1782 and other family-friendly activities across the Presidio grounds.
Attendees of this free event will be entertained with an afternoon of living history stations, stage performances by local Mariachi and flamenco dancers, and tours that focus on the history and culture of California. Additionally, guests will experience what life was like in Santa Barbara as it was during the late-1700s through heritage gardening, colonial cooking, pottery making, Chumash storytelling, archaeology, and more.
SANTA BARBARA FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
If it’s your palate that’s looking for a taste vacation, the 4th Annual Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend returns to Bacara Resort & Spa (April 7-9, 2017). This three-day event gives visitors a chance to savor the distinct tastes, sights, and sounds of Santa Barbara with an all-star lineup of chefs, winemakers and artisans as they celebrate Julia Child’s legacy. The weekend’s tastiest events include Santa Barbara Vintners’ Wine Reception with Chef Nancy Silverton (April 7, 2017), “Celebration of the Santa Rita Hills” Dinner (April 8, 2017) and a Cooking Demonstration with Scratch Bar & Kitchen (April 8, 2017). If you’re not full yet, the weekend ends with the Neighborhood Market Tasting (April 9, 2017), where guests get to sample their way through Santa Barbara’s most flavorful neighborhoods within the beautiful surroundings of Bacara’s Courtyard.
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Santa Barbara’s love affair with festivals is a tale as old as time. So much so that Santa Barbara was home to the first-ever Earth Day Festival. Established back in 1970, the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival is held each April to celebrate, connect and recharge with two full days of entertainment, education and community-building. Now in its 47th year, this year’s festival will take place April 22nd and 23rd at Alameda Park. Highlights of the weekend include the annual Green Car Show, the largest collection of efficient and alternative fueled vehicles in Southern California, a free bike valet with complimentary bike tune-ups and secure all-day parking, a ‘Homegrown Roots Zone’ that connects attendees with local farmers, food and beverage artisans, two full days of music, and a beer and wine garden featuring Firestone Brewery and local wine.
SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS SPRING WEEKEND
Cheers to good wine, food, friends and four days of the Santa Barbara Vintners New Release Spring Weekend, April 20-23, 2017. Now in its 35th year, visitors from all over gather in Santa Barbara for a taste of Santa Barbara County wines. The highlight of the weekend is the Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday April 22nd.
As you walk through the beautiful River View Park in Buellton, your glass will be filled with the newest releases from your favorite Santa Barbara county winemakers. Pair your savory sips with food samplings from over twenty food purveyors as you delight in live music, wine and culinary demonstrations, and local artisans.
SANTA BARBARA BOWL
April marks the start of the Santa Barbara Bowl 2017 concert season, including Radiohead (April 11), Glass Animals & Little Dragon (April 22) and Willie Nelson (April 30). After dinner at one of Santa Barbara’s area restaurants (perhaps La Super Rica Taqueria, a favorite of Julia Child), end your day at this intimate outdoor amphitheater, holding 4,900 seats. The venue is a favorite of well-known artists who come back year after year, including eco-conscious musician Jack Johnson, who has partnered with the Bowl to provide concert goers with the opportunity to purchase a reusable cup, helping to reduce the number of single-use plastic cups per concert season.