Fall Events and Festivals in Santa Barbara

Wine, beer and culinary festivals and city-wide art celebrations take center stage

Karna Hughes, Director of Communications
Visit Santa Barbara
(805) 966-9222, ext. 112, [email protected] 


Fall Events and Festivals in Santa Barbara

Wine, beer and culinary festivals and city-wide art celebrations take center stage

 Santa Barbara, Calif. (Sept. 7, 2017) — Simultaneously sophisticated and bohemian, easygoing and energetic, Santa Barbara offers a robust lineup of colorful events and festivals throughout the year.

Coinciding with harvest time, September and October bring major festivals showcasing Santa Barbara’s wine, beer and food scenes, including three new events: the Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival, Santa Barbara County Craft Beer Week and the California Brew Festival.

Read on for details and more news, including city-wide arts celebrations coinciding with National Arts & Humanities Month and other fall events to feast on.


Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival pays tribute to local seafood Oct. 14

Coinciding with the start of lobster season, the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival on Sat., Oct. 14 features fresh, sustainable seafood caught in the Santa Barbara Channel by dozens of local fishermen. A variety of Santa Barbara delicacies will be showcased, from lobster to sea urchin (“uni”). Don’t miss the giant paella pan—it may just be the largest you’ve ever seen. The festival features live music, Santa Barbara County wine and seafood pairings at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, tall ship tours, free boat rides and more. http://www.harborfestival.org/

Fall epicurean festivals run September through October

Fall marks the prime season for Santa Barbara’s many food and libations festivals. The 36th annual Taste of the Town, Santa Barbara’s longest running epicurean tasting event, and a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, takes place Sept. 10. The Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, highlighting more than 75 artisanal fermented foods and beverages, will be held Sept. 10 in Goleta. The California Lemon Festival offers up family fun with rides for kids, pie-eating contests, and lemon-based foods and beverages, Sept. 16 to 17 in Goleta. To the north, the town of Los Olivos’ Day in the Country features a small town parade, artists and food purveyors, wine tastings and more Oct. 21. Santa Barbara Chowder Fest, a chowder showdown, food festival and wine/beer-tasting event, will be held Nov. 5 at The Fess Parker – a Doubletree by Hilton Resort. SantaBarbaraCA.com


 Celebration of Harvest Weekend kicks off in downtown Santa Barbara Sept. 29

Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest offers four days of immersion in Santa Barbara’s world-class wine and culinary scene, with experiences in the city and wine country Fri., Sept. 29 to Mon., Oct. 2. For the first time, the weekend kicks off in downtown Santa Barbara Fri., Sept. 29, with the “Taste of Santa Barbara Wine Country” in the outdoor plaza at The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort. Taste special fall wine releases and library wines from member wineries and small bites from some of the area’s most exciting restaurants. The Harvest Experience Passport features tastings at dozens of participating wineries Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 (transportation provided). Winery open houses, vineyard hikes and winemaker dinners also take place that weekend. celebrationofharvest.com  

Inaugural California Brew Festival takes place along Santa Barbara waterfront

Beer enthusiasts will flock to Santa Barbara’s oceanfront Chase Palm Park during the inaugural California Brew Festival on Sat., Oct. 7, when more than 40 breweries come together to pour hundreds of craft brews from all over the world. Event-goers can dance to the soulful reggae tunes of local band One 2 Tree with the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara’s popular East Beach as a backdrop and a refreshing beer in hand. Awards will be presented to the top three breweries voted on by attendees. Food will be available for purchase. http://californiabrewfestival.com/

 Santa Barbara County Craft Beer Week toasts local brews Oct. 23 to 29

 From Mon., Oct. 23 to Sun., Oct. 29, more than 15 local breweries at over 20 locations will celebrate the inaugural Santa Barbara County Craft Beer Week with a variety of special events featuring pint nights, food pairings, special releases, live entertainment and more. Jump on the Brew Bus will offer transportation to a different city each day, giving beer lovers a fun, inexpensive safe way to explore participating breweries, from Goleta to Santa Maria. The seven-day celebration culminates in the second annual Buckles ‘n’ Brews Invitational Beer Festival, a Kiwanis Club fundraiser featuring 25 select breweries, live music, a barbecue, Halloween costume contest and more Sat., Oct. 28 at the Carriage and Western Art Museum of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara County Craft Beer Week: www.sbccraftbeerweek.com; Buckles ‘n’ Brews: www.bucklesandbrews.com


Santa Barbara celebrates National Arts & Humanities Month in October

During National Arts & Humanities Month, Santa Barbara celebrates its dynamic arts scene with special events throughout October. From Mon., Oct. 2 through Mon., Oct. 16, visitors can play colorfully decorated pianos scattered along State Street in downtown Santa Barbara and the Funk Zone, as part of Pianos on State. Don’t miss the pop-up performances by professional pianists—Animal Liberation Orchestra’s Zach Gill stopped by last year. The Santa Barbara County Office of Art & Culture fetes its 40th anniversary with a walk through the Historic Theatre District on Sun., Oct. 29 and arts programming throughout October. Pianos on State: http://sbefoundation.org/pianos-on-state/; Santa Barbara County Office of Art & Culture: http://www.sbac.ca.gov/

 Santa Barbara museums celebrate “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA” September 2017 through January 2018

Latin American and Latino art, from the ancient world to the present day, comes to the forefront with the arts initiative, “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.” Supported by the Getty Foundation, this one-of-a-kind collaboration is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration from arts institutions across Southern California. Six Santa Barbara South Coast museums will host significant exhibitions September through January, including a major survey of Guatemalan art; a mid-career retrospective of contemporary Brazilian artist Valeska Soares, with playful pop-up events drawing on the senses; and a look at the intersections of religion and art in Chumash (indigenous Central Coast tribal) and Latin American traditions, featuring more than 100 objects from local collections. http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/

Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival celebrates the ocean’s gems Sept. 9 and 10

Did you know sea glass comes in beautiful, rich hues as varied as canary yellow, pink and teal? The Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival features unique, handmade, ocean-themed art and genuine sea glass jewelry created by dozens of talented artists from across the country. The only one of its kind in Southern California, the festival takes place at Earl Warren Showgrounds and is expected to attract thousands of sea glass lovers and art enthusiasts. “Mercello” is this year’s “mermascot” (mermaid mascot) depicted on limited edition T-shirts for sale. http://www.santabarbaraseaglassandoceanartsfestival.com/

 18th Flamenco Arts Festival features U.S. premiere, live performances, film and more Sept. 28 to Oct. 1

One of Spain’s biggest cultural exports—flamenco—has deeply influenced the city of Santa Barbara. The Flamenco Arts Festival keeps the tradition alive in late September with world-class performances and workshops celebrating the art of flamenco. Coinciding with National Hispanic Heritage Month, the 2017 festival kicks off Thurs., Sept. 28 at the Lobero Theatre with a screening of “Flamenco Flamenco,” directed by legendary Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura and showcasing 21 dazzling performances, followed by a Q-and-A with guest artist Patricia Guerrero. The captivating dancer stars in the Gala Performance event Sat., Sept. 30 with the U.S. premiere of “Upclose.” Dance and music workshops led by masters of flamenco take place Fri., Sept. 29 and Sun., Oct. 1 at Santa Barbara Dance Arts. flamencoarts.org


Santa Barbara Glow in the Park offers hot air balloon mini-rides Sept. 16

Imagine taking in a 360-degree-view of Santa Barbara—from the mystical Channel Islands dotting the Pacific Ocean to the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains—all while suspended in a hot air balloon over one of the most beautiful parks of The American Riviera®. Tethered rides are the main attraction at Santa Barbara Glow in the Park, an annual fundraiser supporting Doctors Without Walls, taking place Sat., Sept. 16. Guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner, featuring the best food and wine from Santa Barbara’s late summer harvest, in the field at Elings Park under the illumination of hot air balloons at sunset. Following dinner, the AfterGlow dance party begins, with live music by Los Angeles-based Tariqh Akoni and his One Night Only Band, and a tribute to Stevie Wonder. sbglowinthepark.org/

Inaugural Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival takes place Oct. 7 at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

Immerse yourself in the polo lifestyle and treat yourself to an elegant atmosphere at the inaugural Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival. On Sat., Oct. 7, the beautiful Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club presents a day filled with two world-class polo matches, great live music and tastings from Santa Barbara’s finest wineries, such as Summerland Winery, Sanford Winery and more. Performers include Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, LP, Nick Waterhouse, Durand Jones & The Indications, Vieux Farka Touré and Angelou. This event is the first of its kind in California and supports Notes For Notes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to music education for youths. http://sbpoloandwine.com/

 Santa Barbara 100 showcases challenging cycling courses Oct. 21

The world-class Santa Barbara 100 is back for the third year and better than ever. Featuring one of the most challenging 100-mile courses in the U.S. with a timed trial up Gibraltar Road (included in the 2016 Amgen Tour of California), the event takes riders through some of Santa Barbara’s most beautiful and picturesque landscapes. Alternative courses including a 62-miler and a 34-mile beginner’s course give cyclists a peek at what the region has to offer. The nonprofit race donates all proceeds to local charities. http://www.sb100.org/


Winter 2017-18:

Dec. 1 – Santa Barbara Downtown Holiday Parade, theme: “Colors of the Season”

Dec. 3 – Snow Leopard Festival at Santa Barbara Zoo

Dec. 9 – Goleta Christmas Parade

Dec. 10 – 32nd annual Harbor Parade of Lights

Jan. 31 to Feb. 10 – Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Spring 2018:

Feb. 23 to March 4 – Inaugural Santa Barbara Restaurant Week

March 1 to 4 Inaugural Santa Barbara International Puppetpalooza

Summer 2018:

July 14 to 15 – 30th annual Santa Barbara French Festival





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