NorCal Events and Festivals
For Friends and Family
These are the community events that celebrate the joie de vivre of an area; they put a sparkle in our eyes, a smile on our faces, and a spring in our steps - whether they're about food, music, dance, drink, nature, or ethnic diversity!
So I'm gathering Northern California's celebrations together in one place for your pleasure and convenience. This is a work in progress and I'll be adding more, but if your event is missing and you'd like it included, just let me know here.
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From a family visit from years ago to something
you discovered last weekend,
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July Events and Festivals
in Northern California
"How Big is Big" Annual Fishing Derby - where the West Walker River runs through it!
High Sierra Music Festival - embracing challenging music and sonic excursions!
Fillmore Jazz Festival - a prosperous tradition of jazz, culture and cuisine!
Independence Day Fireworks Jubilee - family fun, live music, chili cook off, and fireworks!
Star Spangled Fourth: Lights on the Lake - Lake Tahoe, that is!
Grass Valley's 4th of July Parade and Celebration - whether it's in Grass Valley this year or Nevada City next year, this annual parade is small town, big charm!
Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival - Grass Drag Races, a logging show, and live Blues Bands!
The World's Largest Salmon Barbeque - grilled salmon, family, and friends, celebrating the 4th!
Sierra Nevada Arts and Crafts Festival - in historic Downtown Arnold!
Brentwood CornFest - celebrating corn in all its forms!
Livermore Shakespeare Festival - always a crowd-pleaser!
Old Sac Underground - for the first time in a long time, tour the first-floor basements and hollow sidewalks of Old Sacramento!
Mendocino Music Festival - just look for the great white tents perched on the headlands!
Los Altos Arts and Wine Festival - the largest two day, mid-summer example of events and festivals in the Bay Area"!
Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival - remembering the Blues of Russell City!
Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee - hot jazz in the cool Sierra!
Grass Valley's Thursday Night Market - the Thursday night social event of the year starts up again this month!
California State Fair - adventure awaits you at the California State Fair!
Kelseyville's Kickin' in the Country Street Dance - just like the good ol' days!
California Rodeo Salinas - 2010 marked the Centennial Celebration of the California Rodeo in Salinas!
California Worldfest in Grass Valley - music and dance from around the world!
Marysville Peach Fest - celebrating peaches in historic Downtown Marysville!
Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival - Bluegrass music, small towns and high mountain scenery!
Carmel Bach Festival - reflecting the highs and lows of the human experience!
Festival del Sole - Napa Valley celebrates the art of life!
Grass Valley's Sidewalk Sale - come for some summer retail therapy!
Connoisseur's Marketplace - Menlo Park's "Nirvana for the Festival Lover"!
Gold Discovery Days - celebrating the discovery of gold at Plumas Eureka State Park!
Wine Country Half Marathon - from Napa to Sonoma; Runners from all over the world start amongst the vineyards!
Georgetown Jeepers Jamboree - starts in Georgetown and heads out for the Rubicon Trail!
Lake Tahoe Music Festival - an unbelievable six-concert series!
McCloud Lumberjack Fiesta - from axe throwing to a watermelon eating contest, it's old-fashioned fun in the sun!
Gilroy Garlic Festival - who hasn't heard of this festival of festivals - celebrating the stinking rose!
Courtland Pear Fair - Bartlett pears are everywhere in "Pear"adise!
Lake County Wine Adventure - wine with attitude!
Watsonville Strawberry Festival at Monterey Bay - strawberry lovers unite!
Fremont Festival of the Arts - the largest free street festival west of the Mississippi!
Woolgrowers' Barbecue & Sheep Dog Trials (in Boonville) - over 35 years of BBQ'd lamb and talented dogs driving sheep (which is a little like herding cats)!
Bear Valley Music Festival - World class music amidst mountain grandeur!
August Events and Festivals
in Northern California
Woodland Tomato Festival - tomatoes don't get any better or fresher, even if you grow them yourself!
San Rafael Food and Wine Festival - a
tasting events and festivals that samples area restaurants and wineries
against a background of smooth jazz and classical music!
Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival - celebrating the birth of the Yorkville Highlands Appellation!
San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival - great music, great food, great wine ... who could ask for more!
Sacramento's Japanese Food and Cultural Bazaar - flower arranging, tea ceremony, Taiko Drum Clubs!
Fairfield Tomato Festival & West Coast BBQ Championships - what a great combination of events and festivals!
Gualala Art in the Redwoods Festival - promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961!
Mammoth Festival - celebrating wine and live music!
Klamath Salmon Festival - visit with the Yurok people at a traditional open pit salmon bar-b-que!
Fremont Cajun/Zydeco Festival - let the music, dancing, and Creole food transport you to N'Orleans!
Round Valley Blackberry Festival in Covelo - another Mendocino County Food Fest.
Hayward Zucchini Festival - if you love zucchini, help save this festival!
Cotati Accordion Festival - accordions aren't just for Polkas anymore!
Corning Olive Festival - "Corning does it bedder"!
Willits Kinetic Carnivale - Time to get your Steampunk on!
Pleasanton West Coast Nationals - a super-charged indoor/outdoor car show!
Fresno Greek Festival - new hours and more attractions to celebrate 50 years of cultural extravaganza!
Lake Tahoe Lake in the Sky Airshow - guaranteed fun for the whole family!
Shaver Lake Musick Mountain Music Fest - fantastic music with Krossover, Bruce Conte, and Shuffle-Aires!
Palo Alto Festival of the Arts - stroll along beautiful tree-lined University Avenue to celebrate the arts!
Bodega Seafood, Art, and Wine Festival - Cedar Plank Salmon to BBQ Oysters, plus music, art, and rubber ducky racing!
Taste of Petaluma - Sample everything that Petaluma’s upscale culinary scene has to offer in one afternoon!
September Events and Festivals
in Northern California
California Wine Month - Governor Brown annually proclaims that September is California Wine Month!
Old Sacramento's Gold Rush Days - 200 tons of dirt, turning back the clock on Labor Day Weekend!
The Sausalito Art Festival - world-class artists showcasing their talents on Labor Day Weekend!
Lake County Fair - A favorite summertime event in Lake County!
Lake Tahoe Fireworks Extravaganza - exploding over Lake Tahoe!
Mammoth Lakes' Labor Day Festival of the Arts - premier fine arts and crafts festival, also over Labor Day Weekend!
Gualala's Studio Discovery Tour - Labor Day weekend and the weekend after!
Point Reyes Sand Sculpture Contest - FREE family fun on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend!
Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Festival - must be 21 or older!
Gold Cup Race of Champions - The Biggest Little Sprint Car Race in the World!
CA State Capitol Museum Admission Day Celebration - 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM; celebrate California's admittance as the 31st state!
Fort Bragg's Wine Song - celebrate wine, food, music, art and giving!
Palo Cedro Honey Bee Festival - family fun activities, vendors, live entertainment, and the Live Bee Beard Demo!
Chico Palio - kick off Artoberfest with Chico's own version of Italy's Siena Palio horse race!
Tracy Dry Bean Festival - Note: Alas, Bean Town is no more.
Art in the Adobes Festival (Art in the Gardens, as of 2015) - this festival features fine art in the historic Monterey adobe gardens!
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival - more chocolate coming your way!
Pleasanton Harvest Festival - Still the best craft show around featuring American, handmade arts and crafts!
Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival - Two great festivals; One exciting weekend!
Ceres' Assyrian Chaldean Food Festival - Mediterranean food, folkloric dances, entertainment and live music, art and cultural exhibits, and games for the children!
Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival - Three day spectacular!
Mountain View Art and Wine Festival - A festival like no other! See for yourself!!
Ebbetts Pass Scenic Celebration - Come Play on the Pass!
Old Time Bluegrass Festival - Ole-time fiddlin' at its best! Note: this event was cancelled in 2013 in favor of smaller fundraiser.
California Brewers Festival - Brews, bands, and bountiful edibles - what more could you want (maybe a good cigar?)!
Chico World Music Festival - a full weekend of musical entertainment, dance, and art!
Willits Roots of Motive Power Festival - Getting all steamed up!
Yuba City Cultural Celebration and Festival - Multi-ethnic entertainment and traditional international foods! Note: moved to June in 2015
Taste of Chico - Fabulous local fare while you stroll Downtown Chico!
American River Music Festival - a celebration of music and moving water!
Mendocino County Fair, Apple Show, and Wool and Fiber Fest - An old fashioned country fair featuring, rodeo, sheep dog trials, animal judging, midway, square dancing hoedown and a parade!
Wine Country Film Festival - A roving festival set amongst spectacular outdoor settings and select theaters!
Bluegrassin' in the Foothills - Amador County's annual Bluegrass Music Festival! Note: event discontinued after 2014.
Ukiah's Fabulous Flashback Car Show and Poker Run - Celebrating the family enjoyment of and interest in restoring and preserving collector automobiles!
ClovisFest & Hot Air Balloon Fun Fly - Arts and Crafts, All Valley Car Show, Multicultural Food Faire, Hot Air Balloons; there's fun for the whole family!
Walnut Creek Walnut Festival - celebrating the walnut harvest season!
Groveland's 49er Festival and Chili Cook-off - Celebrate the California Gold Rush and check out Groveland's nearly world famous Chili Cook-off!
Monterey Bay Birding Festival - From Condors to Snowy Plovers!
Seafarer's Marketplace and Pirate Festival - Ahoy Me Hearties - Come and join the fun!
Oroville Salmon Festival - fish-flavored activities celebrating the spawning salmon!
Taste of Morgan Hill - Local artists, local foods, local beverages - it's local, local, local!
Kelseyville Pear Festival - showcasing a small town's agricultural heritage!
Lake Tahoe Marathon - A week you will never forget! Note: Moved to October 2015
Taste of Lodi - A premier food and wine experience! Note: Looks like this event may have been cancelled as of 2012.
You'll find Northern California events and festivals occur during each and every month of the year!
Looking for Festivals that center on a favorite food? Those are my favorites, too! Take a look at Fun Food Festivals
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