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August 31, 2016

For Release: Let's Cruz into Fall in Santa Cruz County

August 31, 2016                    
Contact:  Christina Glynn        
Phone: 831.425.1234 ext.112

Visitors invited to partake in a jam-packed fall event schedule, getaway sweepstakes

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA – The fall season is the best-kept secret among locals in Santa Cruz County. With fewer crowds, amazing hotel deals and some of the year’s best weather, the autumn months are packed full of things to do.  To add to the excitement of the fall festival season, Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC) is debuting a Let’s Cruz Events Grand Prize contest include a two-night stay at the Beach Street Inn & Suites, a $150 Gift Card for The Picnic Basket/Penny Ice Creamery, and tickets for four guests on Stagnaro Charter Boats Whale Watching, Mount Hermon Adventures, and Roaring Camp Railroads.  Visitors to can enter to win.  Additionally, Fall Festival giveaways will be featured each week on Visit Santa Cruz County’s Facebook page. Giveaways will include entry to selected events as well as hotel accommodations.  

To coincide with the getaway sweepstakes this fall, VSCC is encouraging visitors to take a peek at the fall festivals that are lined up this season:  

September 2 – 5, 2016
Capitola Begonia Festival
The 64th Annual Capitola Begonia Festival will feature a variety of activities for all ages. Festival attendees can partake in a sand sculpture contest, a fishing derby, row boat races and a nautical parade of begonia-laden floats traveling down Soquel Creek. Admission is free.
Location: Stockton Avenue and The Esplanade in Capitola Village
For additional details and times: 

September 3, 2016
Wings Over Watsonville
This annual fly-in event is fun, family-friendly and FREE! Located at the Watsonville Municipal Airport, guests will enjoy a Friday night kids movie, Friday and Saturday fly-in arrivals, food vendors, historic and antique aircraft, war bird demo flights and much more.
Sat. 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: 100 Aviation Way, Watsonville
For additional details: 831.768.6500

September 9 - 11, 2016
Santa Cruz Greek Food & Cultural Festival
Opa! This annual, award-winning street festival is jam-packed with delicious Greek dishes, yummy desserts, Kafenio, Greek wine and spirits. Live music will be provided by The Spartans, a popular Greek band out of the Bay Area and dancing is encouraged. Admission is free to this family-friendly event.   
Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. noon-8 p.m.
Location: 223 Church St., between Cedar & Center, Santa Cruz
For additional details: 831.429.6500

September 10, 2016
Mole & Mariachi Festival
Event goers will enjoy a festive outdoor atmosphere featuring local artists, kids’ activities, food, wine and more. Admission is free.  
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
Location:  Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, 144 School Street, Santa Cruz 
For additional details: 831.429.1840

September 10 – 11, 2016
34th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival
23 Wineries, gourmet food, fine art, entertainment, children's art area all located in an beautiful beach setting. Admission is free.
Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Capitola Village, Capitola
For additional details: 831.475.6522

September 14 – 18, 2016
Santa Cruz County Fair
Five days of affordable fun and festivities featuring a large carnival, live entertainment and more. 
Wed.-Fri. noon-11 p.m.; Sat. 10am - 11pm; Sun. 10am - 10pm.
Location: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds (2601 East Lake Ave., off Hwy. 152), Watsonville
For additional details: 831.724.5671

September 23 – 25, 2016
Monterey Bay Birding Festival
Come see more than 250 species of birds in one of the world's most picturesque areas of California on the Monterey Bay.  
Friday, Saturday, Sunday at various locations.  6 a.m.–9 p.m. 
Location: 275 Main St., Watsonville
For additional details: 888.909.7829

October 1, 2016
City of Santa Cruz 150th Anniversary Beach Party
Join the City of Santa Cruz as they celebrate 150 years with a beach party on Main Beach. Fireworks, kids’ activities, an energetic live music lineup featuring James Durbin, Tess Dunn, The Coffis Brothers and others, plus more. Admission is free.
Saturday noon-10 p.m. 
Location: Main Beach, Santa Cruz
For additional details: 831.420.5030

October 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2016
Open Studios Art Tour
Explore the hidden world of art throughout the cuonty. Visit artists in their studios, learn and see their processes and purchase original works of art. Mobile app and printed guide have artist information and maps. 
Sat. and Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Various locations, Santa Cruz County
For additional details: 831.475.9600

October 8-9, October 15-16, October 22-23, October 29-30 2016
Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party™
Celebrate Halloween with Thomas the Tank Engine and Thomas' best friend Percy on a 20 minute train ride. This event features entertainment and fun-filled activities including Temporary Tattoos, Face Painting, Story Telling, Videos, Train Play Tables, Pick a Pumpkin (small pumpkins for little ones), Cookie decorating and photos with Sir Topham Hatt. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Visit the website for specific times.
Location: Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton
For additional details: 831.335.4484

October 9, 2016 
Monte Foundation 22nd Anniversary Fireworks Extravaganza
A wonderful family event featuring entertainment and a fireworks display.
Visit the website for specific times.
Location:  Capitola Village, Capitola
For additional details: 831.685.3317

October 22, 2016
Chili Cook-Off at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Bring your appetite and join the fun as both professional and amateur chefs compete. Admission is free, tasting kits available for a  fee.
Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., tasting starts at 1pm.
Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
For additional details: 831.423.5590

October 22, 2016
The Missing Arm of William Waddell
History takes a tall tale twist as the saga of this early pioneer unfolds with silly, slightly haunting tours around the redwood loop trail. Event goers will enjoy music, storytelling and "Ranger Apples" around the campfire. All participants must register at Park Headquarters. Admission is free.
Sat. 7 p.m. (registration opens at 6:30 p.m.)
Location:  Big Basin Redwoods State Park, 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek
For additional details: 831.338.8883

November 5-6, 2016
Santa Cruz Sea Glass & Ocean Art Festival
Celebrating its seventh year, this festival features genuine sea glass and artist-made creations while benefiting the local marine environment. Attendees will have access to the works of over 40 artists, a free raffle, great food, full cash bar and a $1,000 prize piece contest. Admission is free.
Location:  Cocoanut Grove Ballroom, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
For additional details: 831.332.7188

November 19, 2016
Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport Day
Visit wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains not normally open to the public. Taste wine and have a great time. Visit website for times and participating locations.
Location: Various Wineries, Santa Cruz Mountains
For additional details: 831.685.VINE (8463)

November 26, 2016
Capitola’s Surfin’ Santa
Get in the holiday spirit with Surfin’ Santa. He arrives in late November with his outrigger canoe and surfboard on the shores of Capitola Beach. Once settled in his beach chair, Santa will hear holiday wishes – so kids are encouraged to bring their list. Event is free. Fun holiday photo opportunity.
Sat. noon
Location: Capitola Beach, Capitola Village
Phone: 831.475.6522

Sponsors of the Let’s Cruz Events campaign include:  Beach Street Inn & Suites, Best Western Seacliff Inn, Comfort Inn Santa Cruz, Mission Inn, Mount Hermon Adventures, Pajaro Dunes Resort, and the Seascape Beach Resort.

For more information about these events and more taking place during the fall season in Santa Cruz County, visit or call 800.833.3494.

About VSCC: A private, non-profit corporation, Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC) exists to enhance tourism and the economy by positioning Santa Cruz County as a visitor, conference and film destination. For more information, contact VSCC at 831-425-1234.  Or log on to