Santa Barbara hosts a plethora of incredible events throughout the year. No matter what month you plan to visit, you are sure to hit one of these fun-filled local experiences. In addition, our town has daily and weekly local events you won’t want to miss!
Check out our calendar of annual events around
Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria
January & February
For 34 years the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has drawn loyal film buffs to this coastal town for 11 days of movie screenings. The festival features more than 200 films with panel discussions and celebrity visits.
Santa Barbara’s International Orchid Show pays homage to this splendid family of flowering plants. Mysterious and beautiful, orchids are the center of all eyes during this three-day show that invites orchid exhibitors and vendors from around the globe.
Touted as one of the longest running in the country, and nearly entering its fifth decade, Santa Barbara’s Earth Day celebration is a chance to spend a weekend filled with fun, music and green festivities at beautiful Alameda Park.
The Santa Barbara Bowl kicks off its music concert series in April. The outdoor amphitheater of 4,900 seats provides an intimate entertainment experience under the stars. Be sure to check the SB Bowl Calendar to stay up-to-date on “just-announced” shows.
Street painters unite at Santa Barbara’s Mission where they color the pavement with pastel art. This is the sister festival to the one in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy, and true to Italian artistic talent, the painters transform the Mission’s plaza into an art-walk of 150 vibrant, large scale works of beauty.
Drawing crowds of more than 100,000 people from around the Central Coast and beyond, Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice is a celebration of season, color, music, dance and life that spans three days and features a lively parade of costumes and performances, along with food booths, arts, vendors and even a drum circle.
The California Wine Festival descends on Santa Barbara for two days. Don’t miss a romantic evening of old-world charm and rare wine tasting followed by a beachside daytime event of wine, food, music and sun. Check the website for updates on locations.
Perhaps Santa Barbara’s most epic party, Fiesta! “Old Spanish Days,” is a five-day festival steeped in tradition and the pride of Santa Barbara’s rich Spanish heritage. The event draws visitors from around the world for a celebration of culture, dancing, food and community spirit.
At one time, the surrounding areas were filled with lemon trees. Come celebrate all things lemon at the Lemon Festival in Goleta. This festival is nearly 30 years in tradition and features fun pie-eating contests, arts & crafts…all in the theme of lemon.
BBQ and beer converge in this one-day fest. Grab a souvenir glass and sample from more than 50 breweries, wineries and cideries. Pair it with tri-tip and judge the competition yourself.
Celebrate Californians’ favorite food – the avocado. California cuisine would be nothing without the avocado. Learn about the avocado, eat guacamole and be entertained by more than 80 musical acts on four stages.
Polo wraps up its season in October, so toast to one of the world’s oldest sports and enjoy bubbly champagne while watching a game of Polo.
Timed with the opening of lobster season, the Harbor& Seafood Festival beckons seafood lovers from afar. Meet local fishermen and feast on fresh catch, including crab, prawns, lobster, sea urchin and other locally caught seafood. Have it prepared on-the-spot for an foodie experience unlike any other.
Music lovers won’t want to miss this non-profit music-fest that’s been an annual event since 2009, hosted by New Noise Music Foundation. Enjoy three days of music, art and community.
This half marathon takes place during ideal fall weather and follows a scenic route along Santa Barbara’s gorgeous coastline to finish at Leadbetter Beach.
The annual Christmas Parade of Lights is a fun and festive way to ring in the holiday season. A parade of nearly 30 boats travel through the Santa Barbara Harbor and along the shoreline. The evening finishes off with a glittering display of fireworks.