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Events

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

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.
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Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

March
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.
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Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival

April
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.
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Santa Barbara Bowl

April
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 and for ticket purchasing information.
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I Madonnari Chalk Festival

May
Street painters unite at Santa Barbara’s Mission where they transform the pavement into an art-walk. This is the sister festival to the one in Grazie di Curtatone, Italia, and true to Italian artistic talent, the chalk artists turn the Old Mission’s plaza into a gallery of 150 vibrant, large scale works of artistic beauty.
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Santa Barbara Polo Season begins

May
Put on your derby attire and enjoy happy hour on a regal afternoon at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Make a toast to the good life on the American Riviera with bubbly champagne as you watch majestic horses jockeyed by some of the world’s best Polo players who come every season between May and October to ride on this stunning field.
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Santa Barbara Restaurant Week + Taste of Santa Barbara

Photo by Blake Bronstad/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara
May
Santa Barbara Restaurant Week will be partnering with Taste of Santa Barbara to highlight local fare by area chefs, farmers and nearby winemakers. This is meant to be a well-rounded culinary experience, and in addition to eating and drinking, the schedule includes panel discussions and more.
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Summer Solstice Parade

Photo by Danielle Methmann, courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara
June
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.
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Santa Barbara Wine & Food Festival

Photo By Blake Bronstad, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara
June
Hosted by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, this annual event beckons foodies and wine lovers eager to book their tickets far in advance. Nibble and sip from more than 100 of the Central Coast’s finest wineries and food vendors and spend a pleasant afternoon at the Museum’s oak woodland along Mission Creek.
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California Wine Festival

Photo by Austin Sosa, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara
July
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.
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Old Spanish Days Festival

Photos by Fritz Olenberger courtesy of Old Spanish Days
August
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 dates back to 1925 and draws visitors from around the world for a celebration of culture, dancing, food and community spirit.
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California Lemon Festival

September
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.
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California Brew Festival

September
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.

Carpinteria Avocado Festival

October
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.
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Harbor & Seafood Festival

October
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.
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New Noise Music Festival

October
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.
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Santa Barbara Half Marathon

November
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.
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SB Harbor Parade of Lights

December
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.
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