Art, wine and live entertainment—attendees can expect all of this and much more during the 29th Annual Capitola Art and Wine Festival, set to take place over this weekend.
More than 150 artists and 21 Santa Cruz Mountains wineries will make an appearance at the event, and local vendors from and will also have their culinary creations available, among many others.
Dance performances and live entertainment will be other highlights of the event, with Led Zepagain, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, performing on Saturday, and the mariachi-flavored sounds of the San Francisco-based band, Diego's Umbrella, playing Sunday.
Hosted by the Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce, the festival has tons of activities packed into the two-day event, but it doesn't function solely for entertainment. The festival also helps many local nonprofits and school programs stay afloat, with the Soquel High School Sports Foundation, the Soquel High Music Foundation and New Brighton Middle School being just a few beneficiaries of festival proceeds, according to Toni Castro, event coordinator and CEO of the .
“We support the Soquel water polo team, both the boys and the girls, and what they earn from the art and wine festival supports them all year long by enabling them to participate in tournaments outside of the area,” Castro said. “And it's the same thing with the music foundation—proceeds enable them to support their music program, because the school's not paying for that now.”
The festival is a highly anticipated event, attracting an estimated 40,000 people every year, but it didn't start off that way. The festival initially began as a three-artist operation in 1982, after locals Carrie Jacobson, Eric Johnson and Barbara Reding realized they had enough local artists to showcase in an event.
“In '82, they had a few artists on a street in Capitola and added music the following year, and then they realized it was becoming very successful and finally decided to make it bigger by adding wineries, and it just grew and grew,” said Castro, who has been involved with the festival for 25 years.
The event isn't just desired by attendees, but by artists and wineries, too. In fact, Castro said there's already a waiting list of artists and wineries that want to become involved, which she partially credits to the festival's prime beach-front location.
“We have the advantage of having ours down by the beach; the ambiance, the layout in the Village just offers itself perfectly to the Art and Wine Festival,” Castro said. “People like walking by the beach with a glass of wine, so it has a setting advantage over a lot of festivals.”
Below is a list detailing a few anticipated highlights, including children's activities, so attendees can take advantage of everything the festival has to offer.
- Several dance groups will perform, starting with No Limits Dance & Performing Arts from 10:30-11 a.m., followed by the Polynesian-inspired dance group, Te Hau Nui Dance Company, from 11:30 a.m. to noon, and ending with the Santa Cruz Dance Company performing from 12:30-1 p.m.
- The band, Red Beans and Rice, offering a mix of Chicago, Texas and Louisiana swing along with contemporary and original music, will take place from 2:30-4 p.m., with the band Led Zepagain performing from 5-7 p.m.
- The group Santa Cruz Pipes & Drums will perform from 11:30 a.m. to noon, followed by Elaine's Dance Studio from 12:30-1 p.m.
- Almost Chaos, a Santa Cruz band performing a mixture of classic rock, reggae, funk and folk-inspired music, will perform from 2-3 p.m., followed by Diego's Umbrella from 4-5:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday:
- Children's art zone, on the lawn near Esplanade Park, will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Capitola Art and Cultural Commission will provide kids with an assortment of activities that focus on educating children about different art forms. Children will create artwork with chalk and clay, and there will also be bubbles, a children's hut, a train table and loads more fun activities for the youngsters to enjoy.
All events will take place at the Capitola Bandstand stage, next to Esplanade Park. Festival admission is free, but the purchase of a wine glass for $7 is required for wine tasting, which range from $2-$4 a tasting. There will be free parking available, along with shuttles in front of the Capitola Mall, along Bank of America on 41st Avenue and at the Crossroads Center on Bay Avenue.
For more information, visit the Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce's website or call 831-475-6522.