Spring in the Santa Maria Valley means the start to an exciting events season! After a few years of lockdowns and COVID restrictions, the community is gearing up for a full season of local events fun for tourists and visitors alike.
“The major events held in the Santa Maria Valley really offer something for everyone,” explained Jennifer Harrison, Tourism Director for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce. “From the car show to the strawberry festival, these events are a huge economic driver for our local community, with both locals and visitors enjoying what the Santa Maria Valley has to offer.”
Here are some of the major upcoming events to look forward to this Spring and Summer:
Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival
April 29th – May 1st, Santa Maria Fairpark
The Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival kicks off the valley’s Strawberry Season, supports local agriculture and encourages the healthy indulgence of strawberries, all in a fun filled, three day weekend community event.
“The Strawberry Festival is a long-standing tradition in the valley. The three-day event attracts families from across California and highlights Santa Barbara County's top agriculture commodity,” explained Caitlin Miller, CEO For the Santa Maria Fairpark.
“The 2022 Strawberry Festival is back after two years of cancellations due to the pandemic. The Santa Maria Fairpark staff is looking forward to providing a safe and fun environment for our community. In addition to our doors being closed for nearly two years our vendor partners have also been hit hard by the shutdowns. We encourage our neighbors to join us for the Strawberry Festival and take advantage of the opportunities available in their own backyard.”
The Strawberry Festival showcases local talent, and offer a wide variety of interesting things to do and see including a variety of attractions, strawberry tasting and desert eating contests.
The Strawberry Festival also features a traditional carnival, including a full kiddie carnival, commercial displays, and more! Additional information available at www.santamariafairpark.com
4th Annual Santa Maria Valley Barbecue Festival
May 14th, 12pm – 4pm, Pioneer Park, Santa Maria
Witness a barbecue competition reminiscent of an Old West “quick draw” as barbecue professionals compete for the “Branding Iron” award while amateurs square off for the “Best Backyard Cook” at the fourth annual Santa Maria BBQ Festival event on May 14th at Pioneer Park from noon to 4 p.m.
Sample the barbecue fare and vote for your favorite “cuers,” while you enjoy live music, games and a variety of beers from local brewery, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. This event benefits Santa Maria’s Kiwanis for Kids “Back to School Shopping” event. Tickets and additional information available at https://tickets.enfuegoevents.com/e/santa-maria-bbq-festival
West Coast Kustoms 2022 Cruisin’ Nationals
May 27th – 29th, Historic Santa Maria Inn & Santa Maria Fairpark
West Coast Kustoms is returning with their famous Cruisin’ Nationals Car Show! The event will start the Friday May 27th with the world famous Friday night City Cruise in front of the host hotel the Historic Santa Maria Inn on Broadway between Stowell and Cook St. from 7 pm to 9 pm. The cruise is only open to vehicles that are registered for the show.
Then, the event will move to the Santa Maria Fairpark on Saturday and Sunday where there will be:
Live music both days
Kustom Kulture Art Show
Model car show
Pin Striping Panel Jam and Party
All Kinds of Vendors
- Automotive Swap Meet Saturday and Sunday
Additional information available at https://www.westcoastkustoms.com
2022 Santa Barbara County Fair
July 13th -17th, Santa Maria Fairpark
Each year, thousands of visitors attend the Santa Barbara County Fair. The Fair showcases the community’s interests and talents, offering a unique assortment of activities to do and see. From jams and jellies, to pies, photography, homemade quilts and floriculture, the Santa Barbara County Fair provides visitors with an interesting mix of both community oriented and educational fun.
The Fair also feature award winning wines, fine art, and plenty of entertainment, including a destruction derby. This agriculturally oriented county fair features the State’s largest junior livestock auction, along with plenty of other plant and animal based agricultural exhibits.
Additional information available at www.santamariafairpark.com
These major events are just some of the many things to do this Spring and Summer in the Santa Maria Valley. “The great thing about our community it that there’s always something to do,” Harrison explained. “While these major events are some of the staples, there are also weekly happenings like live music at our local wineries and breweries, comedy night at Cubanissimo Café, and the kite festival and other family-friendly activities at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. It’s rare you’ll find a weekend without something fun going on in the Santa Maria Valley.”
As we enter the Spring and Summer months and COVID restrictions continue to be lifted, we encourage you to get out and explore the Santa Maria Valley and the great events our local community offers. A full calendar of upcoming local events can be found at santamariavalley.com/events/.