Category Archives: Benefits

A Taste of Santa Cruz 2016 with 30 restaurants, wineries and breweries

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

The 12th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove Thursday, Nov. 10, features 30 restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The event runs from 5:30-9 p.m. and benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Buy tickets online or at the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS (2525 Main St., Soquel). For more information, visit the site atosc.com or call 831-464-2000.

 

Attendees sample food and drinks, and all proceeds from the event benefit the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS Housing Foundation grant program that provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County. Several hundred people attend this event, raising approximately $30,000 annually. Over the years, more than $430,000 has been awarded to 200 families and individuals. Purchasing your tickets in advance is recommended.

 

Participating food providers include Home (the new restaurant from chef Brad Briske, in the former Main St. Garden location), The Hideout, Aldo’s, Café Hanna, Paradise Beach Grille, Hula’s, Burger, The Point, Little Owl Italian Kitchen, Ristorante Italiano, and Woodstock’s Pizza. Breweries include Santa Cruz Ale Works.

 

Other highlights include more than 100 silent and live auction items from local businesses and artisans. Prizes include a San Jose Giants package (10 general admission tickets plus a family pass for two adults & two kids); tickets to places like Gilroy Gardens and Winchester Mystery House; wine including bottles from Beauregard; and handcrafted wood pieces by artist Andy Orsini. There is also live music with the Jazz Birds & Friends.

Event location: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz

 

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Food, wine and beer at 2016 Grazing on the Green benefiting cancer research

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The 13th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green—Saturday, Sept. 24 at Aptos Village Park, features 70-plus vendors including local restaurants and caterers, other food businesses, and local wineries, breweries, and spirits distilleries. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

 

The event is from noon to 4 p.m. Buy $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online http://sccbg.org or it will be $70 at the door if it’s not sold out. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $60 each. Adult admission includes food, drinks and a souvenir wineglass. Kids 10 and under are free; kids ages 10-20 are $35.

 

Participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2016 include The Crow’s Nest, Café Cruz, Café Rio, Real Good Fish, Niman Ranch, SunRidge Farms, Ashby Confections, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Cremer House, Ella’s at the Airport, Surf City Sandwich, Hula’s, Hollins House and Sid’s Smokehouse.

 

Participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards, Hallcrest Vineyards, Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sones Cellars, Wargin Wines, Wrights Station Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Discretion Brewing, Seabright Brewery, New Bohemia Brewing Co. and Venus Spirits.

 

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, researchers from UC Santa Cruz, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy.

For more information on the event, see www.sccbg.org.

There is free shuttle service every 15 minutes from Cabrillo College; parking is also free.

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

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Time for the 2016 Santa Cruz Mole & Mariachi festival

Mole poblano prepared by David Jackman of restaurant Chocolate, a first-time competitor at the Mole & Mariachi Festival Photo credit: David Jackman

Mole poblano prepared by David Jackman of restaurant Chocolate, a first-time competitor at the Mole & Mariachi Festival
Photo credit: David Jackman

The 4th annual Mole & Mariachi Festival is Saturday, Sept. 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park. The family-friendly food and music festival has free admission. If you want to sample moles, there is a $10 tasting kit for sale that includes six tastes; additional tasting tickets can be purchased for $2 each.

 

Ten local restaurants and chefs—including first-time participant David Jackman of Chocolate—will prepare moles. The other competitors are restaurants El Chipotle, El Jardin, and El Chino; caterers and food makers Cesario Ruiz of My Mom’s Mole, Taquitos Gabriel’s and Sunny’s Catering; and home chefs from Club Tuxpan Santa Cruz, Emma Pinto (Mama Marquita’s) and Lidia Montesino (JoLí Molé).

 

In addition to sampling mole, attendees can purchase beer from Discretion Brewing, wine from Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, fresh-fruit aguas frescas by Mollie’s Country Café and chavelas (a drink made from beer, tomato juice, and spices). Food vendors will sell mole dishes for lunch such as mole Oaxaqueño plates from El Chipotle; mole sopés, mole empanadas and mole huaraches from Taqueria Lidia; and mole tamales from Taquitos Gabriel’s. Also, there will be non-mole selections for sale from Mission Hill Creamery, Garcia’s Fish Tacos and Sason Mexicano, plus churros, fruit cups and roasted corn.

 

There will be music and dance performances, free kids’ crafts and face painting, piñatas every hour, and a raffle with prizes including an all-inclusive trip to Mexico, a wine collection valued at $800 and a stay in an Airstream trailer at the KOA campground across from Manresa State Beach.

 

For the first time ever, Mariachi Feminil Orgullo Mexicano — an all-female mariachi band — will perform at the festival. Other performers include live mariachi music from Mariachi Alma de Mexico and the group’s youth bands, Mariachi Juvenil Alma de Mexico and Mariachi Infantil Alma de Mexico, and dancing by local dance troupes Senderos and Estrellas de Esperanza. Mojigangas (giant, dancing puppets that have been popular at previous festivals) will return.

 

A diverse array of artisans will show and sell work at the festival marketplace, including Artemex’s display of blouses, dresses, drinkware, dolls, jewelry and other handmade items from Mexico; Artesanias Mexicanos; Creative Woman and Alejandro’s Trade. Watsonville food company The Green Waffle will sell take-home packages of healthy waffles.

 

Festival attendees and a panel of local judges will select their favorites. The judges include state Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird; Patricia Santana, owner of Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant; Santa Cruz City Councilmember David Terrazas; Edible Monterey Bay writer Debbie Luhrman; Tony Solis of the Santa Cruz Sentinel; Good Times Publisher Jeanne Howard; and Santa Cruz Life writer Christine Candelaria.

 

All event proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park (including educational programs and restoration and improvement projects) via Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. The event encourages alternative transportation by providing free trolley rides from downtown.

Location: Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, 144 School Street

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Santa Cruz Seafood PopUp Dinner Thursday from Ocean2Table and Halibut4Humanity

Fish tacos from a past Ocean2table pop-up

Fish tacos from a past Ocean2table pop-up

Ocean2table and Halibut4Humanity are partnering for a “Pescetarian PopUp” from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Food Lounge in downtown Santa Cruz

 

Organizers say that attendees can expect “delicious and sustainable seafood, veggies and foraged mushrooms.” Another bonus of supporting this event: all profits will benefit single mothers in Santa Cruz County through scholarships awarded by nonprofit organization Halibut4Humanity.

 

Orders will be taken on a “first come, first served” basis. No tickets are required. Visit Ocean2table’s website for more information.

 

As always, the seafood will be local, wild and sustainable—fresh from the boat either that day or the day before. The menu will also include locally sourced, organically grown vegetables and green morel mushrooms that Ocean2table has foraged. Selections for sale will include fresh fish tacos and fish cakes. The Food Lounge bar will be selling local beer, wine and liquor.

 

Isaac Simpson recently started Halibut4Humanity. Its mission is to raise funds for disadvantaged single mothers in Santa Cruz County. For Thursday’s menu, Simpson will be contributing a few ingredients such as smoked Alaskan sockeye salmon that he caught and prepared himself.

 

Charlie Lambert and Ian Cole founded seafood company Ocean2table. They put on all their popups with the goals of encouraging community support and of educating attendees about local, sustainable and organic food.

 

Ocean2table provides very fresh seafood to customers in several local areas; you can choose to pick up or get your fish delivered. Subscribers to the email list (fresh catch “fish alerts”) get notified the day before local fresh fish is available. Customers must place half- or full-share orders by the announced deadline. You can remain on the email list and buy seafood as many or as few times as you’d like. For more information on Ocean2table and its seafood alerts, visit getocean2table.com.

Date/Time: Thursday, Sept. 8, 5 to 8 p.m. (or earlier if food sells out)

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St.

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The 2016 California Beer Festival: Santa Cruz Beer Week finale

Last year’s California Beer Festival at Aptos Village Park Photo courtesy of California Beer Festival

Last year’s California Beer Festival at Aptos Village Park
Photo credit: California Beer Festival

The 2016 California Beer Festival (CBF), at Aptos Village Park from Friday, Aug. 12 through Sunday, Aug. 14, is the final celebration to cap off Santa Cruz Beer Week (Aug. 7-14). See the Santa Cruz Waves Beer Week site for details on lots of activities including a collaboration between burger and Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co. at burger’s Aptos location on Thursday.

California Beer Festival details

Tickets range from $10 on Sunday to $99 for a three-day VIP pass that includes lots of benefits. Live music includes Sambada (Friday night) and Prince tribute band The Purple Ones (Sunday).

Location: Aptos Village Park, 100 Aptos Creek

More info or advance tickets: (805) 628-9588 or californiabeerfestival.com/santacruz

  • Friday, Aug. 12: “Food & Beer Pairing” (5:30-8:30 p.m.) plus live music. Several Brew Masters are pairing up with gourmet chefs. Each is competing for attendees to vote for them for “best food and beer pairing.” A $50 a la carte ticket includes food samples, beer, live music and one CBF souvenir pint glass. Must be 21 years of age or older to attend.  Pairings:
  1. The Jerk House & Brews of Santa Cruz
  2. Pour Tap Room & 101 North
  3. Hollins House & Seabright
  4. Ulterior & Leopold 7
  5. Peter B’s & Peter B’s
  6. Burt’s & Burt’s
  • Saturday, Aug. 13: “Craft Beer Heaven” (Gates open at 12:30 p.m. and beer sampling is 1-4:30 p.m.). There will be more than 85 craft beers available plus live music, food, and bocce ball. You must be 21 years of age or older to attend. General admission is $50 and VIP tickets are $75. Designated driver tickets are $25.
  • Sunday, Aug. 14: “Sunday Funday in the Park” (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) There is no beer sampling on Sunday but there is beer and food for sale. That day, kids 12 and under are free. Anyone over 12 pays $10. Families are encouraged to attend and people can bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Festival profits benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support to student athletes in Santa Cruz County.

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Three Sunday events: Soif & Ocean2table in Santa Cruz, fire benefit with food/wine at Monterey Aquarium

Santa Cruz’s Soif hosts 4th annual waiters race

Santa Cruz’s Soif hosts 4th annual waiters race

There are many food and wine and events this weekend in the Santa Cruz and Monterey area. Here are details on three occuring Sunday, Aug. 7: a fun waiters race at Soif, a delicious seafood and wine popup with Ocean2table and MJA Vineyards, and an epic benefit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with more than 20 chefs and wineries.

 

Noon to 3pm: Waiters Race at Soif

Soif Restaurant & Merchants is hosting the fourth annual Waiters Race on Walnut Avenue.  As in previous years, three-person teams from several area restaurants will navigate an outdoor course, demonstrating many of the skills members of the service industry bring to work every day.  The event is billed as “not only a friendly competition among area restaurants, but also a celebration of the skill and dedication of members of the service industry.” This event is free; teams from Soif, Woodstock’s Pizza, 99 Bottles, Ulterior @Motiv, and Assembly are participating. The three judges are David Kinch (chef/owner of Michelin 3 Star restaurant Manresa in Los Gatos and owner of Bywater in Los Gatos, he’s a Santa Cruz resident); Sue Slater (Department Chair/Instructor in Cabrillo College’s Department of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management); and Paul Mekis (Director of Wine for Rosewood Hotels and Resorts and winner of an SF waiters race many years ago).

Location: 105 Walnut, Santa Cruz

 

5 to 8pm: Ocean2table Pescetarian Popup at MJA Vineyards

MJA Vineyards is hosting a popup with Ocean2table. There will be several a la carte dishes available featuring Ocean2table seafood and there will be optional wine pairings. Food dishes are subject to change depending on what the fishermen catch on Saturday. All seafood is local, wild and sustainable and all vegetables are local and organic. A tentative menu includes sablefish cakes drizzled in spicy garlic aioli; lettuce wraps with pan-fried lingcod, parsnip slaw and chipotle crema; tacos with pan-fried petrale from Half Moon Bay; and wild morel mushroom soup.

Location: 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

6 to 8pm: Soberanes Fire Relief Benefit at the Aquarium

The Monterey-based restaurant group Downtown Dining (Tarpy’s Roadhouse, Montrio Bistro, Rio Grill) is partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a benefit. There is free admission and free coffee; tickets for food, beer and wine will be sold at the event. More than 20 chefs are participating including Todd Fisher (Tarpy’s), Tony Baker (Montrio), Cy Yontz (Rio), Michelle Lee and Matt Bolton (C Restaurant+Bar), Yulanda Santos (Aubergine), Tom Snyder (Esteban at Casa Munras); Mo Tabib (The Fish Hopper); Johnny DeVivo (Porter’s in the Forest); Tim Wood (Valley Kitchen at Carmel Valley Ranch); and Angela Tamara (Peppoli at Spanish Bay). Aquarium exhibits will be open during the event. 100% of all proceeds collected will go to those impacted by the fire through the “Soberanes Fire Fund” of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC). The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) created the Soberanes Fire Fund to assist communities affected by the Soberanes Fire which began July 22, 2016. Donations will provide both immediate relief and support in the aftermath of the fire.

Location: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

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Charlie Hong Kong hosts benefit for Amigo Bob

Charlie Hong Kong will donate 10% of sales on June 30 to Amigo Bob Cantisano

Charlie Hong Kong will donate 10% of sales on June 30 to Amigo Bob CantisanobSan

On Thursday, June 30, during the entire time it’s open (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.), Santa Cruz restaurant Charlie Hong Kong is donating 10% of sales to organic pioneer Amigo Bob Cantisano. The man who many call “Amigo” has been fighting stage four cancer for the last two-and-a-half years.

Charlie Hong Kong co-owner Carolyn Rudolph shares that Amigo “devoted more than 45 years to growing the Organic Movement…he started one of the first organic farm supply companies, founded an organic food co-op, helped establish CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) and created the renowned annual Ecological Farming Conference at Asilomar.” That latter event, known as EcoFarm, is the largest sustainable-agriculture gathering in the Western US and had its 36th incarnation earlier this year.

An activist, teacher and leader, Amigo has advised organic farmers all over the world. For years, he has focused his life on building organic agriculture.

“He has probably prevented thousands of cancers through his work,” Rudolph says. “Now he needs our support. Charlie Hong Kong, with the support of CCOF, wants to express our gratitude and support to the ‘grandfather’ of the Organic Movement.” Any questions, call her at 831-818-1814.

For anyone unfamiliar with Charlie Hong Kong, the restaurant sells very delicious, affordable food featuring locally grown produce. They describe their cuisine as “organic Asian street food” and they have selections to satisfy vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free customers – as well as folks like me who love meat and seafood (although I probably order CHK’s sweet garlic tofu about every other time I’m there; it’s fantastic!).

If you want to learn more about Amigo, I noticed that an oral history about him is part of the “Cultivating a Movement” series that was completed in 2010. “Cultivating a Movement: An Oral History Series on Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming on California’s Central Coast” includes 58 (!) interviews with farmers, activists, researchers, and educators. UC Santa Cruz’s Regional Oral History Project conducted this documentary oral history project.

Location: Charlie Hong Kong, 1141 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 831-426-5664

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Love Mondays at Discretion Brewing: drink beer to benefit many causes

Beer at Discretion Brewing in Soquel

Beer at Discretion Brewing in Soquel

Discretion Brewing in Soquel hosts Love Mondays, where drinking beer equals money for local nonprofits. How it works: On selected Mondays, for the entire time the taproom is open (11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.), twenty percent of beer sales are donated to a variety of organizations that have applied for this privilege. This coming Monday, with Farm Discovery at Live Earth as the beneficiary, there is a twist: Discretion Brewing will still donate 20% of beer sales to Farm Discovery AND The Kitchen at Discretion will donate 20% of sales from two unique dishes made with Live Earth Farm produce: salad with smoked potatoes and baby carrots, radishes, Little Gem lettuce and Meyer lemon honey vinaigrette ($10); and Thai basil ice cream with macerated Albion strawberries and broken oatmeal cookies ($8).

Funds raised at Love Monday will help Farm Discovery provide ongoing opportunities for youth to visit Live Earth Farm to learn about organic farming, local food systems, and nutrition. Through Farm Discovery’s programs, local youth—including underserved ones—build confidence in learning to be active caretakers of themselves, their community and their environment.

Family-owned Discretion is committed to producing high-quality handcrafted organic beer. They serve food from The Kitchen at Discretion which chef Santos Majano creates to be shared and paired with the beers. Majano was executive chef at Soif for many years before becoming chef/owner at The Kitchen a couple years ago.

There won’t be a Love Monday on July 4 due to Independence Day (the taproom is open, but for limited hours – 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). But Discretion is having a big party to celebrate the holiday a couple days early: Saturday, July 2 there is an outdoor BBQ, live music and an IPA release.

Here are the beneficiaries for Love Mondays in July; each gets 20% of beer sales that day (this excludes growlers, bottles, & kegs):

July 11: Haven of Hope, which helps young women including foster youth aged 12 to 21
July 18: Young at Heart (with music, Young at Heart has entertained over 100,000 seniors since 1985 00 in senior and day care centers and skilled nursing, convalescent, memory disorder, Alzheimer’s, and residential community facilities throughout Santa Clara, Monterey, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties)
July 25: PAMF Santa Cruz 

Location: 2703 41st Ave., Soquel (831) 316-0662

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More food events to add to Saturday’s Santa Cruz mix

Frog & Toad will be at Bookshop Santa Cruz Saturday

Frog & Toad will be at Bookshop Santa Cruz Saturday

It’s true, I have already let you know of three events happening Saturday, June 25 (tomorrow!) and now I am telling you about two more. Or maybe three or four…keep reading.

If you missed my articles, here are details for the Hop N’ Barley beer festival and Walnut Center strawberry festivals, and for the Pleasure Point Street Fair.

Project Pollinate Festival
The Project Pollinate Summer Solstice Music Festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz. See the event Facebook page for more details including a music schedule. Food details: the Project Pollinate chefs are cooking up a free vegan lunch, to be served at around 1:30. Aptos Natural Foods will be providing organic ingredients for this lunch. There will also be food vendors including Vida Juice Co., La Onda, Pure Heart Chocolate, Solococo and Philosopher’s Stoneground.
Location: 137 Dakota Ave.

Popup: My Mom’s Mole 
My Mom’s Mole is dishing up food at POPUP from 3-10 p.m. (or earlier if the food sells out): mole and Spanish rice, mole on green waffles, and cactus & kale salad. First, choose a base: Spanish rice or a green waffle. Their Spanish rice is made with rice, tomatoes, and fresh vegetables. Green waffles are made with oats, egg whites, spinach, banana, and cauliflower. Next, choose a filling: roasted chicken, slow-cooked pork, or veggie mix (Brussels sprouts, green beans, mushrooms, & potatoes). Then, choose your mole sauce: original (My Mom’s Mole with pork stock), vegan (My Mom’s Mole with vegetable stock), or mole verde (gluten-free with chicken stock). You can also add cactus/kale salad as a side – it has nopales, kale, red onion, tomato, jalapeño & cilantro in a citrus dressing.
Location: 1108 Pacific Ave.

Bookshop Santa Cruz: Kids’ party with cake
Bookshop Santa Cruz is celebrating its 50th anniversary with lots of fun events, and Saturday it’s the “Rocking Horse Birthday Party” to honor its mascot. Customers are meet with book characters Frog and Toad and enjoy birthday cake from 1-3 p.m. There will be games and activities.
Location: 1520 Pacific Ave.

Soquel Village Sip & Stroll
The Soquel Village Sip & Stroll is from 1 to 5 p.m. Participants can visit various Soquel Village businesses and do wine tasting. There will be family-friendly activities and refreshments in front of Hope Church. It’s a benefit for the Soquel Elementary School Garden Project. Tickets are $30 in advance, $36 at the event, and include a commemorative glass and pours at 10 tasting stations which are at Queen Bee Flowers, Tokaido Gallery, Redz Hair Design, TULA Bodyworks, Play It Again Sports, Loot Vintage, Cowbelles For Heart & Home, Traders Emporium, Center Street Antiques and Wargin Wines Tasting Room. Participating wineries are Armitage Wines, Bargetto Winery, Burrell School Vineyards, Chaucer Cellars, Hunter Hill, Pelican Ranch, Poetic Cellars, Silver Mountain Winery, Trout Gulch Vineyards and Wargin Wines. For information or tickets visit the event web site.

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Hop N’ Barley Beer Festival and Strawberry Festival slated for Saturday

Coming soon: Strawberry Festival in Santa Cruz

Coming soon: Strawberry Festival in Santa Cruz

There are many food, beer, and wine-related events this weekend: here are details on two happening Saturday, June 25: the Hop N’ Barley beer festival and the Women’s Center strawberry festival. If you missed my article on the Pleasure Point Street Fair the same day, click here.

Scotts Valley: Hop N’ Barley Beer Festival
There will be 60 craft breweries and 10 ciders pouring, plus food for sale, beer games, two stages of live music, and more. It takes place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Skypark (361 Kings Village Road). Breweries, which will each serve two three styles, include Ballast Point, Discretion, Alvarado Street Brewing, New Bohemia, Peter B’s Brewpub and Humble Sea Brewing Co. See full list here. This is the second year for craft cider tastings. The gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. and beer starts flowing at noon. The festival offers live music occurring on two stages.

General admission is $20 and this includes beer and a commemorative glass; buy tickets here. Kids under 10 are free, and adults who are not drinking beer get in for a reduced price of $5. The Hop N’ Barley beer and BBQ festival benefits non-profit Community Housing Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz: Strawberry Festival
The annual Walnut Avenue Women’s Center (WAWC) Strawberry Festival, a benefit, takes place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. outside of the center (303 Walnut). WAWC has provided support and services for women, children, and families for more than 80 years. Read more at the WAWC web site. The Strawberry Festival raises funds for programs including youth development, parenting, advocacy and domestic violence awareness and prevention.

Admission is free, and there will be food for sale from food trucks plus fresh strawberries and strawberry-related items like shortcake, strawberry lemonade and. There will also be a homemade jam contest, a plant sale, kids’ games, a bounce house and arts and crafts. Live music will include Coffee Zombie Collective and Dan P. and the Bricks. For more information on the festival, call (831) 426-3062.

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