The best part of summer fairs and festivals is not only the food, but the chance to spend time with family and friends making memories and enjoying time away from the routine. It’s a chance to experience something unique that happens only once a year. Don’t wait until next year to attend one of these great events, plan your summer family festival fun now.
Orange County Fair
July 12-Aug. 11
OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
One of the largest county fairs in the country returns with its traditional lineup of competitive exhibits, carnival rides, shopping, food and concerts.
Camarillo Fiesta and Street Fair
Parking: 305 Arneill Road, 3100 Ponderosa Drive, 771 E. Daily Drive or 601 Carmen Drive, Camarillo
This annual tradition in Old Town Camarillo is a family-friendly event that features a carnival, games, food, vendors and entertainment.
41st Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival
Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. Traffic is directed to festival parking lots via signs on Highway 101
In addition to celebrating all things garlic, come to Gilroy to cheer on Newhall resident Merry Graham as she competes to win $3,000 in the 41st annual Great Garlic Cook-Off on Saturday, July 27. Award-winning chec and restaurateur James Beard and Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio will host. In addition, add 10 tons of beef … 4 tons of pasta … 4 tons of calamari … 2 tons of scampi …plus 2 tons of fresh Christopher Ranch garlic in the annual Ultimate Summer Food Fair; three days of food, beverages, arts and crafts, and live entertainment.
Long Beach Crawfish Festival
Rainbow Lagoon Park, 400-403 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach
The crawfish boil will feature authentic, Louisiana-style crawfish served with cajun potatoes and corn. Dance to live entertainment including cajun, zydeco and New Orleans-style music, and join the Second Line Dancing Parade. Zydeco dance lessons are held regularly throughout the day. Enjoy tons of fresh crawfish prepared Louisiana style by a master chef in the world’s largest crawfish pots at the international food court featuring New Orleans-inspired cuisine.
Oxnard Salsa Festival
Plaza Park, 500 S C St., Oxnard
This family-friendly and fun celebration of everything “salsa” includes food, music and dance. Salsa tasting, salsa dancing, kid’s attractions, international cuisine and a salsa recipe contest. The event is free to attend, but there is a charge for food and special concert seating.
Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival
Marine Stadium, 5255 E. Paoli Way, Long Beach
The annual Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival showcases the ancient Chinese sport of dragon boat racing. In addition to hosting one of the largest dragon boat competitions in California, there will be Chinese traditional art demonstrations, Chinese acrobats, traditional dance, hip hop, music, food and martial arts performances.
Berkeley Kite Festival
Berkeley Marina, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley
The largest kites, about the size of a full-sized school bus, can be seen from a far distance, but there are many other kites of various hues and sizes that fill the sky. This family-friendly festival offers jumpy houses, kite-making station, pony rides and a kite “ballet” performance in the sky.
Old Spanish Days Fiesta
July 31-Aug. 1
This annual event provides an education and entertainment to residents and visitors about the history, customs and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican and early-American settlers that comprise the rich cultural heritage of Santa Barbara. Fiesta performers from around the nation and Mexico participate. Parade, Mexican market and food court, entertainment, music, tours, arts and crafts and a rodeo. The events are held at a variety of times and locations around Santa Barbara.
Ventura County Fair
July 31-Aug. 11
Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura
The “Country Fair with Ocean Air,” 144th edition of the Ventura County Fair will feature a traditional mix of family-friendly fun, entertainment, education and food.
23rd Annual Lemon Festival
353 Third Avenue Chula Vista
This festival celebrates Chula Vista’s heritage as “Lemon Capital of the World” and features live entertainment on three stages, hand crafters, international foods, a beer garden and contests. Enjoy lemon-infused treats, kid-centric activities, sour contests, family fun and a lemony beverage bar.
10th Annual Sacramento Banana Festival
William Land Park, 3800 W. Land Park Drive, Sacramento
Family-friendly fun, food, live entertainment and exhibits. Enjoy banana recipes as well as other amazing foods. Live entertainment, banana bake-off, banana pageant, Carmen Miranda hat contest, Smashed! chef challenge and marketplace.