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Labor Day Weekend Family Fun in Capitola

Family Fun in Capitola
Family Fun in Capitola.

Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that summer fun has to stop! Have some family fun over Labor Day weekend at the 62nd Annual Capitola Begonia Festival, five miles south of Santa Cruz and about 30 miles from San Jose. The highlight of this annual festival is the Begonia float parade on Sunday, but the festival is packed full of activities for all ages from August 29-September 1.

Friday, August 29

5-9 pm: Festival kick off with dance reviews performed by local talent.

Saturday, August 30

All day: Float construction along Soquel Creek

8 am – Noon: Sand sculpture contest at Capitola Beach.

Noon – 7 pm: Begonia mural construction on Upper Esplanade Lawn

4-6 pm: Beach Cowboys concert at the beach in Esplanade Park

Dusk: Saturday Movie Night at the Beach (Annie)

Sunday, August 31

Morning: Float construction viewing along Soquel Creek

8 am: Horseshoes on the sand

9 am - Noon: Chalk art on the seawall

1 pm: 62nd Annual Nautical Parade along Soquel Creek to the lagoon

4-6 pm: The Houserockers concert at the beach in Esplanade Park

Monday, September 1

6:30 am – Noon: Fishing Derby at the end of the Capitola Wharf

11 am-2pm: Children’s art project in Esplanade Park

11 am-2 pm : Move Hoops at the Bandstand

1 pm: Rowboat races on Soquel Creek

The Capitola Begonia Festival got its start back in 1952 when approximately 90% of the world’s begonias came from the Brown Bulb Ranch in Capitola, now the site of the Capitola Mall. Since begonias are grown for their tubers or roots which are dug up and sent to market, the flowers often went to waste. Then, in 1952, local resident Peggy Matthews got permission to pick flowers and use them in a local swimming show. Today, the begonia fields are located on 43 acres in Marina and produce over 3 million flowers.

Since traffic from San Jose to Capitola can be challenging, especially over Labor Day weekend, consider a mini-vacation by staying in or near Capitola. Favorite lodgings in the Capitola area are:

  • Best Western Capitola-by-the-Sea
  • Capitola Hotel
  • Capitola Venetian Hotel
  • Seascape Beach Resort (Aptos)

Have a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend!