15 Essential Summer Festivals in the Sacramento Area 2018
There are so many reasons to celebrate during the summer in and around Sacramento — whether it’s for our nation’s independence, the many delicious crops grown in the region, or the many talented artisans in our midst. Celebrate all of the above (and so much more) at these festivals happening this summer!
While summer doesn’t technically start until June 21, we decided to kick off the season early with some early-June festivities. After all, we can never have too many food trucks, live music performances and parades on the schedule!
SKIP AHEAD TO: June | July | August
Kick off the summer with the Sacramento Taco Festival, an all-day celebration of the beloved taco. Head to Del Paso Boulevard in Old North Sacramento for a day filled with continuous entertainment, arts and crafts, contests, and of course, all the tacos you can eat. The Sacramento Taco Festival will feature a wide variety of tacos from typical to tropical in a unique setting like no other event in Northern California. Festival admission is $10 for adults and free for children under 10!
June 3 | L Street & 9th Street, Sacramento
This major fitness event at the Capitol features a ½-mile race, 5K and 10K for a variety of fitness levels. The Women’s Fitness Festival brings women together each year to celebrate health and fitness with a race, a post-race breakfast, an on-site store, and an expo featuring a variety of health and fitness vendors. WEAVE, Inc. (Women Escaping A Violent Environment) is bringing an end to domestic violence and sexual assault through 24-hour immediate crisis intervention for survivors, among other resources and services. Register today to support this incredible cause and reserve your spot at this exciting event!
June 10 | Capitol Mall, Sacramento
Photo Courtesy of Sacramento Pride
Sacramento Pride is an annual LGBT celebration promoting acceptance and pride with both a parade and festival in the heart of the city. Watch the parade traveling southeast along N Street from 3rd to 10th Street. The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Capitol Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets. This outdoor party will feature high-energy live music, a dance pavilion, an activity-rich kids’ zone, local vendors, and plenty of food trucks. Admission to the Sacramento Pride Festival is $10 per person and free for children under 10.
June | Central Park, Davis
Celebrate the rich bounty of Yolo County, including wine, tomatoes, berries, honey, meats, cheeses, nuts and flowers, at the annual Taste of Yolo event at Davis Central Park. Sample all of the above and more at this epic celebration of Yolo County’s farms, restaurants, wineries and breweries. Tickets range from $10–35 and may be purchased in advance.
June 15–17 | Downtown Davis
Photo Courtesy of Davis Live Music Collective
Davis Music Fest is returning to the streets of downtown Davis for an eighth consecutive year with three days of music. Experience a variety of genres on various stages throughout downtown showcasing local, regional and touring artists. It’s like a miniature SXSW taking place in a single weekend for a wonderful cause. Proceeds will be donated to the Davis School Arts Foundation, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission is to raise money for art and music education in the Davis public schools. Tickets for the festival cost $35.
July 4 | Garcia Bend Park, Sacramento
Kick off Independence Day with a hearty meal from one of the city’s finest food trucks at the SactoMoFo (Sacramento Mobile Food) 4th of July Parade Pocket. Several food trucks will be lined up at Garcia Bend Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to fulfill all your food cravings, from Middle Eastern to Mexican. Food trucks on site include Bacon Mania, Buckhorn Grill, Chando’s Tacos, Costa’s Finest Kettle Corn, Cowtown Creamery, Drewski’s, Hefty Gyros, Squeeze Inn, and Wandering Boba. Stick around to admire the decorated patriotic floats in the parade, followed by a community fair with live music, entertainment and lots of food!
July 13–29 | Cal Expo, Sacramento
Photo Courtesy of the California State Fair
Considered “The Best 17 Days of Summer,” the California State Fair has been a summertime tradition for Sacramento residents for over 50 years. Events and attractions include horse racing, concerts, animal exhibits, carnival rides, delicious food, demonstrations, live entertainment, and a variety of other exhibits. There is something for everyone at the California State Fair! Tickets range in price, but if you buy before July 12, you can take advantage of special discounts and bundles.
July 14 | Historic Folsom Plaza, Folsom
Is there anything more summery than biting into a sweet and juicy peach? The year-round Historic Folsom Farmers’ Market is celebrating all things peach at their special peach festival at the market! Stop by the Historic Folsom Plaza from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to stock up on peaches and other peach-centric creations. Admission is completely free!
July 26–29 | Elk Grove Regional Park, Elk Grove
Photo Courtesy of the Strauss Festival of Elk Grove
Don’t miss the enchanting Strauss Festival of Elk Grove, a four-night celebration of evening performances at Elk Grove Regional Park. Choreographed storylines are set to music by the family of the renowned Austrian composer Johann Strauss, played by a live orchestra. This free outdoor staged dance production has attracted more than 30,000 people annually with breathtaking performances and captivating music.
July 29 | Southside Park, Sacramento
Join the annual celebration of chicken wings, one of America’s favorite finger foods, at Sactown Wings. This popular festival pays tribute to the tasty chicken wings prepared by local vendors, including Kiki’s Chicken Place, The Red Rabbit, Evan’s Kitchen, Logan’s Roadhouse, Blue Cue, Chicago Fire, Barwest and more. Enjoy live music, games, cheap beer and samplings from over 40,000 chicken wings on site at Southside Park. Purchase general admission tickets for $10 in advance or $15 at the door, or receive VIP treatment by becoming a VIP Wing Judge, where you’ll enjoy early entry, 20 wing tasting tickets, wing voting privileges, various souvenirs and more.
July 23–29 | Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento
Nicknamed “The Big Tomato,” the city of Sacramento produces a plentiful bounty of tomatoes. Savor this delicious fruit at Midtown Sacramento’s annual Sacratomato Week in July. This food-focused week will highlight Sutter District restaurants each day with tomato-inspired themes and dishes.
August 11 | Historic Heritage Plaza, Woodland
Woodland is the epicenter of all things tomato, as Yolo County contains the climate and soil that make this an ideal region for both commercial production and home-grown tomatoes. Celebrate this beloved fruit at the 11th Annual Woodland Tomato Festival taking over downtown Woodland with salsa competitions, battle of the chefs contests, a master gardeners tomato tasting booth, a farmers’ market, face painting, live local music, and over 70 booths with crafters, artisans and businesses.
August 11–12 | William Land Park, Sacramento
Don’t miss the 9th Annual Sacramento Banana Festival, a two-day family-friendly, multi-cultural festival celebrating the many countries and cultures using the banana as a staple ingredient, including Asia, Africa and the Americas. Enjoy fun for all ages, including delicious banana-centric cuisine, live entertainment, cultural exhibits, a marketplace, food trucks, and more. The festival benefits the National Academic Youth Corps, which provides art and educational programs for over 15,000 youth and adults every year in Sacramento, as well as over a dozen other local charities.
August 26 | Curtis Park, Sacramento
Savor the summer under the lush canopy of trees at Curtis Park with the 12th Annual Curtis Fest, featuring over 60 local artisans and creatives. Artists and makers include painters, sculptors, textile artists, woodworkers, and more. This is the perfect activity for the whole family (including your four-legged family member), as there will be live music, food trucks, a petting zoo, a children’s fair, and a pet refreshment station. The event is completely free and open to the public! Stick around for live music at Music in the Park from 6–8 p.m. Don’t forget a picnic blanket and chairs to sit on while you hear live music and snack on food truck fare.
August 25 | Cesar Chavez Park, Sacramento
The Sactown Nachos Festival is a massive annual food extravaganza focused on all things nachos. This family-friendly event will feature live music, entertainment, beverages, and an overwhelming variety of nachos to choose from. A large portion of the proceeds from the Sactown Nachos Festival will be donated to Project Optimism, a non-profit benefiting children, homeless and individuals diagnosed with cancer.
Which summer festivals are you looking forward to?
Let us know what “can’t-miss” festivals are on your calendar each year!