SanTan Brewing Company Oktoberfest
Oct. 4 — The tradition of Oktoberfest may have started in Germany, but you don’t have to travel to Europe to enjoy the same festivities. Fans of live entertainment, authentic German food and craft beer will don their lederhosen and dirndls and gather at Dr. A. J. Chandler Park in Chandler for beer, brats and bands. This family-friendly Oktoberfest has plenty to offer everyone including tricycle races, a bag toss and beer games such as the buddy carry, a beer pong tournament, wiener dog races, stein races and keg stacking. The event will begin with the games and then move to Von Hanson’s bratwurst-eating contest and the live acts. Leading this year’s entertainment lineup will be performances by Iration, an alternative reggae band, and Reel Big Fish, a Huntington Beach ska band. Also on the entertainment bill is reggae rock band 80 Proof and Arizona’s own Bad Cactus Brass Band. Now in its seventh year, this festival will fill the day with a mix of reggae, rock, polka, beer, brats and fun. Hours: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $10-12. (santanoktoberfest.com)
Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival
Oct. 11 — This signature event coincides with lobster season and features local commercial fishermen offering the Santa Barbara Channel’s freshest seafood. Fishermen and seafood vendors will provide thousands of festivalgoers with an abundance of live lobster, crab, prawns, oysters, crab cakes, sea urchin uni, BBQ albacore, clam chowder, fish tacos, seafood gumbo and other prepared dishes. In addition to the vast array of seafood cuisine, there will be many ongoing activities at the Waterfront Center such as seared ahi cooking demonstrations at the Chuck Waterfront Grill. The Other Woman and Dixie Hicks bands will entertain at the Waterfront Center. The Maritime Museum will have films and exhibits. The UCSB Marine Science Institute will display the mobile REEF touch tank filled with sea life found in the channel, offering an interactive hands-on way of sharing the history and biology of these creatures. There will also be kids’ arts and crafts. Festivalgoers will get the opportunity to go on tours of the 94-year old Ranger, the Tall Ship Spirit of Dana Point and the United States Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin. Everyone will get the chance to experience a real “working harbor” featuring local fishing boats and crew. However, if you prefer your feet on the ground instead of in a boat, there will be over 40 arts and crafts vendors offering jewelry, clothing, art, photography and other handcrafted items. This festival also has live entertainment performed by FISH and the Seaweeds, The Ride, and Spencer the Gardener. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. (harborfestival.org)
Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree
Oct. 15–19 — Attendees from all fifty states, every Canadian province and several foreign countries gather each October to celebrate live performances of America’s music at this festival that was created out of a love and appreciation for jazz music. Celebrating its 25th year, this event is dedicated to helping talented artists expose their music to the world, as well as providing lively entertainment for festivalgoers. Live music will go on every day, with the genres ranging from vintage jazz to swing, from big band to zydeco, from blues to western swing and more. There will be over 40 bands and 200 musicians performing throughout the festival, which features the Sun Valley Jazz All Star Band. Others in the five-day lineup include the Blue Street Jazz Band, Side Street Strutters Jazz Band, Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra, Boise Straight Ahead, Gator Nation, Kings of Swing, the Yale Whiffenpoofs and many more too numerous to mention.
Four professional dance instructors will give twenty hours of dance instruction free to festival attendees who want to learn the shag, fox trot, Lindy hop, Charleston, Balboa and other dances. There are dance competitions to enter later in the event. The closing Afterglow Dinner takes place on Sunday evening with delightful piano music and ends the evening with dancing to the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree All Star Big Band. This festival also features a Mardi Gras party, jazz drama program, golf scramble and wine tastings. Ticket prices vary for each of these special events. Tickets for the whole festival (all five days combined) are $143 for a limited time and $161 at the door. RV parking will be available starting at noon on Oct. 10, but there is an RV registration fee of $30 (before Oct. 7) or $35 at the event. (sunvalleyjazz.com)
Southern Oregon Music Festival
Oct 10–12 — This festival is truly a musical event for all ages. Over the years the event has stayed true to its Dixieland roots while still broadening the scope of music to include zydeco, swing, jump-jive, big band and other music that is period-contemporary with the 1900–1960 jazz and post-jazz era. One of the festival’s main focuses is the youth program in which over 15,000 students are entertained and introduced to jazz every year during the festival. A select group from the Oregon Coast Lab Band (over 150 students from ages 11 to 18) performs each year at this event. These students contribute to the already impressive lineup of bands, which includes Dave Bennett and The Memphis Boys, Professors Lite, High Sierra Jazz Band, High Street Band, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Titan Hot Seven, Sister Swing and many more. Sister Swing is a trio dedicated to preserving the vintage jazz sounds of the girl groups of the 1930s and 1940s. Backed by The Chopped Liver Orchestra, Sister Swing has been asked to participate in an international tribute to the Boswell Sisters Revival in New Orleans in October—a clear indicator that this festival is bringing the talent.
Dancing at the Southern Oregon Music Festival has always been popular and in the last few years has really taken off. From the energetic, uninhibited steps of jump-jive to the classical intimate waltz, the festival has become the ultimate place to dance to live music. Dancing is available at every venue and every level of dancing is welcome. The largest floor placed front and center is found at the KOBI Studio C Dance Venue, where there will be lessons and demonstrations throughout the festival. The longest-running jazz festival in Southern Oregon and Northern California, this event is held at five venues over three days. Ticket prices vary depending on the day and time you attend, but you can get early bird tickets for the whole event for $75 through Sept. 30. (somusicfest.org)
Autumn Aloft Hot Air Balloon Festival
Sept. 20–21 — Originally created to reflect the free-spirited, anything-goes exuberance of Park City, this festival is back after a 20-year hiatus with even more balloonists than before. This year 15 balloonists have been invited to fill the sky. The previous Autumn Aloft Festivals entertained almost 20,000 spectators before Park City was the flourishing mountain destination it is now. Garnering worldwide interest in past years, this festival will resume the tradition. The balloons will be in the air from 7 to 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, launching from the North 40 Fields behind Treasure Mountain Middle School. The evening launch known as the “Glow” will take place from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday along historic Main Street. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the many shops and restaurants in the Historic District. Ample parking will be provided at Park City High School. The public bus transportation is free to ride and takes visitors to every corner of Park City. (autumnaloft.com)
Huntsman World Senior Games
Oct. 6–18 — Taking place in St. George, the World Senior Games involve 27 athletic events over a two-week period, including traditional sports such as volleyball, soccer and badminton. More unique competitions are bridge, square dancing, horseshoes and a “cowboy action shoot.” There is definitely a little bit of everything to try. The games have become a renowned event among serious athletes from Japan to Russia and from Alaska to Australia, and are open to all men and women meeting the minimum age requirement of 50. In addition to athletic events, the games also promote health by providing life-saving health screenings for serious health threats, and regular check-up screenings on vision, hearing, blood pressure and much more. Band concerts, dances, and awards socials for each sport are also part of the package. Following the pattern of the Olympics, the Senior Games kick off with a grand opening ceremony, which includes a Parade of Athletes, entertainment, fireworks and the traditional lighting of the Huntsman World Senior Games Cauldron. The next day brings a Western Dinner Dance, where participants can enjoy a delicious meal and a live western band complete with line dancing. The second week of the games begins with the Huntsman World Senior Games Concert and Celebration, which goes on in the midst of the Global Cup, where the best senior volleyball teams on earth battle it out for the title of World Senior Volleyball Champions. While many of these events are free and open to the public, visit the games’ website for details on tickets, registration and specific times. (seniorgames.net)
Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Oct. 10–12 — “Crabfest” is one of the most acclaimed food festivals in the country, celebrating the traditions of the Olympic Peninsula while also bringing food, art, music, Native American activities and children’s events together into an impressive three-day event. The festival hosts the unique Olympic coast cuisine with chefs utilizing the cultural and food resources of the Olympic Peninsula in their food preparation and presentation. Located on the beautiful Port Angeles waterfront and only a short ferry ride from sparkling Victoria, Canada, the festival features ongoing cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, local wine tasting, and even a Crabfest 5K Fun Run. Fifteen local and regional restaurants complement the crab feed with more than 25 seafood dishes and great desserts. And don’t miss the Benefit Chowder Cook-Off on Sunday with the “Galloping Gourmet” Chef Graham Kerr as judge. If you love cooking chowder, this is for you.
A Sunday morning non-denominational “Crab Revival” with gospel music performed by the Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers is always a favorite. And the Taylor Shellfish Farms Raw Oyster Bar with a variety of the freshest local oysters is not to be missed. Celebrating the world-famous Dungeness crab, the most popular kids and family activity at the festival is the Grab-A-Crab Crab Derby costing $5. There will also be over 60 vendor booths with juried crafts, art, pottery and jewelry. Live entertainment will play throughout the event. The Feiro Marine Center explores the marine environment with hands-on exhibits and activities. The festival also offers educational activities designed to create a better understanding of the natural resources and issues facing the Olympic Peninsula. Admission is free. (crabfestival.org)