Welcome to the Top 10 Events in CaliforniaExplore the selection of the top 10 annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) across the State of California, including events in San Francisco, Pasadena, Mendocino and Lake Tahoe.
Since 1890, millions of spectators from around the world celebrate the New Year with the annual Rose Parade featuring the beautiful pageantry and tradition of magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians and spirited marching bands.
The Rose Parade has grown from a local Pasadena institution to a national ceremony that's very equivalent to the New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square.
For more information visit: www.tournamentofroses.com
Mendocino Crab & Wine Days
Recently listed as one of the Top 10 Seafood & Wine Festivals in Coastal Living Magazine, this fundraiser features two of Mendocino County's most highly prized commodities: locally caught Dungeness crab and locally produced wines!
Festivities include cooking classes, crab tours, fishing excursions, crustacean-and-wine dinners, and the annual crab cake cook-off and wine tasting at Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor.
Visitors can pick up an official Crab & Wine Days Passport and have it stamped to win lodging, dinners and wine.
For more information visit: www.visitmendocino.com
Asian American Film Festival
San Francisco, California
The USA’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films, annually presenting approximately 120 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose.
Since 1982, the SFIAAFF has been an important launching point for Asian American independent filmmakers as well as a vital source for new Asian cinema.
For more information visit:http://festival.asianamericanmedia.org/
Cherry Blossom Festival
San Francisco, California
More than 200,000 people attend this his popular Japanese American community event in Japantown showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the Japanese American Community.
The Street Fair includes a food bazaar with traditional Japanese cuisine and cooking demonstrations, a Japanese traditional arts and crafts fair, and a children's village. Entertainment stages feature performances by Japanese classical and folk dancers, martial artists, taiko drummers and others.
The highlight of the festival is the Grand Parade on the final Sunday.
For more information visit: nccbf.org
Heading for its 100th birthday in 2011, the Bay to Breakers 12K is one of the world’s largest and oldest foot races with 65,000 + participants and 100,000 + spectators annually.
The name reflects the traditional course which takes tens of thousands of participants from the northeast end of the downtown area near The Embarcadero (the “Bay” side of the city) to the west end of the city and the “breakers” of Ocean Beach.
For more information visit: www.baytobreakers.comOR ... TAKE A LOOK AT THE TOP EVENTS USA FEATURE PROFILE ABOUT BAY TO BREAKERS 12K
The annual Napa ARTwalk encourages residents and visitors to take a self-guided tour to explore and interact with the outdoor sculpture exhibition in Downtown Napa. The ten sculptures are selected by a jury of arts professionals to showcase innovative sculpture. During the 11-month program, the public will vote on its favorite sculpture work. Every May a new exhibition of sculptures will be installed.
For more information visit: www.NapaARTwalk.orgOR ... TAKE A LOOK AT THE TOP EVENTS USA FEATURE PROFILE ABOUT THE NAPA ARTWALK
Sonoma County Showcase
Sonoma County, California
The Sonoma County Showcase is Wine Country's premier wine and food festival combining the best of the Sonoma County Showcase of Wine and Food and the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction.
With four days of fantastic wine and food presented by world-renowned winemakers and Sonoma’s top chefs, events include Taste of Sonoma, a two-day grand tasting with more than 100 wineries, 50 chefs, wine seminars, chef competitions, and more – and a wine auction too.
For more information visit
Smokin in the Oaks
Penn Valley, Northern California
The biggest event in Northern California, the 4th Annual Smokin The Oaks event features everything from the BBQ Cook-Off Championship with 40 BBQ teams and 8,000 folks taking part and enjoying the fun, to live local music playing all day long, as well as a chance for everyone to enjoy the #2 Disc Golf Course in California, 2 kids playgrounds, 4 bocce ball courts, a swimming area and Nature Walk.
For more information visit
Gilroy Garlic Festival
Established in 1979, this three-day summertime celebration of incredible food, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and cooking demonstrations requires the work of 4,000 community volunteers, whose efforts have returned over $ 8-million to various local charities. Two of its own top events are the internationally contested Great Garlic Cook-Off and the Garlic Showdown when four chefs compete in an iron chef-style competition
For more information visit gilroygarlicfestival.com/
Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance
Pebble Beach, California
First conducted in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has grown to become the world’s premier celebration of the automobile.
Only the most beautiful and rare cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links®, and connoisseurs of art and style flock to see these masterpieces – more than 200 classic cars from 12 countries,
Charitable donations raised by the show now total over $11 million.
For more information visit: www.pebblebeachconcours.net
Monterey Jazz Festival
The longest running jazz festival in the world, held every September on the Monterey Fairgrounds site where the Festival was first presented in 1958.
The Monterey Jazz Festival presents the best jazz performers in the world for a three-day celebration of the best in jazz. In addition, the Monterey Jazz Festival features jazz conversations, panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, clinics, and an international array of food, shopping and festivities spread throughout the 20-acre Monterey Fairgrounds.
The Monterey Jazz Festival is a nonprofit organization and has donated its proceeds to musical education since its inception in 1958
For more information visit: www.montereyjazzfestival.org
Mavericks Big Wave Surf Competition
December to March
Half Moon Bay, California
At any time from the beginning of December to the end of March, and perhaps even on only 24 hours notice, the world’s greatest big-wave surfers descend upon the frigid waters of Half Moon Bay for the chance to ride "the most dangerous waves in the world."
Mavericks is a winter destination for some of the world's premier big wave surfers, and the world-famous, iinvitation-only contest - the first was held in 1999 - is held here every winter, depending on wave conditions.
For more information visit: www.maverickssurf.com