Discovering Northern California's
Events and Festivals

NorCal Events and Festivals For Friends and Family

Events and festivals are the community get-togethers that celebrate the joie de vivre of an area; they put a sparkle in our eyes, a smile on our faces, and a spring in our steps - whether they're about food, music, dance, drink, nature, or ethnic diversity!

So we're gathering Northern California's celebrations together in one place for your pleasure and convenience. This is a work in progress and we'll be adding more, but if your event is missing and you'd like it included, just let us know here.

Events and Festivals Often Center Around Seasonal Changes

Sharing Corn on the Cob; Photo Courtesy of Bodega Seafood FestivalSharing; Courtesy BodegaSeafood

People create these get togethers to celebrate everything from the local fruit or nut harvest, to an area's cultural or religious heritage, to the changing of the seasons.

In Northern California you'll find events and festivals applauding the merits of mushrooms, marking the travels of Gray Whales, celebrating the drinking of the bubbly...

There are railroad days and gold rush days...

Old-fashioned threshing bees and airshows with acrobatic jet planes...

You name it, someone somewhere in Northern California is honoring it!

Take a look around. You'll find the events and festivals here arranged by month so you can easily figure out what's happening now!

Looking for Festivals that center on a favorite food? Those are our favorites, too! Take a look at Fun Food Festivals.

How to Plan a Festival or Event

Have you, or has your group or circle, thought about putting on an event or a festival for your community?

If so, the thought may soon have become overwhelming! You probably had way more questions than you had answers.

Although we have taken part in the planning and production of events and festivals, we're by no means experts. Nonetheless, we thought we could put down a few ideas to get you started and to point you in the right direction to learn more.

These are a few of the topics you'll want to consider:

  • The purpose of your festival
    Do you want to make money? Create community? Have an economic impact on your area? Educate?
  • A theme for your festival
    Possible themes include (but are not limited to) music and the arts, local history, ethnicity or culture, agriculture, holidays or seasonal events, arts and crafts/hobbies, a local industry, natural resources.
  • A name for your festival
    Try to find a name that is unique and attention grabbing (it could even be kind of wacky, fun, or crazy).
  • The best date to hold your festival
    Take into consideration things like the weather, conflicting events, time of year...
  • A budget and funding for your festival
    Along with deciding on a budget, you'll want to figure out how you'll fund your festival (at least for the first year or so).
  • A structure for your festival
    Will you have entertainment? Field trips and seminars? Trade shows? Children's' activities? Vendors?
  • Making your festival happen
    You'll want volunteers, partners, possibly even paid staff, to ensure that everything is completed timely and efficiently.
  • Publicizing your festival
    Obviously, you'll want to utilize traditional media such as newsletters, TV and radio, newspapers, etc., but don't overlook the Internet. Be sure to build a website or at least a web page for your festival - that's where a lot of people are looking!
  • After your festival
    Don't think it's over yet! There's a lot of important work to be done still, like a Survivor's Party to celebrate!! In addition, you'll want to debrief, evaluate, send thank yous, and begin the prep for next year.

For more detailed information, visit Larry Ward's in depth article.

You'll find Northern California events and festivals occur during each and every month of the year!

Please continue your exploration of what Northern California has to offer by using the Nav Bars in the left and right columns or by using the links at the bottom of the page.

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And thanks for coming!