The Scotts Valley Art, Wine & Beer Fest is this weekend: Here’s what you need to know
On Saturday and Sunday at Siltanen Park, the festival — organized by the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce — will feature more than 23 local wineries and craft brewers, 12 food trucks and food vendors, and more than 100 local and nationally known artists.
Following last year’s COVID hiatus, the Scotts Valley Art, Wine and Beer Festival returns this weekend to a new venue with both veteran and novice vendors.
On Saturday and Sunday, the festival — organized by the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce — will feature more than 23 local wineries and craft brewers, 12 food trucks and food vendors, and more than 100 local and nationally known artists.
Executive Director Danny Reber and Artist Chairperson Angela Marshall have been planning this year’s event for nearly eight months, and believe each part of the festival makes it even more special for attendees.
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“With everything that’s happened in the last year, all of our vendors are so happy to be here to do this,” said Reber, noting the long-term effects of both the pandemic and the CZU Lightning Complex fires on many local artisans and small businesses.
“For the community, this will be one of the first times we can have people come out — there’s a lot of people I talked to who are just excited to come out be in community together,” he said.
Marshall is already excited by all that’s coming this weekend, with presales of online drink package tickets already quadrupled compared to years past.
“It’s blown us out of the water how many people have already purchased,” she said.
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The main quadrants of the festival
It’s in the name, of course: The festival is here to connect attendees with artists, wineries and breweries.
Marshall said she is excited that, of 100 artists showcasing their wares, 35 are new this year to the festival and to the festival circuit, including a few who began creating art during the pandemic. Some artists are also using their businesses to raise money for CZU survivors.
Reber is enthusiastic about the local wineries and breweries that will pour at the festival: “We really want to focus specifically on locals, and there’s no reason to go outside the county for these great options.”
Marshall also notes that the car show — known as “Cops ‘n Rodders,” which benefits the Scotts Valley Police Department — draws a big crowd on Saturday, with the collective activities of “Dog Day” bringing in lots of puppy fans on Sunday.
Eats, music and a ‘beach party’
The festival is rounded out by numerous other options.
Across the weekend, attendees can get eats from 12 local food vendors and trucks, as well as indulge with signature sponsor Bruno’s Bar and Grill. According to Marshall, Bruno’s will host a lounge near the music stage with a “beach party” theme.
There will also be the chance to bust a move with the music lineup. Reber said he is excited to have Lyin’ I’s and the Joint Chiefs return to the main stage, and to have The Lost Boys with James Durbin make their festival debut.
This year’s Kid Zone will include a rock-climbing wall, an obstacle course, and open-air roofless bounce houses.
The county clerk’s office will also bring its Vote Mobile to the event, sharing nonpartisan information about the upcoming recall election and offering voter registration.
New rules to remember
Organizers are expecting at least 10,000 attendees throughout the weekend, which could lead some to be wary of attending. However, Reber and Marshall say that their team will be adamant about safety policies.
All volunteers are required to wear masks, and the festival will follow state and county guidelines. Organizers strongly recommend masking at the event and will post signage throughout the venue space. With the new festival location at Siltanen Community Park, they said it will also be easier than previous years to physically distance.
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“That’s the upside of moving our venue — it’s much easier to spread out and distance and be safer,” said Marshall.
For community members who might want another level of protection, the festival is here to help. Organizers are working with the Crush COVID team to host a pop-up vaccine clinic throughout the weekend as part of its push toward vaccinating more Santa Cruzans.
Give it up for the volunteers
While Reber and Marshall said putting on the festival has been a lot of work for them personally, they couldn’t have done it without the help of the community.
“We have 150-plus volunteers across 20 different subcommittees who come back every year,” Reber said. “They are our key to success — they want it to be fun for the community, and they care so much to make it happen.”
Festivities kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Learn more about the vendors and how to purchase tickets at the event website.