From its lush mountain forests to miles of pristine beaches, Santa Cruz’s natural beauty makes it one of California's top coastal destinations. Home to more than 29 miles of beachfront, the city has the perfect sandy spot and beach activity for every visitor. Those looking for a unique adventure will love Natural Bridges State Beach. Here travelers will encounter rock formations, an abundance of wildlife, and Monarch Grove, a butterfly preserve with thousands of Monarch Butterflies. The Real Surf City is also a go-to destination for farm-to-table cuisine. The city’s farmers markets serve as a supplier for favorite restaurants like Bantam, La Posta, and Ristorante Avanti.
The Redwood Mountain Faire has been an annual tradition for thousands of people since its inception nine years ago, and it will take place June 2-3 at Roaring Camp in Felton. This event offers exciting and safe activities and entertainment for children and parents alike. Part music festival and part craft fair, the event offers something for everyone. The music lineup features more than 20 bands from California and across the country performing on two stages. Some of this year’s performers include Hank and Ella with The Fine Country Band, August Sun, Dan Too, and Crooked Branches. Make sure not to miss performances by Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Con Brio, The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men, and Orgone. Aside from the live music, attendees can stop by the Arts and Crafts Market, which features a variety of local and regional vendors selling handmade goods, trinkets, art, clothing, and more. In the Kids Area, children can enjoy activities like face painting, bouncy houses, and games. If all the family fun makes you hungry, food vendors will be on-hand selling everything from festival fare to vegan meals. Those over 21 years of age can purchase wines from Santa Cruz Mountains wineries, as well as beer made by local microbreweries. Proceeds from this year’s event will go-to more than 15 local charities such as Boulder Creek Elementary Parents Club, Mountain Community Resources, and San Lorenzo Valley Emergency Network. We interviewed Event Representative, Nancy Macy, to learn more about this unique community spectacular.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
NM: This is the 9th Annual Redwood Mountain Faire.
RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?
NM: There are at least 5,000 people who attend the Faire over the weekend. Because of its wide range of activities, beautiful venue, and welcoming “feel,” it attracts a wide demographic.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
NM: There are 22 bands on two stages, artists and artisans with beautiful self-made works, a large area with great children’s activities, delicious food, Santa Cruz Mountain wines and ciders, and beer from local microbreweries. Plus, there are extra entertainment surprises.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
NM: The setting starts as you walk under the Roaring Camp covered bridge, and come down to a vast meadow. It's a beautiful area with large oak and sycamore trees providing shade. (Roaring Camp is adjacent to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park). It’s a “rain or shine” event, and the music moves into the huge “Bret Harte Hall” if needed.
The Children’s Area is to the right of the entrance, and vendor booths and Meadow Stage are in the open meadow. As you pass through the Meadow Stage area, passing more vendors and the food area, you come to the Creekside Stage, with many trees shading the area and picnic tables all around.
RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere.
NM: It’s a beautiful, fun place to be for couples, music lovers, families with kids – all ages.
RAL: What will attendees find for food options?
NM: The food is high quality and local, ranging from vegan to bar-b-que, all reasonably priced and fresh. The wines are high quality and although it’s not a “tasting,” wine aficionados will find several to their liking. The microbrews are fantastic, and the ciders have doubled in sales over the past two years.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
NM: The Faire is entirely volunteer-run, from the year-round Steering Committee to the ticket sellers and beer servers. That and a fantastic number of sponsors who support the Faire has enabled us to give almost $300,000 to local non-profit, service, school and community organizations.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
NM: The Faire brings in thousands of people from local communities and the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas. It benefits local businesses, of course, as does the Faire’s spending for supplies and materials.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
NM: The cost is low. There is a $5 parking fee, with a free shuttle from the lot. If tickets are purchased online (or at the local businesses who also sell tickets before the Faire), adult entry is $25. Teens (13-17) and Seniors (65+) are $20. Kids 12 and under are free. At the gate, adults are $29, Teens & Seniors $24. Two-day passes are available for $45 adults, and $35 Teens and Seniors. Many folks come for the weekend.
For more information about the Redwood Mountain Faire, please visit the event website.