The annual Autumn Arts Festival is a time to celebrate the harvest season in the Santa Maria Valley with local artists, fabulous wine and tasty handcrafted beers.

Now in its 33rd year, the festival takes place 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 1 at the McClelland Civic Corridor, 400-600 blocks of South McClelland Street.

 “We invite visitors to partake in a day of art demonstrations, beer- and wine-tasting, live entertainment, great food, arts-and-crafts vendors, family-friendly activities, a chalk-art exposé, a scarecrow-decorating contest, a car show and a fine arts show,” said Cindy Hoskins, recreation supervisor at the city of Santa Maria.

“These are all the fun-filled activities that everyone can enjoy to celebrate the season,” Hoskins said.

Founded in 1983, the city of Santa Maria and the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Visitor & Convention Bureau established the largest and longest running beer and wine festival in Santa Maria. The festival is free.

Highlighting the festivities will be the beer- and wine-tasting from 12:30-3:30 p.m., hosted by the Santa Maria Noontime Kiwanis Club at the Elks Field behind the Abel Maldonado Center.

This is a nonprofit event provided by local brewers, wineries and local distributors, and served entirely by volunteers. All of the net proceeds from admission and sponsors will benefit local nonprofit organizations and their programs.

Tickets are $25 per person in advance or $30 at the door. Reserve or festival tables can also be purchased in advance.

Scarecrows are a common sight at harvest season but the Autumn Arts Festival takes these characters to a new level with the 2nd annual scarecrow decorating contest.

Residents and participating merchants, organizations and schools can create a traditional, whimsical, humorous or fictional scarecrow to engage in their community and spread goodwill.

Scarecrow artists can place their creations in front of their home, school or storefront. Entries are free and awards will be given to the best and most creative photo submission.

The festival will feature a fine-arts show where artists residing anywhere from Santa Ynez to the Five Cities are welcome to exhibit their works. A cash prize and people’s-choice ribbon will be awarded.

Also on tap are a chalk-art exposé, where participants create their chalk pictures at the event, and a car show featuring motorcycles, hot rods, classic cars, low-riders and bikes fit for a car enthusiast.

This year’s festival sponsors are: People for Leisure and Youth, Inc., Santa Maria Kiwanis, Santa Maria Arts Council, Los Padres Artists Guild, Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Town Center Gallery, American General Media, KSBY, Coca Cola, Del Taco and Searchlight Properties.

For more information, contact Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, 925-0951 ext. 2349, or email Visit to submit your application for participation in the event.

Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau.