Goleta’s third annual Dam Dinner was not just about an evening meal. Residents chatted, played cards and enjoyed a spectacular summer evening from atop the dam at Lake Los Carneros. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Goleta hosted its third annual Dam Dinner at Lake Los Carneros on Saturday, inviting locals to eat dinner, enjoy drinks and listen to music during the increasingly popular event.

The idea spawned from a 2013 “Love of Goleta” workshop, which encouraged locals to get engaged and think of ways to make the now-13-year-old city more friendly and more interesting.

With views of the Goleta Valley sweeping up the mountainside and a single row of tables stretching into the distance, several hundred residents attended Saturday. They shared meals, conversation, laughter and even a card game or two.

“It is such a great event,” Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, told Noozhawk. “This is such a unique way to celebrate our unique community — very laid-back, very authentic and organic.

“People seem to love the simplicity of it, and so do I.”

Since the event started, a volunteer committee formed to organize it, including Miller, Dacia Harwood of the Goleta Valley Historical Society; David Hunt of the Goleta Valley chamber and the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet, Valerie Kushnerov of the City of Goleta, Amy Mallett, Mayor Paula Perotte and Pete Wolf.

Sponsors of the evening include the City of Goleta, Georgia’s Smokehouse, the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, Haskells Designs, MarBorg Industries and Rancho La Patera & Stow House.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.