Participants dive face first into lemon pies as spectators cheer them on in the 2022 Goleta Lemon Festival’s annual pie-eating contest. This year’s festival is Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Girsh Park in Goleta. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk file photo)
Participants dive face first into lemon pies as spectators cheer them on in the 2022 Goleta Lemon Festival’s annual pie-eating contest. This year’s festival is Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Girsh Park in Goleta. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk file photo)

While summer may be winding down in Santa Barbara County, fall has plenty of events and activities to enjoy.

From the Goleta Lemon Festival to the Central Coast AirFest in Santa Maria, residents can find numerous ways to enjoy the season.


September is lemon month in Goleta thanks to the 30th annual Goleta Lemon Festival, which will be held on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

From a classic car show to a pie-eating contest, locals can get their lemon fix at Girsh Park, 7050 Phelps Road, south of Camino Real Marketplace

The Lemon Festival is home to the largest interactive display of fire, police and emergency services in the county. Attendees will even get to meet the horses and K-9 units.

The fifth anniversary of the NatureTrack Film Festival will be held Oct. 6-8.

The film festival started in Los Olivos in 2018 but this year the three-day event will be held at the Metropolitan Fairview Theatre, 225 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta.

The festival will feature more than 40 nature films from 13 countries. The film categories are Adventure, Animation, Biography, Conservation, Kids Connecting With Nature, Scenic, Student, and a special genre called Outdoors & Out of Bounds.

The awards will be determined by a panel of film industry professionals, outdoor guides and teachers.

Individual tickets are now available for $12. Click here to make an online purchase.    

The 51st annual Santa Barbara Old-Time Fiddlers’ Festival is scheduled for Oct. 7 at Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Road.

Performances will include the Canote Twins, Hog-Eyed Man, Spencer & Rains and many more. Along with performances, guests can expect contests, workshops and an instrument petting zoo.

What’s an instrument petting zoo? A place where kids can test out banjos, fiddles and other old-time instruments.

Anyone wanting to learn the banjo or fiddle can attend one of the festival’s eight workshops.

Click here to purchase tickets at $20 for adults.

Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Zoo, 500 Niños Drive, is hosting six nights of Halloween fun with its annual Boo at the Zoo event Oct. 20-22 and 27-29.

The event provides safe trick-or-treating with a few thrills and chills. For adults, there will be treats and “boo-zy” drinks.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for kids, and children under 2 can enjoy the fun for free.

Seafood lovers, your moment is coming Oct. 21 at the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival at the Santa Barbara Harbor.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. attendees can meet fishermen, select fresh-caught lobster and visit specialty food booths. Booths will feature fish tacos, clam chowder, fresh crab and more.

There also will be live music throughout the day featuring Juan Dolor, Spencer The Gardener and Cornerstone.

Activities include a Harbor Patrol fire boat demonstration, dockside tours and more. 

This event is free to attend at the harbor.

Ride Santa Barbara 100 is returning for its 12th anniversary on Oct. 21. The 100-mile course starts and ends at Chase Palm Park at 236 E. Cabrillo Blvd. on the Santa Barbara waterfront. Riders will leave at 7 a.m.

The route will take cyclists past the waterfront, Lake Casitas in Ventura County, the foothills of Montecito and Carpinteria, and the flatlands of the Goleta Valley. 

Click here to register for $159.

Avocados are available for purchase at the California Avocado Festival in Carpinteria.
Avocados on sale at the 2022 California Avocado Festival in Carpinteria. (Noozhawk file photo)


Carpinteria’s 37th annual California Avocado Festival is Oct. 6-8. It is one of the largest free festivals in California with 60 acts on four stages.

At noon Oct. 8, festivalgoers can compete at the guacamole contest.

If making guacamole isn’t your thing, you can test your strength at the strong-arm contest. Competitors will be given a 10-pound bag of avocados and whoever can hold it up the longest wins.

Santa Maria

The fifth annual Santa Barbara County Farm Day is coming to Santa Maria on Sept. 23.

Farm Day will feature 17 Santa Barbara County farms, ranches and agriculture organizations that will open their gates to the public to enjoy tours and agriculture activities.

From tractor rides, produce tastings, giveaways and kid-friendly exhibits, there are plenty of ways residents can celebrate one of the county’s biggest industries.

Locations include the Allan Hancock College student farm and vineyard, Babé Farms, Bonipak Produce, Central West Produce, Driscoll’s Berries, Engel & Grey Inc. Harvest Blend Compost, Gold Coast Packing, Las Cumbres Ranch, Mark Richardson Career Technical Education Center and Agricultural Farm, Plantel Nurseries, Rancho Laguna Farms, Reiter Affiliated Companies, Roblar Farm, Farm Day Hub by Seeag, Sunrise Organic Farm, Ted Chamberlin Ranch and Viticulture Hub.            

Tickets are free but click here to register.            

For those who want to get their freight on this fall, the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department is partnering with the Santa Maria Elks Recreation to throw the Haunted Hills Event.

The drive-through event will allow visitors to enjoy creepy scenes and sounds from the safety of their vehicles.

Haunted Hills will start Oct. 13 and continue every Friday and Saturday in October. Tickets are $55 per vehicle.

The Central Coast AirFest is back from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 14-15 at the Santa Maria Airport.

The AirFest is a weekend full of military demonstrations, vintage warbirds and aerobatics. In all, there will be performances from 23 different planes.

Click here to purchase tickets online.

Vintage tractors roll along the Los Alamos Old Days Parade in 2022. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk file photo)
Vintage tractors roll along the Los Alamos Old Days Parade in 2022. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk file photo)

Los Alamos

The free 77th annual Los Alamos Old Days is happening Sept. 22-24.

Friday will feature a chili cook-off and live music by The Fossils. On Saturday, guests can enjoy a car show, bounce houses, horseshoe contest and tri-tip sandwiches.

On Sunday there will be a parade, a barbecue contest and a 5K run.


The fourth annual Lompoc Chalk festival is returning Oct 20-22. All funds raised from the festival will go toward the Lompoc Theatre Project

The Chalk Festival is free and will feature arts and crafts booths, food trucks and live entertainment.

The main event is sidewalk and street chalk paintings that are created during the course of the weekend. The public is encouraged to watch the artist as they begin their projects early in the morning.