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Featured Events:

California Rodeo Salinas
2018 California Rodeo... Cowgirl and Cowboy Up!
Every day (Jul 19-Jul 22)
Location: Salinas Sports Complex, 1034 Main Street , Salinas Map

(Special Event Images / Graphics) CaliforniaRodeoPoster2014.jpgKnown for its week-long cavalcade of events, California Rodeo "Big Week" is the largest community event held in Salinas. Parades, barbecues, cowboy poetry, fireworks, concerts, a carnival, and much more.

 

Big Week offers something for every member of the family, and a chance for the entire community to participate in the California Rodeo.

 

The Rodeo itself is designed to operate like a two-ring circus, each Rodeo performance features events that occur in the arena and on the track simultaneously. While the classic event of saddle bronc riding bucks out in the arena, a horse race speeds by on the track.

 

Each year, the Salinas Rodeo ranks in the top 20 of nearly 800 North American rodeos sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. For four action-packed days, more the 50,000 spectators pass through our gates to see the country's top professional rodeo athletes compete.

 

Saddle Bronc Riding ~ Bareback Riding ~ Bull Riding ~ Tie-Down Roping ~ Steer Wrestling ~ Team Roping ~ Barrel Racing ~ Bull Fighting

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April

Coastal Wilflower Day
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State Park Francis
Live music, dance performances, food truck, artwork, games and educational activities for youth, guided nature walks, resources
Date: 04/14/2018 from 10:00am to 4:00pm


The fifth annual Coastal Wildflower Day marks the start of California Native Plant Week, celebrating the native wildflowers of the San Mateo coast with activities for the whole family. Discover more about the seaside survivor's unique beauty and special features that help them thrive in a windy, sandy, salty environment. Events and activities include live music, dance performances, food truck, artwork, games and educational activities for youth, guided nature walks, resources to help you grow your own native plants, and a native plant sale.

Event is at Francis State Beach located at 95 Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay, and another plant sale location at Venice Beach at the end of Venice Blvd. from 10 am to 2 pm. Event is free; parking is $10. Waling or bicycling is encourage. Heavy rain cancels.

For more information and a schedule of events please visit www.CoastalWildflowerDay.org or call (650) 726-8814, or e-mail HMBParksVolunteer@Parks.ca.gov

 

Event is made possible by Coastside State Parks Association, California Native Plant Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, and California State Parks.


Location: Francis State Beach, 95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay Map
Phone: (650) 726-8814 •websitecreate a direct event link
Quilt Show
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Monterey Peninsula Quilters Guild
Date: Every day (Apr 13-Apr 15)
Admission Fees: $7 for all three days

Annual Quilt Show! A Do Not Miss Event!

(0 April 2018) MontereyPeninsulaQuiltersGuild.jpgMonterey Bay Quilt Show: April 13-15.

 

And if you come to our show, don't miss out on the "Wild Flowers Through the Eyes of Quilter" at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History next door -- between the show and Back Porch Fabric.


Location: Chautauqua Hall, 16th St at Central, Pacific Grove Map
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Santa Cruz Farmers Markets
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Santa Cruz Farmers Markets
A moveable feast of fresh, locally grown produce, free-range eggs, grass-fed meats and poultry, baked goods, music and good comp
Date: Every Su, Tues, Wed and Sa
Ages: All

Our family of five farmers' markets showcases the best in regional organic produce, pasture-raised meats, eggs and dairy, sustainably-harvested seafoods and artisan-made goods.

 

Purchasing your food through the area's farmers' markets ensures that you are getting the freshest, healthiest and tastiest foods while supporting local jobs, increasing local spending and promoting the region's strong farming tradition.

 

We provide direct access to sustainable sources of fresh produce and other unique foods and education about food issues, both local and beyond.

 

Santa Cruz/Downtown Weds 2:30-6:00 Lincoln & Cedar Year-round
Santa Cruz/West Side
Sat 9-1 2801 Mission Year-round
Scotts Valley Sat 9-1 King's Village Dr April - October
Live Oak/East Side
Sun 9-1 15th & Eastcliff Dr Year-round
Felton Tues 2:30-6:30 120 Russell Ave May - Oct

Location: 2801 Mission St, Santa Cruz Map
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Evening Art Program
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State Park Henry Cowell
Activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more
Date: Every Sa at 1:00pm


Evening Art Program
Mondays and Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Join us in the campfire center for a family friendly arts and crafts program. All ages welcome. Topic changes week to week and activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more! Meet at the Henry Cowell Redwoods Graham Hill Campground, located off Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley. No experience necessary. Event is free; parking is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Scotts Valley Map
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Volunteer in California's Oldest State Park!
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State Park Big Basin
We need volunteers!
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 9:00am to 3:00pm


Volunteer with the Trail Crew Saturdays

Since 1969 the Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew has helped make it possible for others to safely enjoy the beauty of our park. The Trail Crew meets the second Saturday of each month, rain or shine. A typical workday lasts until mid-afternoon. Please bring your own work gloves, lunch and water. Join us for a unique perspective of Big Basin, a lively and productive experience with others who share a love of these redwood forests, and the satisfaction of participating in a vital part of the park's ability to educate and inspire the public! Meet at Park Headquarters.


Location: 21600 Big Basin , Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831-338-8860 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Redwood Grove Loop Walk
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State Park Big Basin
Meet famous trees on this walk in the forest!
Date: Every Su and Sa at 1:00pm
Ages: All
Special Instructions: See varying hours

Redwood Grove Loop Walk

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 2pm

Wednesday, July 4 at 11am and 2pm

How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Big Basin Redwood State Park Headquarters.

 

Event is free; day use vehicle fee is $10. Events made possible my California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation

 


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831.336.8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Become a Watsonville Wetlands Docent
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Watsonville Wetlands
Join us for docent training in January
Date: Every Wed and Sa


Docent Training Starts THIS MONTH!

There is still time to sign-up for docent training. While there are a variety of ways to volunteer with us here at the Wetlands Watch, becoming a docent is a great way to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the wetlands, youth, and community! It is a fun and interesting way to learn about the natural and cultural history of the wetlands from experts. Docent trainees are treated to an inside look at the Pajaro Valley and its wide network of wetlands. Local experts share the ecology, history, and restoration of the wetlands during the 7-week program.


The interactive sessions include Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday morning field trips, visiting sites not normally seen by the public. Join our dedicated team of trained docent volunteers who help with field trips, lead wetland tours, participate in special events, work in the greenhouse and native plant demonstration garden and a whole host of other things. No previous teaching or wetland experience is necessary - beginners are welcome.  

 

Come join us - the wetlands are calling!    For more information, contact Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Ria Mukerji at 909-680-9872 or email at  ria@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org.


Location: 235 Ohlone Parkway, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-345-1226 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
30th Annual Santa Cruz Bonsai
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Santa Cruz Bonsai
Come and see club members' trees on display at the 30th annual bonsai show
Date: Every day (Apr 14-Apr 15) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: all

(0 April 2018) bonsai.jpgThe Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai is a local club devoted to promoting and teaching bonsai as an art form. The beautifully exhibited trees may be seen from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days and are the product of many years of horticultural development and artistic creativity. A bonsai is actually a living sculpture and an art form that dates back at least 3000 years.


For 29 years, members of the Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai have showcased their trees at the annual show. This year will be the 30th event in this grand tradition, an amazing legacy for the Santa Cruz community at large.

 

The exhibition will feature live demonstrations by Jonas Dupuich and Sensei Katsumi Kinoshta. There will be Taiko drummers, tree sales and raffles on both days.

 


Location: MAH, 705 Front St, Santa Cruz Map
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Redwood Tours
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State Park Henry Cowell
Amazing forest adventure
Date: Every Su and Sa
Admission Fees: Day-use parking fee is $10
Special Instructions: Saturdays 11am and 2pm, Sundays 1pm

Redwood Tours
Saturdays at 11am and 2pm
Sundays at 1pm

How do redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Why are there so few old growth trees left? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable docents will lead you through our magnificent old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the Visitors Center in the day-use area of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park located off Highway 9 in Felton. Tour is free; vehicle day-use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation, California State Parks volunteers, and California State Parks.

 


Location: 525 North Big Trees Park Road, Felton Map
Phone: (831) 335-7077 •website Felton create a direct event link
Elephant Seal Walks
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State Park Ano Nuevo
3 mile hike over sand and sloping terrain to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Date: Every day (Oct 20-Mar 31)
Ages: All: (Lots of walking) Admission Fees: Guided $7; Self-guided free
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31

Explore Año Nuevo with a Docent Naturalist

gudied walks

Guided Elephant Seal Walks

Ticket sales open Friday, October 20

Cost: $7 per person + $3.99 reservation fee

www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo

Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the month of December, male elephant seals, or bulls, arrive along the shore of Año Nuevo State Park to establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore to birth to their pups.

 

These popular guided walks take place rain or shine, so be prepared for windy, rainy conditions as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear is strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted. Pets are not allowed in the park. Parking is $10. For more information, please call (650) 879-2025 or for recorded information (650) 879-0227.

 

People with accessibility needs may reserve an equal access tour along the boardwalk.

These tours take place on Fridays, weekends, and select holidays. For reservations and info call ReserveCalifornia at 1-800-444-4445. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

 

Self-Guided Seal Walks

Daily, between 8:30am and 3:30pm (Natural Preserve closes at 5pm)

Stroll over sand dunes, enjoy beautiful ocean views, and gain a unique opportunity to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals on this 3-mile, 2.5-hour self-guided trail! Visit the female elephant seals as they return to shore to molt, or shed their fur, in this annual excursion.  Additionally, young pups are still ashore from the winter breeding season. Layered clothing, closed-toes shoes, and rain/wind gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted inside the dune area. Pets are not allowed in the park. Walk is free; day-use vehicle fee is $10. Entrance to the reserve for your self-guided walk requires a free permit that can be obtained at the entrance station, or the Visitor Center. Please contact the park at 650-879-2025 for further information.

 

If you require mobility assistance, you may request a volunteer-led equal access tour. You will board our accessible van and get a ride to our wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. A volunteer(s) will accompany you to the two seal-viewing decks, explain the Northern elephant seal natural history, the history of the park, and answer questions. Reservations are required. Please, allow a 2-week advance notice. The volunteer led tour is free, day-use vehicle fee is $10. Contact the park at 650-879-2033 or email Ano.EqualAccess@parks.ca.gov. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.


Location: Hwy 1, Pescadero Map
Phone: (650) 879-2025 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Ranch Tours
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State Park Wilder Ranch
History comes alive at Wilder Ranch State Park on the weekends
Date: Every Su and Sa at 1:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: $10 parking

(0 Oct 2017) Wilder_Baking2.jpgRanch Tours

Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm

History comes alive at Wilder Ranch State Park on the weekends with Machine Shop Pelton Water Wheel Demos, baking on the woodstove, and ranch tours.

 

Event is free; parking is $10. Please call the park to confirm at (831) 426-0505.

 

Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.


Location: Wilder Ranch , Hwy 1, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 831.426-0505 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Adult Crafts
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Library Felton
Let's have some fun while also helping each other learn and grow as artists and crafters!
Date: Every Su and Sa from 2:00pm to 4:30pm


(0 Oct 2017) LibraryFeltonCraft1.jpgCome join us at The Felton Library for Adult Afternoon Arts and Crafts. It's every Sunday from 2-4:30pm.

 

Bring something portable that you are working on or come prepared to have fun!

 

 


Location: 6299 Gushee, Felton Map
Phone: 831-427-3151 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Harvesting Our Heritage
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SLV Museum
Bite-sized looks at the history of agriculture and food ways here in Santa Cruz county.
Date: Every Su, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa (Feb 24-Apr 30) from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Admission Fees: Donation of $5 per family is requested

(0 January 2018) SLVMuseum_HarvestHeritage.jpgJoin us to celebrate the opening of our new exhibition, Harvesting Our Heritage.

 

This exhibition, based on the research project and book of the same name, takes some bite-sized looks at the history of agriculture and food ways here in Santa Cruz county.

 

Wednesday 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Thursday 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Friday 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm - 4:00pm


Location: 12547 Highway 9, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: (831) 338-8382 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Life on the Ranch: Family Living History Day
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State Park Wilder Ranch
Experience the Victorian era!
Date: Every Su and Sa
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: Weekends from 11:00am-3:00pm, tours of the ranch houses at 1:00pm

Ranch Tours

Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm

Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. Event is free; parking is $10. Please call the park to confirm at (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.


Location: 1401 Old Coast Road, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
All Means All: Positive Discipline for Children w/Special Needs
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Positive Discipline Community Resources
All Means All: Positive Discipline for Children w/Special Needs
Date: 04/14/2018 from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: Adults Admission Fees: $40

Co-sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Cabrillo College ECE Department, and the Infant Development Association of California, this conference features Keynote Speaker and Author Steven Foster, 4 workshops facilitated by professionals in the field, and a discussion panel -- all to support those caring for or working with children with a variety of special needs, learning differences, exposure to trauma, and challenging behaviors. Call Steve at 831-476-7284 x107 for more information.

 

FREE for Full-time Cabrillo Students and Cabrillo Faculty, FREE for Monterey County Service Providers.  $25 for UCSC Students and Cabrillo College ECE Alumni


Location: Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive , Aptos Map
Phone: (831) 476-7284 •websitecreate a direct event link
Tour the Pacific Migrations Center
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State Park New Brighton
Self-guided tour highlights history of Pacific Rim migrations
Date: Every Su, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: 7-12

 Tour the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center at New Brighton State Beach

Come explore the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center at New Brighton State Beach. This free mini-museum highlights the history of Pacific Rim migrations and how they have influenced the Monterey Bay area. 

The exhibits explore the contributions of Chinese fishers, who established fishing camps on the Monterey Bay coastline beginning in the 1850s. Fishers dried and shipped most of their catch to markets up and down the coast, as well as across the Pacific. Chinese fish merchants also sold their fresh catch in local towns. China Beach, as New Brighton was known at the time, lasted until the mid-1880s. 

The center, which is supported by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. It also includes a ParkStore, offering nature and history-themed merchandise for sale. All proceeds benefit local parks and beaches.

Self-guided tours of the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center are free. Docent-led tours are available for groups. Contact Jean Bernard at the Visitor Center, 831-464-5620, to schedule. Parking at New Brighton State Beach is $10 and supports the park. New Brighton State Beach is located at 1500 Park Ave. in Capitola


Location: 1500 Park Ave, Capitola Map
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Love Wins! 5K
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Live Like Coco
Kids 12 and under can participate in a free 1K, and earn a free book for finishing!
Date: 04/14/2018 at 9:00am


(0 March 2018) Live-Like-Coco_1K5K.jpgRegister now for Love Wins! , our third annual 5K run/walk/hike at Pinto Lake County Park in Watsonville. Kids 12 and under can participate in a free 1K, and earn a free book for finishing!

 

This event helps us fundraise for the Live Like Coco Foundation as well as 15 other local non-profits, such as CASA , Digital Nest , Jacob's Heart and more.

 

Join us for a beautiful run/walk or hike. Plus, food from Teen Kitchen Project, stick yoga, face painting, music from Morgen Smith and more! Family and friends can register for group discounts!


Register Now!

 


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Kite Saturday on the Farm
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Ag History Project
Come fly a kite Saturday!
Date: 04/14/2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: $2/person Kids under 1 are free

Every month we produce a 2nd Saturday on the Farm, a family event that focuses on a particular area of agriculture each month. Visitors can participate in the regular activities of the Ag History Project plus others related to the day's special focus. We host over 2,500 visitors each year at 2nd Saturday on the Farm.

 

We have created some unique interactive educational activities to help you have fun learning about past agricultural practices. What we like to call our "usual" activities include:

  • Wooden cow milking: we have life-size wooden cows with rubber teats that help you learn how to milk a cow.
  • Kid-driven tractor: we retrofitted a John Deere tractor so that anyone can learn to drive it. You sit in the seat and control the steering wheel while a trained volunteer stands on a platform to your right to controls the speed. We even have space for a parent or friend to stand to your left and enjoy the ride.
  • We are currently working on creating a stationary tractor that you can drive down a crop row and the computer screen in front of you displays how well you are handling the tractor.

Location: 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-728-5898 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Family Arts & Crafts- Garfield Park
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Library Garfield
Date: Every Sa from 11:00am to 1:00pm
Ages: 3-6

Get crafty! A Do-It-Yourself craft will be ready and waiting for families, independent-minded kids and teens! Children 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

 

 

 


Location: 705 Woodrow Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 831-427-7709 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop
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State Park Henry Cowell
Learn how to make a basket with local pine needles!
Date: Every 2 weeks on Sa (Mar 3-Feb 17)

Special Instructions: See different times

Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop
Saturday, March 3 from 10am to 12pm

Saturday, March 17 from 1pm to 3pm

Join Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Docent Cheryl VanDeVeer or a fun, free, family workshop learning how to make a basket from local pine needles. Children 10 and older may attend if accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center in the day-use area, located off Highway 9 in Felton. No experience necessary. Event is free; parking is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 


Location: Hwy 9, Felton Map
Phone: 831-335-7077 •website Felton create a direct event link
Art 1
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Art Factory
Art Classes for kids
Date: Every Sa (Jan 13-May 26) from 10:30am to 12:00pm
Ages: 5-7 Admission Fees: $105/month
Special Instructions: Drop-Ins also welcome

We'll explore pastel, mixed media collage, colored pencil, watercolor, tempera and sculpture as a group with simple instruction. A great art foundation starts here!

A sketch book is provided and will be used in class each week.


Location: The Art Factory, 9099 Soquel Dr. 15, Aptos Map
Phone: (831) 688-8862 •website Aptos create a direct event link
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State Park Pigeon Point Light Station
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa at 10:00am
Ages: All

The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is currently under repair, but that doesn't mean that the First Order Fresnel Lens can't shine! The Fresnel lens, the original lighthouse beacon, will light up once again from its temporary home in the Visitor Center. As dusk settles, the 24 beams of light provide a dramatic glimpse of how the lighthouse once guided ships passing by this rocky coastline. Bring a flashlight and join us for a unique experience. For more information, call the park at (650) 879-2120 or go online to www.Parks.CA.gov/PigeonPoint. Event is free. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

* Please note the lighthouse will NOT be lit. The original lighthouse beacon, the First Order Fresnel lens, will be lit but in its temporary location inside the Visitor Center. The lighthouse is being repaired and is currently not accessible to the public.


Location: 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero Map
Phone: 650-879-2120 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Waves and Wildlife Photo Contest
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Save Our Shores
Get excited about our 3rd annual Waves and Wildlife photo competition! We'll start accepting entries THIS Sunday, April 1 and wi
Date: Every day (Apr 1-May 31)


(0 March 2018) SaveOurShores-PhotoContest.jpgGet excited about our 3rd annual Waves and Wildlife photo competition! We'll start accepting entries THIS Sunday, April 1 and will continue to do so until Thursday, May 31.

 

Each year, Save Our Shores encourages amateur photographers to submit their best shots from state marine protected areas (MPAs) along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to our Waves and Wildlife competition. The best images are then displayed in a month-long exhibit at the Sanctuary Exploration Center. Save Our Shores aims to raise awareness and appreciation of our local marine protected areas by highlighting these locations and the amazing wildlife and ecosystems within them. Below are some of our top submissions from the 2017 Waves and Wildlife photo competition.


Winners will be announced in mid-June and the best photos will be displayed throughout July in an exhibit at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center - Unofficial!

Go to saveourshores.org/wavesandwildlife to learn more about the #wavesandwildlife competition!


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