Fun Sacramento Events & Activities
Serving as the California state capitol and the source of gold fever during the California Gold Rush, Sacramento sits at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California’s vast Central Valley.
Established in 1839, the City of Sacramento grew quickly and with nearly a half million residents today, is the sixth-largest city in California. It is also the cultural center of the Sacramento metropolitan area, and considered “America’s Most Diverse City.”
With that, the city comes to life with a variety of events throughout the year, all which celebrate some unique part of Sacramento, beginning with the State Fair.
Held annually during July-August at the Cal Expo Center, the California State Fair has been bringing together the best of the state’s industries, agriculture and diversity of its people.
For 160 years, the fair has been the yearly culmination of entertainment, fascinating exhibits, popular livestock venues, over-the-top thrill rides and calorie-packed food.
Also held at the Cal Expo fairgrounds are the annual Sacramento Independence Day and Oktoberfest Celebrations.
Highlighted by the largest-scale pyrotechnics display the state, the Independence Day Celebration is a family oriented collection of activities focused around our Nation’s birthday, while Oktoberfest features authentic German food, contests, games, live music and dancing, and Volkz Brau — a custom-brewed ale made specifically for this event.
Other ethnicities are also celebrated around Sacramento during the annual Ukrainian Festival, and Brazilian Independence Day, which is an amazing free festival demonstrating Brazil’s colorful culture.
For those interested in the arts, Sacramento has plenty of events scattered throughout the year, starting with the Chalk It Up! to Sacramento Art & Music Festival.
Held over Labor Day Weekend at Fremont Park, the three-day event draws over an average of 30,000 and features more than 200 artists creating chalk art on the sidewalks of downtown Sacramento. There is also live music, hands-on art activities for children and more.
Also held downtown and just shortly after Labor Day, is the annual Capital Artists’ Studio Tour at Verge Center for the Arts. The tour is one of the only times when artists open their studios to the public, offering a unique experience to all.
The first weekend of the event features open studios in Downtown, Midtown, Land Park and West Sac, followed on the second weekend by the studios in East Sac, Arden, Tahoe Park, Carmichael and Fair Oaks.
For film buffs, the cinema arts are celebrated annually during the Sacramento Film Festival in October.
Ten local filmmakers present the world premiere of their 10-minute films on the big screen at the Crest Theater in downtown Sacramento.
Good food and drink are enjoyed by all, and there are several annual events celebrating Sacramento’s farming and food tradition, including the Farm-to-Fork Festival and Capitol Beer Fest.
Designed to demonstrate where our food and drinks come from, the Farm-to-Fork Festival is a free event where attendees will find food, wine and beer from regional eateries, as well as live music, cooking demonstrations, a kids’ zone, interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches and more.
The Capitol Beer Fest is held each March, and closes out Sacramento Beer Week at downtown’s beautiful Capitol Mall. This annual event in features over 100 craft breweries, serving over 300 different varieties of high quality craft beer, including Sacramento-area breweries.
Finally, visitors should get ready to turn back time to the 1850s, during the Sacramento’s Gold Rush Days over Labor Day Weekend.
Year-after-year Old Sacramento celebrates its heritage with wild west fun. From musicians performing live to Old West theatrics and history re-enactments, guests experience it all at Gold Rush Days.
There are even wagon rides, gold panning, a hands-on children’s arts and crafts activities area, watermelon eating contests and much more.