YOUR SUMMER ENDER? You might put off whatever final rite of summer you like, awaiting the minutes before autumn officially arrives to jump in a lake for the last time that year, or to have your final ice cream pop, or to dash through a sprinkler. But a lot of people start to wrap up their summer-style traditions when summer's commonly observed season ends, over Labor Day Weekend. And if your Labor Day Sunday tradition has long been gazing upon flower-bedecked floats in Soquel Creek, then best plan to be in Capitola for the 65th annual Capitola Begonia Festival. The long-running petal-laden lark has a note of bittersweetness in 2017: It's the final one. A message posted on the festival's web site reveals that Golden State Bulb Growers, the "...now singular source of flowers..." for the Capitola Begonia Festival, is "...retiring from the business of growing begonias." The party shall go on for this year, of course, and you can bet the community will bring a lot of heart, cheer, and imaginative float-building to send off the celebration in darling style.
SEPT. 1 THROUGH 4... are the dates, with the famous Nautical Parade happening along Soquel Creek, to the lagoon, on Sunday, Sept. 3. Other doings beyond the blithe procession festoon the long holiday weekend, like a sand sculpture contest, live concerts, a fishing derby, a screening of "Mary Poppins" at the beach, and the viewing of float construction the day before the Sunday parade. Whether you're a begonia buff or you're simply enamored of Capitola, or, we'll guess, you count yourself in both categories, make your way to the seaside burg for one last begonia-big bash. It's a summer-sender-offer for many Californians, a quaint must-do that is heading into its last and loveliest hurrah.