Breezy Beach Stroll: Capitola Art Festival

"Summer's last hurrah" is just steps from the sand (and brimming with pretty pieces).

WHEN SUMMER ENDS... is a matter of some not-too-serious debate. Some people go with the first day of school, whether that first day of school happens to be on the first Monday of August or the second Thursday of September. Others look at the Memorial Day Weekend/Labor Day Weekend set-up, and consider that final Monday to be the farewell of the traditional summer season. Meteorological Fall kicks off on Sept. 1, meaning Meteorological Summer bid us adieu on Aug. 31. And, of course, you have the first day of autumn, around the third week in September, to go by as well. There are, in short, many prisms through which one might observe the change of the summer to fall, but we prefer to look upon one of the most tried-and-true: The outdoorsy, breezy-cool, shorts-and-tank-tops, meet-the-artists art festival. They're a sunny standard of the warmest time of year, but, come September, they start to dissipate, along with toastier temps. One of the last on the summer calendar, though, is one of the beachiest: The Capitola Art & Wine Festival, which sets up colorful shop just steps from the sand. The 2015 dates are Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 13 and more than 160 fine artists are set to show with their buy-them-there wares.

33ND ANNUAL: Some three-plus decades on, the fest is one of the titans of the area (regardless of season). Not only do the showing artists number in the dozens upon dozens, and not only do their works run the gamut (photos, paintings, textiles, jewelry, more), but nearly two dozen wineries from the Santa Cruz Mountains will be on site and pouring some of their best offerings. Will Capitola cuisine be for sale? It will be, so prepare to know some fresh plates, if you don't know the dining scene of the town all that well. Will there be entertainment and whimsy and cameos by performers like The Surfing Magician? Please, this is Capitola. It's a place that embraces art-amazing expressions in all of their many funky forms. Will there be a new artisanal food marketplace, where you can purchase jams and snacks and candles made in the area? There so will be. Is the admission free? Incredibly and totally free, which helps, in large part, to make this fest one of summer's sweet goodbyes, regardless of when you believe the season actually takes its last bow.

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