Events and Activities
What’s On In San Carlos
A quaint little town with lots of events and activities
It’s not an exaggeration to say that San Carlos really “has it all”. For a small town with six neighborhoods, San Carlos has developed over the years to have its own commercial and downtown district, with most shops and restaurants owned by local residents.
If you walk along Laurel Street, you might stumble upon a cute little park named “Frank D. Harrington”. This park is dedicated to a guy who everyone knew as “Frank” – a much-loved citizen and volunteer of San Carlos who greeted everyone in town by name. This kind of closeness among local residents is what we hope we’ll never lose. At the end of the day, the life, laughter, and love we share with others, is what makes life good in this place we call the “City of Good Living”.
Indeed, for a small town of about forty thousand people, San Carlos has maintained its own local annual parade and traditional events over the years; from weekend markets, festival, and fairs of all types, to outdoor family camp-outs, concerts, and movie nights under the stars. Not to mention the weekly activities the City Council and its Volunteers organize for both seniors and young people. Never a dull moment here in San Carlos!
Hometown Days is the very first and biggest weekend festival in San Carlos since 1979. The event kicks of with a colorful parade, followed a two-day carnival at Burton Park with all sorts of fun activities, from pet parades and petting zoos, to puppet shows, hot air balloon rides, and of course tons of food and music.
The Music in the Park bring the community together to enjoy the summer nights with great music under the stars. Concerts are held every Friday night throughout August to July at the stage in Burton Park. These events are free to the public and sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Foundation of San Carlos.
The Art and Wine Faire is one of the Peninsula’s Premier Fall Festivals, attracting over 40,000 people every year. During the first weekend of October, parts of San Carlos Avenue and Laurel Street are closed and turned into a big weekend market with great food, dancing and music, and lots of artsy activities.
The Goblin Walk is San Carlos’s annual Trick-or-Treat day in San Carlos, when Laurel Street is packed with children and their parents dressed up in crazy costumes, asking for candies from all the shops and restaurants. Aside from Trick-or-Treating, there are also competitions for best costumes, and best home decorations.
Every year, just a week before Christmas Eve, the 1900 and 2000 blocks of Eucalyptus Ave. would decorate their houses with the best holiday lights there is. Known as the “Christmas Tree Lane”, Eucalyptus Ave. has attracted tourists from all over the Peninsula and beyond.
Every Sunday, All Year Round
The San Carlos Farmers Market is the city’s weekend market where everyone can buy produce directly from farmers, and others like fresh flowers, organic fruits & vegetables, specialty food such as bread, juices, preserved meat, jams and oils, cookies and buns, roast chicken, and more.
Farmers’ Market is held Sundays, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, in Downtown San Carlos, on Laurel Street between San Carlos Avenue and Cherry Street.
AAPI stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. For the whole month of May, San Carlos and the rest of the country would celebrate Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month – a month-long celebration where the contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders to the US are commemorated.
In San Carlos, the Community Foundation celebrates this month by holding a one-day festival at Devil’s Brewery, with cultural performances, great food, and crafts.
Every third weekend of May
“Family fun since 1979!”
Hometown Days is a weekend where people of San Carlos come together to celebrate each other, and the happenings during the year.
The event kicks off with a parade where different groups in San Carlos – school bands, girl scouts, police and firemen, non-profits, and others – ride their own float and present themselves to the community.
After the parade, its a whole weekend with tons of food and lovely music in Burton Park, where the attendees enjoy a variety of activities, special demonstrations, and presentations. Antique and classic cars. Country Western Dancing. Fire Department’s Arial rescue and “jaws of life” demonstrations. Puppet shows. Concessions. Arts and Crafts. Moon walk. Horseshoe tournament. Pony rides. Choo Choo train rides. Pet Parade. Artist sales. 4-H Petting Zoo. Jugglers. Magicians. The Amazing Mr. Bubbleman. 3-legged races. For many years on Sunday morning at 7am (weather permitting), Hot Air Balloon Rides were also part of the fun.*
After decades upon decades, the San Carlos Hometown Days celebration still stands, and its original purpose – to build community – remains intact.
June TO AUGUST
Every other Saturday evening from the months June to July, a large movie screen is put up at the Flanagan Field in Burton Park and FREE outdoor family movies are shown just after sunset at 8:30 PM.
Enjoy the magic of Disney, Marvel, and other inspirational films under the stars with your family. Viewers are advised to bring their own snacks, lawn chairs, and blankets.
The Music in the Park brings the community together to enjoy the summer with great music and the outdoors. Free concerts are held every Friday throughout June to August at the Burton Park Amphitheater from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Local favorites from around San Carlos and beyond will play all kinds of music, having a different theme every night – like mainstream pop, country, rock classics, southern twang, and more.
ART AND WINE FAIRE
EVERY FIRST WEEKEND OF OCTOBER
The Art and Wine Faire is one of the Peninsula’s Premier Fall Festivals, attracting over 40,000 people every year. During the first weekend of October, parts of San Carlos Avenue and Laurel Street are closed and turned into a big weekend market where all sorts of products and services are displayed in stalls; like artisan food and wine, art and novelty items, unique services like chiropractice, furniture- making, volunteer programs, and others – practically anything special in San Carlos they’d like to present to the community. This faire is also a great way for start-ups to introduce themselves to people.
And where would the fair be without the music? Althroughout the weekend, musicians and bands are lined up to take the different stages scattered in the area while people of all ages would be dancing to their favorite tunes.
Family Fun Zone with lots of hands-on activities for the kids are also present in different locations. People are also encouraged to join communal activties like for example murale paintings and others.
This faire, like other annual events in San Carlos, would not be possible without the strength and spirit of the volunteers.
EVERY LAST WEEK OF OCTOBER
NIGHT OF HOLIDAY LIGHTS
EVERY FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER
The Night of Holiday lights happens somewhere after Thanksgiving and the first week of December, when the people of San Carlos gather at Laurel Street to light up the first Christmas lights in town, to officially welcome the holiday season. Organized by the San Carlos Parks and Recreation Department, the whole area is turned into a carnival for the whole evening. Kids’ rides like swings, carousels, and Christmas trains will be set up in the area. All kinds of groups in San Carlos will be manning the booths, selling hot chocolate, candies, and other novelty items. These will also be organizing all kinds of arts and crafts activities for children.
Carolers and musicians in Nutcracker costumes will be making music, and at about 5:30 PM when the sun sets, the lights in Laurel Street will be lit up and snow will be released as a special Christmas Program kicks off with Santa and other bands taking on the stage.