Pismo Beach Festivals

Pismo Beach Festivals

1. Taste of Pismo - April

Experience an afternoon of sunshine and sample superb food and local wines on the bluffs above Dinosaur State Park at the annual Taste of Pismo.Presented by the Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Pismo has become a community staple, now in its seventh year. Held in April, from 1 to 5 p.m. local restaurants supply delicious selections from their menus and area wineries pour their finest vintages.


Art in the Park @ Dinosaur Caves - May - Nov 1st Sunday of Month

More than 100 talented local artists and craftsmen display their wares on the cliffs of the Dinosaur Caves Park on the first Sundays of the month from May to November. On sunny Sundays, the grassy park on the bluff is filled with pottery, paintings, sculpture, photographs, jewelry, wind chimes, and all kinds of fine, handcrafted objects. From the ethereal to the beautifully decorated mundane, you may find your heart’s desire at this local art extravaganza.

3. Strawberry Festival, Arroyo Grande - May

The Strawberry Festival is huge in Arroyo Grande. In fact, it’s the biggest annual festival in the area drawing crowds in the thousands. Sunset Magazine named the Strawberry Festival as a premier Memorial Day destination.

If you like strawberries, and who doesn’t, the Arroyo Grande festival is a weekend awash in the pink fruit. Strawberry smoothies, ice cream, funnel cakes, shortcakes and pancakes topped by the tasty, fresh gems are served by the heaping, mouthwatering, mountainous whipped cream plateful.

Events include a Strawberry Stampede Walk/Run, Strawberry Pancake Breakfast, contests for Prince and Princess, best Strawberry Blonde, as well as a Strawberry Cook Off, a kiddie carnival, and lots of toe-tapping entertainment in flavors of jazz, ethnic, folk, blues, and rock and roll.

Besides the yummy little queens of the Strawberry Festival, there are vendors selling all kinds of merchandise and even non-strawberry related food. This is also a juried arts and crafts show.
(805) 473-0345

4. Pismo Beach Classic Car Show - mid June

One of the largest classic car and street rod shows on the West coast, the Pismo Beach Classic Car Show has been a huge draw for the city for over twenty five years. Over 1,000 cars are shown and 125,000 spectators attend the three day event on the first full weekend in June. The Hot Rod Bar and Grill is the centerpiece with a large white tent set up on the beach next to the pier. Everything that happens at the car show begins and ends there, including good eating, and a live auction, the proceeds of which all go to charity. In 2010, $300,000 was raised for the Volunteers for Veterans Foundations, who also sponsor a car show in October.

The 2010 Platinum winner of the show was a 1926 Tall Model T.

150 Pomeroy Street, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

5. Pismo Beach Clam Festival - October

Pismo will always honor the clam, even if numbers of the town’s trademark have dropped dramatically in recent years due to over harvesting. While the clams may be in decline, the festival itself is growing in popularity, drawing upwards of 10,000 people to town. The iconic symbol of Pismo Beach is elevated and celebrated every October with the Pismo Beach Clam Festival. The weekend events kick off with the Wine Walk on Friday night, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Pismo Premium Outlets. Participants are provided with passports, stamped at each business visited and sample local wines. Down at the pier, at the same time, a free outdoor movie is shown. On Saturday, the real festivities start. After a parade and clam dig, there is a Clam Chowder Cook Off, music, food, and a Miss Clam is selected.

VIP tickets cost $60 (a $150 value) and include Wine Walk commemorative glass, Beer Garden, Clam Chowder Cook-Off, Champagne and Caviar Event, VIP seating for Movies and Bandstand, T-Shirt, and Badge.

6. Jubilee by the Sea Jazz Festival - last weekend in October

Fifteen jazz bands at six venues over three days equals over 120 performances at the Jubilee by the Sea Jazz Festival in Pismo Beach. The festival, held every year since 1976, is sponsored by the Pismo Beach Basin Street Regulars Jazz Club (the Central Coast Jazz Society,) which preserves and promotes jazz and provides scholarship funds to send up to ten youth and young adults to jazz music camps in Sacramento or Mammoth Lakes. With a robust membership of 500, the society

Tickets are sold for three days, one day and student tickets, and free shuttle buses are provided between venues. Local food and beverages like clam chowder, Santa Maria style barbecue, wine and beer, are sold. Venues include Marie Callendar’s banquet room, SLO Vet’s Hall, tents set up in the parking lot of the Prime Outlets, and “on the beach” at the Addie Street parking lot. Hardwood floors are set up at each venue for dancing.
(800) 443-7778

7. Marching Band Review - November

The crowds really come out to Pismo Beach each November for the annual Marching Band Review. At 8:45 a.m. colorfully clad high school and middle school bands from all over California assemble on Cypress, march past the reviewing stands and end their high stepping, jubilant displays at Dolliver. Awards are given at the Pismo Beach pier at 1:30 p.m. and there is a half time show at the local junior high school.