Festivals and Events

Mendocino Area Events

Local Mendocino Dungeness Crab

January

Crab, Wine & Beer Fest |  Multiple events from crab cake cook-offs and crab feeds to wine maker dinners.  End of January every year.  These are great events featuring amazing local bounty!

February

Mendocino Area EventsInternational Alsace Festival  |   Join us in beautiful Anderson Valley for a weekend celebration of Alsace Varietals. Taste wines from around the globe. Wineries from France, Germany, and New Zealand will be pouring samples alongside wineries from Michigan, New York, Oregon, California, and our own Anderson Valley.  Enjoy perfect food pairings including local cheeses, Tomales Bay oysters, Alsatian-style treats and more. Events include an educational session and a Grand Tasting. The Saturday evening winemakers’ dinner at Scharffenberger Cellars will be orchestrated by a special guest chef.  Visit  winery open houses throughout the valley on Sunday.

March

Mendocino Area Events

Gray Whale, image by Dick Russell

Whale Festival |  1st, 2nd, & 3rd Weekends in March  A three weekend long festival celebrating the migration of the gray whales from their birthing grounds in Baja Mexico to their feeding grounds in Alaska. Festival is held in Mendocino on the first weekend of March, Little River (our weekend!) the second weekend, and in Fort Bragg the third weekend.

May

Mendocino Area Events

The festival tent, Goldeneye Winery, Anderson Valley

Anderson Valley Pinot Festival Come experience world-class Pinot Noir produced by some of California’s finest vintners, from grapes grown here in the beautiful and rugged Anderson Valley. To our knowledge, this is the only festival in the world that celebrates a single varietal from a single appellation. This festival is a three-day event including a Technical Conference &  social BBQ in the vineyards on Friday, Grand Tasting on Saturday with 40+ wineries participating, many elegant winemaker dinners on Saturday evening, and open houses at all area wineries on Sunday.

Taste of Chocolate, Wine and Ale  |  This fundraiser for the Mendocino Art Center is a tasty way to spend your Memorial Day Weekend in Magical Mendocino. A Taste of Chocolate, Wine & Ale features wineries, breweries, and food purveyors featuring ice cream, fudge truffles, chocolate tarts, jams, sea vegetables, oysters, and designer chocolates – and it all pairs perfectly with wine and beer

Annual Rhododendron Show  |  Each year, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens hosts one of the largest flower-growing competitions on the entire Pacific Coast, with over 1,000 entries. The show will feature a cascade of vibrant Rhododendrons, raffles, a silent auction, people’s choice awards, educational displays, food, and more!

June

Mendocino Area EventsMendocino Film Festival  |  The Mendocino Film Festival was founded to showcase the work of independent filmmakers and to honor the rich heritage of filmmaking on the Mendocino Coast. The town of Mendocino draws industry consistently and has served as the backdrop in over 60 films. The Festival’s Advisory Board includes such luminaries as director Sydney Pollack, actor Carl Lumbly, Netflix director Michael Schuh, award-winning filmmaker Will Geiger, and San Francisco Film Commissioner Jim McCullough. In the words of MFF alum William Farley, “Let’s face it, it was a true filmmaker’s film festival and a damn love fest!”

July

Fourth of July in Mendocino  |  From a big small-town-type parade to fireworks, bands, street vendors, and lots of festive people, Fourth of July is always an exciting day in Mendocino.

Mendocino Area Events

Mendocino Music Festival  |  The Mendocino Music Festival is set to delight!

With a wide range of world-class music presented along the beautiful Mendocino Coast, it’s the summer music festival not to miss!

Performances range from pop and country to chamber music and even a fully-staged opera. This festival truly has something for everyone.

August

Great Day In Elk  | The Great Day in Elk celebration is a community-sponsored event which includes a parade down Highway One, a carnival, watermelon-eating contest, gunny sack races, a greased pole climbing contest, music, dance performances, a silent auction, a raffle, and more.

September

Paul Bunyan Days | An annual festival which celebrates the mythical lumberjack, Paul Bunyan. The festival includes a logging show, parade, beer festival, square dancing, craft fair, and the fantastic Ugly Dog Contest.

Winesong! One of the premier wine events in the area, Winesong is an annual charity auction and wine tasting produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation. Proceeds are used to enhance equipment, facilities, and services at the Mendocino Coast Hospital.

Mendocino County Fair | A fun old-fashioned county fair beloved by locals and visitors alike. Fair attendees can sample Anderson Valley apples, ciders, and local wines, browse the classic car show, watch the sheepdog trials, visit 4-H displays and craft areas, ride the carnival rides,  and take in the beautiful reds, golds, and oranges of fall flowers and foliage.

October

Abalone Festival  |   Located on the South Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, CA.  Attending the World Championship Abalone Cook-Off as a competing cook or a tasting judge is a fun and exciting way for people to help MAPA support our parks.

November

Mendocino Area Events

Wine and Mushroom Festival  |  Mendocino County is home to more than 3,000 mushroom varieties, including the rare candy cap mushroom, with its intense maple syrup flavor and sweet fragrance, that grows only along the northern coast of California. This festival presents mushroom dinners, wine- and beer-pairing workshops, cooking classes, musical performances, exhibits, guided mushroom foraging tours, and more that celebrate the wonderful season of mushrooms. Events take place throughout the County, from the coast to the inland valleys.

December

Mendocino Area Events

Festival of Lights, photo Mendocino Botanical Gardens

Festival of Lights | Thousands of lights transform Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens into a blossoming winter wonderland.

Lighting of the Kelley House Christmas Tree |  An annual event that signals the beginning of the Christmas season on the coast. Santa arrives by fire truck to join the festivities.

Mendocino Coast Candlelight Inn Tour |  Enjoy evening tours of Mendocino area bed and breakfasts, inns, and lodges while supporting programs for Mendocino Coast youth.