Spend the Summer in Salinas City Center

Parades, Wine Tasting, Relay For Life and More… All Happening in the Heart of Downtown Salinas

School’s out—Time to play! This summer there’s no shortage of fun activities happening in Downtown Salinas. Our calendar is packed with exciting events everyone in the family will enjoy. From community favorites like the Kiddie Kaper Parade and the annual Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival to new to Downtown events such as the Relay For Life of the Salinas Valley—There is something happening for everyone in Salinas City Center this summer.

Although still the leading appeal, fun events, excellent restaurants, craft beer and coffee, good times and unlimited shopping are not the only charm to Downtown Salinas these days. The Downtown Salinas Rotary Arch has been completed and it is looking picturesque, both during the day and lit up in the evening, perched over Main Street. Additionally, the Salinas City Center Improvement Association recently launched an alley activation initiative with a scenic display of wisteria in the alleyway between Main Street and Monterey Street on the 200 Block. This will be a rotating display that will incorporate relevant and exciting themes throughout the year.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the following events and activities happening this summer in Salinas City Center (Oldtown Salinas):

  • Festa Italia: On Saturday, July 2nd, from 11:30am – 8pm, the Santa Lucia Rotary is bringing a family-friendly street festival to Downtown Salinas. Come experience the tastes, sounds and culture of Italy with national entertainment, authentic food, a kid’s corner, wine, beer, shopping, and lots more.
  • Kiddie Kapers Parade: Sunday, July 17th, 3:00PM – 4:30PM. Kick off Big Week and the California Rodeo Salinas with thousands of spirited kids and spectators at this year’s Kiddie Kapers Parade, presented by Sakata Seed America. According to the California Rodeo Salinas website, this year’s theme “Bullieve in Yourself” is in honor of Ross Hill, a long-time freestyle bullfighter and 3-time Salinas champion who passed away in 2021. Hill mastered taking a selfie with a fighting bull and always said ‘bullieve in your selfie.’ Knowing a lot of kids looked up to Hill the Rodeo is looking to bring that spirit to the 2022 Kiddie Kapers Parade—The Kiddie Kapers Parade will be a tribute to him.
  • Horse Parades: The Saturday and Sunday of Rodeo weekend, July 23rd and 24th, from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM the traditional horse parades will travel from downtown Salinas through Salinas City Center to the Rodeo Grounds. The horse parade is a 111-year-old tradition that you want to experience.
  • The California Rodeo Salinas Downtown Window Decorating: Between July 14th and July 24th grab a cup of coffee from one of our numerous locally owned coffee shops and take a walk around Downtown. While you sip and walk, enjoy all the Big Week themed decorated windows by our Downtown merchants. On Saturday, July 16th, local judges will be making their rounds and announcing their pick for the “Best Rodeo Window” and between July 16th and July 20th the public will have a chance to vote in the “People’s Choice” category. Sign up HERE.
  • Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival: Saturday, August 6th, from 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM Main Street will be filled with wine tasting stops, food sampling stations, live music, artist/artisan vendors, and the opportunity to experience world-class wines, craft beers, and gourmet foods. Come experience the bounty of the Salinas Valley in the heart of Downtown Salinas.
  • Relay For Life of the Salinas Valley: On Saturday, September 10th, the Relay For Life of the Salinas Valley is heading Downtown for an urban walk, the first of its kind for our area. The opening ceremony will start at 4pm, followed by the Survivor’s Lap and Team’s Lap. There will be entertainment throughout the event, along with a Kid’s Zone and Hospitality Tent, and even a car show all of which will be spread out throughout the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of Main Street in Downtown Salinas. The Relay will wrap up with the all-important Luminaria Ceremony.
  • Saturday Farmers Market: Every Saturday, rain, or shine, from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, on the 300 block of Main Street is the Downtown Salinas Farmers Market. Bring the whole family for a fun weekend outing. Stock up on fresh local produce while you enjoy the delicious food, flowers, jewelry and more from talented local vendors and restaurants.

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