Capitola Begonia Festival 2008

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It’s Labor Day weekend, so it must be time once again for the Capitola Begonia Festival. Despite having lived in Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Aptos for many years now, I must confess, I had not previously ben to the Begonia Festival. This year, however, I made it a point to go. It’s a three-day affair, with the highlight of the fist day being the Sand Castle Competition.


Naturally, the sand castle that first caught my eye was the one with the “Foreclosure” signs placed all around it. Nice. It should be noted that this particular castle didn’t win any prizes – and that can be said of most foreclosure properties as well.

There were, however, a few really cool sand castles there. I even discovered that my friend Rico Suave (aka Richard Robinson, also of Thunderbird Real Estate) was down there working on a pretty cool sand castle – which, unfortunately, didn’t win any prizes either but I thought was surely one of the better ones there.

The 2nd day of the Capitola Begonia Festival is the nautical parade. This is what makes the festival famous – famous in these parts, anyway. Folks create these boats that are covered in begonias – like floats in any parade, except these floats actually float. The floats are constructed there Soquel Creek (alongside Riverview Avenue). There’s a little pathway that starts at the Stockton Bridge, and you can follow it and watch the people building their floats.


As fate would have it, that’s about as much of the nautical parade as I got to see this year. I didn’t know what time the parade started – I had thought it began earlier in the day, and a client asked me to go see some property at 2 PM, so I pretty much had to leave before the floats weighed anchor and went wherever it is they go.

There’s lots more to the Capitola Begonia Festival than just the sand castle competition and the nautical parade, though. They also have a few concerts, an outdoor Movie Night at Esplanade Park, the horseshoe tournament, a fishing derby, and more.

Next weekend, it’s the Capitola Art & Wine Festival. I’ve never been to that, either – but I’m planning on spending a few hours this year as well, if all goes according to plan. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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