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Community Events

Each year, local organizations and the City sponsor a variety of fun events that bring thousands of visitors to Benicia. Many have become well-known regional traditions. Widely attended events include the Farmers Market, Peddlers Fair, Fine Art and Craft Fair, Arts Benicia Open Studios, and the Downtown Holiday Open House.

Following is a sampling of the many events held each year within Benicia. For a full schedule of events, please go to the Events Calendar.

Farmers Market: There is a Farmers Market downtown on Thursday evenings from late April through October, a tradition that began in 1992. The Market offers fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, gourmet food, delicious hot foods, arts and crafts, live musical entertainment, pony rides and face painting.

Benicia Artists Open Studios: Artists in Benicia open their studios to the public the weekend before Mother's Day in May and the first weekend in December, along with other selected times of the year.

Torchlight Parade: Traditionally held on July 3, Benicia's 4th of July parade stretches all the way down First Street and includes music, dancing, floats, horses, clowns and live entertainment.

Picnic in the Park & Fireworks: On July 4, there is a large community picnic at Benicia's City Park, traditionally starting at noon. Shortly after dark, there is a fireworks display that originates at the foot of First Street.

Benicia Peddlers Fair: This outdoor event began downtown in 1963 with a few collectible and antique stores displaying their items on tables outside St. Paul's Church. Today, more than 300 antique and collectible dealers display their wares in booths that span the length of First Street.

Yacht Races and Opening Day on the Strait: Benicia is an active sailing community. During the summer months, there is a yacht racing competition on Thursday evenings sponsored by the Benicia Yacht Club. Opening Day on the Strait, held the third Saturday in April, features a decorated boat parade and blessing of the fleet, arts and crafts vendors, live music in front of the Benicia Yacht Club, food, games for the kids, and dinner and dancing in the evening.

The Holy Ghost Parade: Every fourth Sunday in July, the Portuguese community in Benicia celebrates the feast of the Holy Ghost, commemorating the Queen Saint Isabel of Portugal, with a parade to Saint Dominic's Church, a Mass, an auction and a dance.

Downtown Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting: Held the first Friday in December, this ever-popular holiday event features beverages and treats, costumed carolers, wagon rides and wine tasting. The City of Benicia caps off the evening with a holiday tree lighting.

Next: Events Calendar »

Upcoming Highlighted Events
1 Oct 2016 (All day) - 31 Oct 2016 (All day)
Scarecrow Contest

Stroll downtown and around town and you'll be greeted by scarecrows fashioned local businesses and organizations on display through October. Winning entries are:

Peoples Choice: 1st-Training Loft 714, 2nd-Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific, 3rd-Dianna's Bakery & Cafe

Mystery Judge Picks: 1st-Camellia Tea Room, 2nd-Gallerie Renee Marie, 3rd-Dianna's Bakery & Cafe

Click here for the gallery of scarecrows.

26 Oct 2016 - 7:00pm
Halloween at the Library

Bring your carved pumpkin to enter the twentieth annual Jack-o-Lantern Contest at 7:00 PM, or just come vote for your favorite. While the judges choose the winners, listen to some scary stories; very scary ones told in the dark for brave children (8 and up), and less scary ones for younger children. The contest is open to everyone, including teens and adults, so show off those carving skills! (No flashing lights in the pumpkins, please.)

28 Oct 2016 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Haunted Depot

The normally mild-mannered Southern Pacific Railroad Depot has been mysteriously transformed into a frightful depository of ghosts, goblins, and spirits luring you inside for a scare. Hours are Fridays, 6:00-9:00 PM; Saturdays, 12:00-4:00 PM & 6:00-9:00 PM; and Sundays, 12:00-4:00 PM; Halloween, 6:00-9:00 PM. Check website for fee.

Add Your Event
Local organizations are welcome to submit events to be included in our calendar