San Luis Obispo fall events
San Luis Obispo, CA – San Luis Obispo has many great culinary, cultural and outdoor events happening this fall. With so many events to choose from there is definitely something for everyone, no matter your interests.
The Drowsy Chaperone – through September 11; slolittletheatre.org A mousy, agoraphobic Broadway fanatic, dubbed “The Man in Chair,” listens to a recording of his favorite musical, The Drowsy Chaperone. As he listens he is transported into the musical. The characters appear in his dingy apartment, and it is transformed into an impressive Broadway set with seashell footlights, sparkling furniture, painted backdrops and glitzy costumes. Winner of 5 Tony Awards, The Drowsy Chaperone is a loving send-up of 1920s musicals featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another!
CowParade Launch Event – September 17; cowparadeslo.com San Luis Obispo County will be overrun with artsy cows this fall when it hosts the world’s largest and most successful public art event. CowParade San Luis Obispo will feature 101 life-sized cow statues, beautifully decorated by sponsored artists. On September 17, the cows will be herded toward a meadow at the famously pink Madonna Inn for public viewing. After the launch event, the cows will be moooooooved to different parts of the county, where the “grazing” bovines will become public figures (and selfie magnets!) for seven months before they’re auctioned off for local charities in May 2017.
World Record Z-Scale Collection – September 17; slorrm.com San Luis Obispo resident and Museum Docent, Dr. Bernd Schumacher, who has been a collector for over twenty years, will attempt to break the prior record of the world’s largest model train collection. Bernd’s engines and rolling stock are in Z gauge, 1 in 220, the world’s smallest serially produced model railroad system. The counting begins at 10 a.m. at Beda’s Biergarten, 3230 Broad St. and the celebration continues at 2 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum at 1940 Santa Barbara St.
Private Historic Railcar Excursion – September 17; slorrm.com All aboard! Enjoy the “Golden Age of Rail” along one of the most spectacular of all train routes in the United States. Choose the excursion that fits your schedule best and see how people of means traveled the beautiful California coast in the heyday of rail. Bring a picnic lunch, purchase a meal in Santa Barbara, or try out the new Surfliner menu and eat at your leisure as you return home. Be sure to leave room in your day to explore the Railroad Museum as all three trips include free admission on September 17th.
Oktoberfest – October 1; madonnainn.com The Madonna Expo Center transforms into a Munich beer festival, complete with the sights, sounds and smells of Germany. Enjoy juicy bratwursts and delicious desserts while listening to live polka music by local favorite, Trio Internationale, and classic rock band, Unfinished Business. And because no Oktoberfest would be complete without a steady flow of beer, you can expect to see a selection of the finest brews.
Central Coast Railroad Festival – October 7-9; ccrrf.com The Central Coast Railroad Festival focuses on many types of railroading with an eye towards the beauty of the central coast of California. Offering over 100 separate programs, tours, displays, films, seminars and a “Wine-Rail Excursion” this year’s festival is a must see for avid and casual rail fans.
La boheme: A City-Wide Arts Collaboration – October 15-16; operaslo.org Set to lush, irresistible music, Giacomo Puccini’s timeless masterpiece never fails to move audiences to both laughter and tears throughout the story of six young friends in Paris living on laughter and love. The production is a collaboration between the California Opera Association, Central Coast Children’s Choir, Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo, Deyo Dances, Opera San Luis Obispo and Studio @-Ryan’s American Dance.
Cal Poly Mustang Family Weekend – October 20-23; calpoly.edu Mustang Family Weekend is a combination of Homecoming and Parents & Family Weekends. It’s a time when alumni, families, future alumni and the entire #CalPolyProud community come together to celebrate Cal Poly. Festivities include alumni parties and reunions, Classes Without Quizzes, family events, campus tours, the Homecoming football game, Farmers’ Market and much more.
Deep Green Convergence – October 21-23; ecologistics.org If you are concerned about the health of Earth’s biosphere and the threats to biodiversity, and want to take action to move things in a better direction, consider attending a 3-day environmental conference. This gathering offers a unique opportunity for community activists, state and local officials, students and anyone seeking to empower themselves to find new ways to take action, have fun and make some new friends.
Cal Poly Arts Broadway Series presents Once – October 30; calpolyarts.org Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” Once features an extraordinarily impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, telling the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. Their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than an everyday romance. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, Once draws you in from the very first note-it’s an unforgettable story about going for your dreams.
Canzona Women’s Ensemble Concert – November 6; canzonawomen.org In honor of the 400th anniversary of his death, Canzona explores a wide variety of contemporary and classical repertoire based on works by William Shakespeare. Scenes of jealousy and conquest, merriment and misadventure await you in an afternoon of music drawn from the Bard’s plays, poems and sonnets. Featured composers range from Schubert and Vaughan Williams to Argento and Gardner in music that is in turn lively, humorous, contemplative and jazzy.
Stars, Stripes & Swing – November 13; cuesta.edu The sixth annual CPAC Gala, a fundraiser for the Cuesta College Cultural & Performing Arts Center, will be held over the Veterans Day holiday weekend on Sunday, November 13 at the CPAC. This year’s event is a tribute to veterans and features The Swing Dolls, a female vocal trio that has been thrilling audiences nationwide for over 10 years with music made popular during the World War II era. Additional event performances include music by the SLO County Trumpet Alliance, the Cuesta Wind Ensemble and the Cuesta College Jazz Orchestra. The evening will conclude with a sing-along rendition of “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
An Evening with Garrison Keillor – November 16; sloclassical.org Enjoy an Evening With Garrison Keillor on the Central Coast of California! Sit back, relax and drink-in the stories of the famed humorist Garrison Keillor who has maintained a steadfast presence in our homes over the past 40 years. During this performance at the finest theater in SLO, you will savor the tales that Keillor weaves in his iconic gentle cadence. He has been delighting audiences all over the country as he keeps the American tradition of storytelling alive and we are fortunate to have him in San Luis Obispo!
Santa’s House – November 25-December 24; downtownslo.com Children and families are welcome to visit Santa’s House in Mission Plaza where every child who visits with Santa will receive a candy cane, toy and coloring book at no charge.
And of course don’t forget to check out San Luis Obispo’s signature ongoing events:
Friday Night at the Museum – Friday evenings; 4-9 p.m.; historycenterslo.org
Farmers Market – Every Thursday night; 6-9 p.m.; downtownslo.com
Arts Obispo’s Art After Dark – Every first Friday; 6-9 p.m.; sloartscouncil.org
Cal Poly Sports – gopoly.com
Performing Arts Center – pacslo.org
SLO Little Theatre – slolittletheatre.org