California Travel Tips

Capitola Begonias planted for the big Begonia Festival and Parade

Published on: July 16, 2012

Ranked the best Small Town Aquatic Parade in America, Capitola by the Sea hosts an annual event where the community not only grows its own begonias for its floats, but the citizens also design and build their own parade entries. Held on the Labor Day Weekend, Capitola Begonia Festival is one of the most spectacular events to see in Santa Cruz County. The antithesis to the high-ticket Rose Parade held January 1 in Pasadena, the Begonia Festival Parade will really float your boat! Sponge Bob, Giant Giraffes, Elephants and everything under the sun are used in creative and colorful floats decorated with begonias that reflect on the waterways as they glide by.

This grassroots event involves the community in every step of the process. Begonias are planted in fields during the summer, then are picked for the event which includes begonia hat decorating, and boat floats built on the banks of the Soquel River while the public watches on. On Sunday afternoon the Begonia Parade takes place along Soquel Creek and the Lagoon that feeds to the Pacific Ocean. It’s 100% “made in California”!

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