By Kyla Skinner

How amazing is it to drive downtown on Friday night and see the streets full of people walking around and enjoying our beautiful downtown? I grew up in this area, and I love that suddenly Atascadero is a cool place to be. And this isn’t by coincidence. I see the City and Chamber working so hard to plan fun events — to build a buzz and create a fun atmosphere which, in turn, will strengthen our businesses and community.

The City of Atascadero is establishing a happening scene downtown on the First Friday of every month with live music and food trucks. Friday, April 7 will be featuring Stellar Band with a stage at the City Hall. Stellar is a five-piece band playing classic hits … they’ll get you singing and dancing! Starts between 5:30 to 6 p.m. 


In coordination with the First Friday event, we will be bringing the shopping Passport that was so popular during the holidays. Did you see it with the absolutely gorgeous artistic rendition of downtown? The City is taking it over and going to continue it monthly. Passport holders will collect six stickers/stamps at downtown retailers then be entered to win prizes. A new part of the program is that you will be able to participate on social media vs. using the card. Go follow @atowndowntownpassport on Instagram to learn more and to find out who’s participating. 

Another exciting April event is the Chamber of Commerce Gala, their 100th-year anniversary celebration. What a milestone. This event will be held the evening of Satuday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m., tickets can be purchased at I went last year and was filled with pride over how many amazing people we have in our town. It was such a blast to get dressed up fancy and honor those who have made a difference in our community. Awards will be given to Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Woman of Influence, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Community Organization of the Year. Also, wine, delicious food, a silent auction. This event sells out so go get your tickets ASAP. 

A few other things to mention, for all you vintage treasure hunters, or if you need to clean out your garage, there is a city-wide yard sale happening Saturday, April 15. For more information on how you can participate or for shopping information, go to Proceeds will benefit the ongoing improvements and maintenance of the all-inclusive Joy Park. My daughter loves this place. 

And last but not least, the 9th Annual Brew at the Zoo is Saturday, April 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. A collection of seltzers, beer, and kombucha is available for tasting with a commemorative glass. Go to for tickets. And dress like your favorite animal for extra kudos! My faves are the meerkats and the red pandas. I probably resemble a meerkat more because I’m so dang tall. 

Happy April and Happy Spring! 

P.S. I’ll also see you at the wildflowers. Can’t wait. 


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