By Kyla Skinner

Kyla Skinner Headshot e1682704831836
Kyla Skinner

As the school summer break rolls to an end, let’s absorb as many long afternoon and evenings as possible! One thing I haven’t mentioned yet, that we enjoy, is the Farmer’s Market. Held at Sunken Gardens every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the shaded grassy area of East Mall. Such a feast for the eyes (and tummy!) to peruse the fresh veggies, fruit, bread, pies, flowers, and whatever other surprises may be there. We usually run into friends, and the kids throw their shoes off for a barefoot game of tag or cartwheels in the lush green grass. Perfect idyllic summer memories. Usually, I’ll pick up dinner to take home from the tamale vendor, because who wants to cook in the heat? 

August also includes the Movies in the Colony Park, continuing Saturday evenings around 8 p.m.-ish. Also happening on Saturdays is the Summer Concert Series at the Lake Park, with live music starting at 6:30 p.m. If you’re good and feeling extra energetic, maybe do both. Grab your low-back chairs and some snacks, hit the concert at the lake, then drive over to Traffic Way for a movie.


Speaking of trying to do it all, August 12 has something for everyone. Starting out with Wild About Art at the Charles Paddock Zoo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Event is included with your zoo admission. We went last year and my favorite part was watching the zookeepers try to get the animals to create their own art. Some were cooperative, others — not so much! They made “art” with bright paint and their paws, which was quite entertaining to watch. Also, tables were set up for kids to create art as well. There will also be a marketplace of art available to purchase. 

Next up on the same day, August 12, drop the kiddos off with a sitter and head back to the Lake Park for the Fifth Annual Central Coast Cider Festival. For ages 21 and older, early VIP entry begins at 4 p.m. with special pours from producers and short educational talks from industry producers. Tickets for this event can be purchased at Pssst, did you know EG Lewis’s original plans for Atascadero included an apple (and other fruits/veggies) dehydration factory — it was located on Traffic Way near the Salinas River? Long gone, but cider seems very fitting for our region. 

Cruise night! To be honest, cars aren’t typically my cup of tea, but last summer, we sat on the curb outside my shop courtyard, on Traffic Way, with a cold drink and a gyro from Byblos, and watched the parade of vehicles drive by. So many generations were involved in this, and people’s smiles and laughter as they waved was priceless. Very entertaining even if you aren’t an auto enthusiast. Held on August 18 and 19, the 30th annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite starts on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. downtown. El Camino from Traffic Way to Curbaril is closed down and becomes a showcase for antique/vintage cars to cruise. The next day, see the cars exhibited at the Lake Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., then they will cruise back to downtown Sunken Gardens to kick off Dancing in the Streets from 5 to 10 p.m. with community dancers and bands set up at multiple stages on the streets. 

Watching our little community dance, laugh, and enjoy our beautiful town center makes me so happy to be a part of it. Thanks for being here!


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