Colony Days hosting drive-thru barbecue in lieu

What was to be the fourth annual Atascadero Fourth of July Bluegrass Freedom Festival has been canceled due to state regulations in response to COVID-19. The annual event has been a fundraiser for Atascadero Colony Days’ yearly event in October, celebrating the community.

“For the past three years, we have seen thousands of people join us to celebrate at the Atascadero Lake Park,” festival founder and director Nic Mattson said. “It is disappointing to have to cancel, but we are working with the City of Atascadero to make the best decision we can for all involved.”

The event will return to the calendar in 2021 with a Sunday, July 4 date and an authentic Bluegrass lineup to accompany the family-friendly event, vendors, food and drink fundraiser.

“Although we won’t see the great event we have come to love on July 4,” Mattson said, “we can still support Colony Days by donating directly or purchasing a drive-through Fourth of July meal.”


The Atascadero Colony Days Committee will host a drive-thru barbecue dinner on the Fourth of July from noon to 4 p.m. at a location yet to be determined. The barbecue dinner will be chicken or tri-tip with salad, bread and dessert for four. The cost of the chicken dinner is $40 and $50 for the tri-tip dinner.

Dinners are being presold on Atascadero Colony Days’ website,

The annual Colony Days event is planned for on Friday, Oct. 2, with the Tent City After Dark fundraiser concert and the parade, Tent City, dog races and festivities for Saturday, Oct. 3. 

To stay up-to-date on what’s happening with Colony Days, visit its website and sign up for the mailing list. The website has current information and an email goes out if anything changes. 

Presently, the committee is continuing to take vendor applications, parade entries and is selling tickets for Tent City After Dark. Vendor fees and concert tickets will be refunded if parts of it are canceled.

Atascadero Colony Days is a grassroots community run and funded event that depends on sponsorships and donations. 

Because of the financial difficulties due to the shelter-at-home orders, the committee is also feeling the financial strain. The committee is asking for anyone who can donate even $5 to put on this year’s event. Go to and click on ‘donate.’

“We are always grateful for the support of the community,” Colony Days chairperson Karen McNamara said, “and we look forward to seeing everyone at the 4th of July barbecue event.”