News from the City! It’s Time To Start Having Some Fun Again!!

By City Manager Rachelle Rickard

ATASCADERO — Welcome back! Doesn’t it feel great to get out of the house and be able to appreciate all that our community has to offer again? It seems like we’ve been gradually emerging after a very long hibernation, and I think we’re all ready to have a little sense of normalcy and pleasure back in our lives. Atascadero is the perfect place to start enjoying the summer of 2021, with lots of fun and exciting activities!

Come out and enjoy the AZA-accredited Charles Paddock Zoo, located at Atascadero Lake Park and
home to hundreds of small animal species from around the world, including red pandas, monkeys, meerkats, parrots, a Malayan tiger, a variety of reptiles, and so much more. Many of the zoo residents are part of globally managed programs to preserve animals and their habitats.


What’s new at the Zoo?
There are several adorable baby flamingos and turtles, and you don’t want to miss seeing Wally, the Zoo’s alligator, in his new exhibit!

Ice Cream Zoofari is on Saturday, Jul. 17, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with music, activities, and a tasty variety of all-you-can-eat sweet treats! Then on Aug. 7, during regular Zoo hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wild About Art will be a fun-filled day of arts and crafts fun at the Zoo, with animal artists, face painting, workshops, local art for purchase, and more!

There are plenty of other events to enjoy at Atascadero Lake Park throughout the summer, including the 2021 Saturday Summer Concert Series, being held most Saturday evenings beginning Jul. 24 through the summer, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lake Park bandstand. These concerts feature great local bands and a wonderful variety of music styles. All of the summer concerts are free and open to the public. For even more fun at the Lake for the whole family, Mr. Putter’s Paddleboats is open every day throughout the summer from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with paddleboats, kayaks, and surrey bike rentals, along with cold drinks, candy, and ice cream for sale!

Join the Summer Sizzle at Farmer’s Market, Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at Sunken Gardens. Summer Sizzle includes live music, a featured Chef providing samples and a complimentary recipe with ingredients available at the market, and cider and wine tastings from Bristol’s and Lone Madrone.

During the Mid-State Fair, the regular Farmer’s Market will be held without Summer Sizzle, but on Aug. 4, Summer Sizzle’s featured Chef will be Hungry Mother Food Truck, and live music will be provided by Tennessee Jimmy!

Get ready to start your engines once again at Cruisin’ Weekend! This very exciting two-day long event will be held Aug. 20 to 21. The weekend kicks off Friday evening with the 28th Annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and featuring hundreds of beautiful classic cars cruising up and down El Camino Real for everyone to enjoy. The 5th Annual Dancing in the Streets will be back on Saturday evening from 5–9 p.m.! This summer concert blowout and dance party will be sure to have lots of head-bopping-feet-tapping music and a variety of live bands located throughout the

Enjoy more great family entertainment at Movies in the Gardens, which will be held on Saturday evenings in August-September at Sunken Gardens. Bring the kids some low-back chairs and blankets to sit back, relax and enjoy a warm summer evening with a movie under the stars! The schedule includes Scoob (PG) on Aug. 7; Raya the Last Dragon (PG) on Aug. 14; The Secret Garden (PG) on Aug. 28, and then Solo: A Star Wars Story (PG-13) on Sept. 4. All family-friendly movies begin at about 8 p.m. Patriot’s Day, on Saturday, Sept. 11, will be the 20th anniversary of 9/11. We will move that evening’s Summer Concert from the Lake Park over to Sunken Gardens and Historic City Hall to have a very special evening, including patriotic music and an Estrella Warbirds Freedom Flight flyover. More information about this event will be shared soon.

And last but not least, we’re very excited that the Cornhole Tournament is back! On Friday, Sept. 17, the Central Coast Challenge will be held at the Ravine Water Park in Paso Robles, at their Miniature Golf area. Then on Saturday, Sept. 18, the Showdown Main Tournament will be held in Atascadero at Sunken Gardens! You can find all of the scheduling information and other important details for these activities and much more at

As always, if you have questions regarding this or other City related activities, please feel free to email the City Manager, Rachelle, at