Fairs & Festivals of Paso Robles
Stay up to date on all of Paso's Annual Events
In Paso Robles, annual events spotlight an extraordinary mix of food, drink, culture, family fun and much more. Festivals fill the calendar throughout the year—there’s a lot to celebrate here, after all—so it’s easy to swing through town for a harvest-season gathering or build a longer stay around classic summer favorites like the California Mid-State Fair.
Whether you’re into wine tastings, beer invitationals and culinary celebrations, or music festivals, antique shows and film screenings, you’ll find a year-round selection of exciting activities and entertainment. Start planning your adventure with this guide to the best annual events in Paso.
Art and About Paso is a self-guided art walking tour that gives the community an opportunity to experience visual, literary and performing art in Paso Robles on the first Saturday of each month. Galleries, non-profit organizations and other businesses are welcome to participate in the program and each location features original arts including visual, literary and/or performing arts. These free community art walks encourage travelers and locals alike to explore the creativity originating on the Central Coast. This rain or shine event takes place from 6-9pm in Paso's downtown City Park and stops at three unique locations: The Deprise Brescia Art Gallery, Park Street Gallery, and Studios on the Park. Explore a wide selection of fine arts and crafts, samples, special art discounts and meet the artists themselves.
First Saturday of Every Month
Rhone Rangers is America's leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting American Rhone varietal wines. American Rhone-style wines are made from the same grapes that have flourished for centuries in France’s Rhone River Valley, and their growing popularity in the United States speaks to their versatility with food, wide range of rich flavors, and to the skills of American winemakers. For a wine to qualify as a “Rhone Rangers” wine, the winery must be a member of the organization and 75% of the wine’s content must include one or more of the twenty-two traditional Rhone grape varieties as approved by the French government for the wines of the Cotes du Rhone (including Petite Sirah/Durif).
Through events like the Rhone Rangers Experience, they seek to educate the public on Rhone varietal wine grapes grown in America and to promote the production and enjoyment of these wines.
Annually in February
Spring Release Weekend is a three-day event that celebrates new wines and the spring season. Stemming from the Paso Robles wine fest once known as Zinfandel Weekend, the annual festival kicks off on the third Friday of each March. Friday evening sees about 40 wineries pouring samples at an open-air event in Paso’s Downtown City Park. On Saturday and Sunday, area wineries host barbecues, vineyard tours, winemaker dinners, panel discussions and other activities.
More than 100 producers welcome Spring Release Weekend guests. As you taste new releases and talk with winemakers, you’ll also enjoy live music, local dishes and views of Paso Robles Wine Country’s sweeping, wildflower-splashed landscapes.
Third Weekend of March
Held every other April at the Paso Robles Event Center, the Hospice du Rhône showcases innovative Rhône-inspired wines and winemakers. The weekend gathering is equal parts educational event and rare tasting experience, complete with in-depth seminars, two grand tastings, exclusive dining events, a live auction and other festivities.
While Rhône producers operate along California’s North Coast, in southern Oregon, and throughout the Walla Walla region of Oregon and Washington, the heart of America’s Rhône movement is anchored here in central California. More than 120 Rhône-focused winemakers from the U.S. and France typical share their favorites at this popular Paso wine festival.
Biannually in April — on even years (2024, 2026, 2028...)
With a six-day main event late each April, plus a slate of year-round screenings, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLO Film Fest) is the premiere celebration of cinema on California’s Central Coast. The festival brings contemporary and classic films to venues around the county, including Park Cinemas in downtown Paso Robles and other wine country venues.
Both local and international filmmakers take center stage during SLO Film Fest events. Recent screenings include “The Falconer,” a drama that which won best cinematography honors at the 2021 Newport Beach Film Festival, “She Dreams at Sunrise,” a children’s short winner at the 2021 New York International Children's Film Festival, and “Holy Writ,” a documentary recognized at the 2021 Florida Film Festival, San Diego International Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival.
Annually in Late April
The Three Speckled Hens Antiques & Old Stuff Show draws more than 150 dealers and collectors to the Paso Robles fairgrounds each April and September. Organizers expanded the dynamic Paso antique show to three full days in 2022, and vendors display a mix of vintage goods, one-of-a-kind antiques, custom furnishings, re-purposed treasures and more.
The event’s Hen House Mercantile carries themed gifts for collectors and antique enthusiasts, while the Coop Cafe serves breakfast and lunch for guests making their way through the show. Local food trucks serve up snacks on the Paso Event Center grounds, too, and a cocktail bar pours wine, mimosas and the always-popular Bloody Mary.
Bi-Annually in April and September
The Paso Robles Horse Park is a premier equestrian competition facility in picturesque Paso Robles. The Park Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunity within the community to support relevance of the horse in today’s world and its unique ability to enhance education, health, and quality of life, particularly for the handicapped and underprivileged. Through events at the Park and work advanced by the Paso Robles Horse Park Foundation, they strive to support the local community and promote programming that makes equestrian sports accessible to all. Today, the Horse Park hosts multiple Spring and Fall Show series.
Ongoing Through the Spring and Fall Seasons
The Estrella Warbird Museum at the Paso Robles Airport, features over 40 macro-artifacts, from classic cessnas to f-14 tomcats, missiles and a variety of military vehicles and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display features a concentration of nascar race cars, vintage and class automobiles, and the museum even hosts an annual car show and swap meet (a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike.)
The annual Warbirds Wings & Wheels is a unique car show held in the midst of Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles. It's not only a great photo op location with cars parked next to your favorite warbirds, but it's an ever growing event which ultimately helps fund the operations of Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles' home grown aviation and automotive museum.
Annually in May
Two beloved Paso Robles festivals united in 2021, creating a new community favorite called the Paso Robles Olive & Lavender Festival. The free event, held in Paso’s Downtown City Park, builds on 18 years of olive celebrations and 14 years of lavender gatherings. Olives take center stage in displays that explore fun facts and health information, and tasting tables are stocked with oils, tapenades and dipping sauces. Lavender producers are also on hand to discuss sustainable farming, distillation and the health benefits of these pretty purple blooms.
Other activities at this Paso Robles food and wine festival range from cooking contests, olive press demonstrations and wine tastings to samples of lavender sauces and oils. Whatever you choose, don’t miss an annual highlight inspired by the original Paso olive festival: free bites of olive oil ice cream!
Annually in May
More than 100 area producers participate in the four-day Paso Wine Fest, one of the most well-known wine celebrations on California’s Central Coast. Held each May, the gathering features educational seminars, winemaker dinners, barrel tastings and special events hosted by area wineries. You’ll also enjoy live music, local food and exhibits by fine artists, jewelry makers, leather craftspeople and other artisan vendors.
This annual Paso Robles wine festival recently moved to the Paso Robles Event Center, home of the midstate fair, after several years at the park in downtown Paso. Pack a blanket or some chairs and head to the main lawn to watch live bands and DJs on two stages. Between performances and pours, fuel up with bites from Rib Line, LouLou Cheese Girl, Shekamoo Grill, Della’s Wood-Fired Pizza and other regional favorites.
Annually in May
Music, wine and good times — the Paso Robles Concerts in the Park series offers free concerts to the public in Downtown City Park on Thursday evenings through the summer season. Wine will be available for purchase onsite from J. Lohr. and beer from Firestone Walker. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets for this staple summer occasion. Enjoy the sounds of country, blues, rock, and other genres from local bands.
Proceeds from concession sales and donations collected at the concerts benefit the REC Foundation, a local non profit organization that helps provide youth recreation scholarships to members of our community.
Thursday Evenings Through the Summer Season
The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival launched in 2012. Since then, this gathering at the Paso fairgrounds has grown into one of craft beer’s most respected events—in fact, all 2,500 tickets typically sell out within minutes of being released. About 50 top brewers from around the globe participate in panels and share samples of more than 150 different rare blends and classic favorites during the day-long event. There’s also an annual festival collaboration beer, which in 2022 was a dry-hopped grisette called Parrotphrase.
Entrance to the Paso Robles festival covers beer samples along with live music and food from 20 area restaurants. (You’re welcome to bring your own snacks if you have dietary restrictions). Firestone Walker Invitational festivities wrap up with an awards ceremony and the crowning of the People’s Choice winner. Ticket proceeds support history and culture projects organized by the Paso Robles Pioneer Day Committee.
Annually in June
FARMstead ED's Open Farm Day is great for visitors and locals alike! Local farms will be swinging open their gates to showcase everything from bee keeping to olive growing, while local ranchers will introduce you to goats, alpacas, sheep, pigs, and more, while local purveyors will showcase their locally made using our locally grown. Relax at picnic spots, shop at pop-up markets, and enjoy tastings of food and potent potables.
Paso Robles and SLO CAL are filled with so many different kinds of experiences that will feed your senses and connect you with friendly people and their agricultural roots. FARMstead ED welcomes you to join them and learn more about their farms, producers & purveyors. This family-friendly experience is an up-close chance to learn about agriculture through demonstrations, tastings, and farm tours. Ticket holders will savor summer through a self-guided tour featuring over 15 farms and ranches and some two dozen producers and purveyors.
Annually in July
Concerts. Craft exhibits. Culinary competitions. Carnival rides ranging from bumper cars to tea cups, and the Avenger to the Zipper. The California Mid-State Fair brings sizzling summer fun to the Paso Robles fairgrounds for 12 days each July. This family-friendly favorite has dazzled travelers with traditional midway thrills since 1946, and major musical acts take the stage for annual midstate fair concerts—including Aerosmith, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, Cardi B, Carrie Underwood and others.
Excitement and entertainment anchor the California Mid-State Fair schedule, and bustling exhibition halls showcase everything from locally grown flowers, houseplants and produce to photos and paintings by regional artists. Discover treasures in Farm Alley, which connects the Flower Building and Ponderosa Pavilion. Swing by the Frontier Pavilion to marvel at hand-stitched quilts and clothing. Several fair vendors sell unique keepsakes, while tomorrow’s culinary stars shine at competitions featuring olive oil, vinegar, craft spirits and wine.
The California Mid-State Fair highlights the area’s rich agricultural heritage, as well. Local 4-H and FFA members show a wide mix of livestock, including heifers, steers, sheep, goats and hogs, and an auction on the fair’s second-to-last day supports youth education projects. Paso fair visitors can also catch cow dog trials, horse shows and classic rodeo events like barrel races and team roping throughout the length of the fair.
Annually in July
Taste the spirit - and spirits - of Paso! Paso Robles has been known as a wine destination for decades, but recently the art of craft distilling has started a movement along the Central Coast. The area is now home to over a dozen distilleries with more planned to open over the next year. From San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles, distillers are producing a variety of small batch artisan spirits, including all your favorites — whiskey, gin, rum, brandy, vodka, and liqueurs. Our winemakers are always looking for new ways to sip and savor the tastes of Paso Robles, and now they are dipping their toes into distilled spirits. With Paso's distillery scene gaining more momentum by the minute, there's no better time to add a craft distillery tasting experience to your visit!
Explore Paso's local distilleries using the SLO Distillers Map as your guide! Travel along the Distillery Trail to discover and taste unique products at each location, meet distillers, and learn the art & science behind creating artisan craft spirits from fruit, grains and botanicals. Spend the day sampling, touring and experiencing the craft spirit scene that is taking over the Central Coast.
Annually in August
Castoro Cellars launched Beaverstock in 2013 to commemorate its 30th anniversary. Four years later (after facing Woodstock-related copyright concerns), the team reintroduced the Whale Rock Music & Arts Festival. Today’s family-friendly jam-fest takes its name from the event’s Whale Rock Vineyard home. The mid-September gathering promises two days of peace, music, art and yoga in the vines.
Two days of back-to-back musical performances unfold on two stages set among grass-covered hills and outdoor dance spaces. Food trucks dish up picnic-style eats to pair with Castoro wines, craft beers and hard ciders. Local artists display their latest work at the festival, and all-ages yoga sessions stretch out under the trees. Kids can take part in magic shows, craft workshops and face painting fun. Festival entrance for children ages 5 to 12 is just $10, and fans ages four and under get in for free.
Annually in September
The entire month of October is Harvest Wine Month. Wineries host individual events throughout the month. Look for specialty tours, winemaker dinners, grape stomps, music events, and more. October traditionally has exceptional weather, when days are warm and nights are cool, a staple for Paso Robles Wine Country and a perfect time to take in the incredible colors, sights, and aromas of harvest.
Harvest Wine Month (HWM) is a themed, month-long celebration that does not feature a single marquee event, but rather individual experiences at the area wineries. A year’s hard work is rewarded with another great harvest. Come celebrate with us during Harvest Wine Month, October 1 – 31.
Annually for the Entire Month of October
The first Pioneer Day was held on October 12, 1931. It was organized by community volunteers working with generous donations of time, materials and money from individuals, businesses, churches and service organizations. Their goal was to provide a day of community friendship and a commemoration of the heritage of the Paso Robles area. It would also become a day set aside to say "Thank You" to all of the people who support the business and professional community of the area throughout the year. Most businesses closed so that their employees could enjoy and participate in the activities and family reunions. There were to be no charges for any of the events, no commercial concessions and lunch would be provided at no cost.
Today, Pioneer Day is one of Paso's greatest celebrations and oldest traditions, bringing visitors and longtime locals together for a day full of festivities, history, and beans. Take a trip to old California during this event-packed day of family fun. Bring the entire family and enjoy viewing running antique tractors, horse-drawn wagons, marching bands, mounted equestrian groups, dancers, floats, fire engines, vintage cars and more.
2nd Saturday in October
The annual Paderewski Festival is one of Paso Robles’ preeminent cultural events, and it celebrates the life and local connections of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The Polish-born pianist, composer, philanthropist and politician once served as Poland’s prime minister, signing the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. In 1914, he bought Rancho San Ignacio and Rancho Santa Helena in Paso Robles. Paderewski later planted almonds, orchards and zinfandel grapes that were processed at York Mountain Winery. Today, Epoch Estate Wines owns his renowned vineyards.
Each November, the three-day Paderewski Festival honors Paderewski’s history and musical legacy through performances, master classes, lectures, film screenings and awards. A youth piano competition showcases Central California students. During select years, young Polish musicians perform for Paso Robles audiences through the Paderewski Festival Cultural Exchange Program. Wine receptions and themed dinners round out the festival schedule.
Annually in November
America’s 4th Hardest, Cow-Themed, Wine Country Gravel Fondo Experience — The Bovine Classic weekend is all about sharing what makes the Paso Robles wine region an amazing, world-class cycling destination YOU! We look forward to sharing our quiet country backroads; scenic views of rolling ranch lands and thick oak forests; amazing wines, microbrews & distilled craft spirits; eating delicious foods for every tastebud; zip-lining & horseback riding through gorgeous vineyards; and a welcoming, laid-back, small-town spirit.
The Bovine Classic will have three courses to challenge every level of mixed-surface cycling enthusiast. Each course includes a healthy dose of dirt and asphalt riding. The Big Bovine 100.4 Miles/9063’. This BIG course is approximately 45% dirt and 55% asphalt. The Happy Bovine 68.2 Miles/6900’. The HAPPY course is approximately 35% dirt and 65% asphalt. The Gentle Bovine 37 Miles/2900’. The GENTLE course is approximately 21% dirt and 79% asphalt.
Annually in November
For more than a decade, America’s undiscovered, under-recognized and most exclusive small-lot producers have poured their best at the annual Garagiste Festival. The Paso Robles wine festival weekend features micro-production winemakers who craft fewer than 1,500 cases per year. Most participants don’t have tasting rooms and don’t appear on traditional wine country maps, and event ticket sales are limited to cap crowd size. That means you’ll find few lines and plenty of time to chat with the pros.
This one-of-a-kind festival takes place across wine country on select weekends each year. The Paso flagship happens each November at the Paso Robles Event Center, on the mid state fair grounds. This event regularly earns praise from participants and national media—including USA Today, which named Garagiste the country's best wine festival in its 2018 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
Annually in November