San Luis Obispo has many great culinary, cultural and outdoor events happening this Spring. With so many events to choose from, there is something for everyone, no matter your interests.
SLO Classical Academy hosts author Bill Deresiewicz – March 7; sloclassical.org
Author of New York Time Bestseller Excellent Sheep, Bill Deresiewicz is visiting San Luis Obispo on Thursday, March 7. Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and critic, and a frequent speaker at colleges and high schools. In his book, Excellent Sheep, Deresiewicz takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt of producing “success” in education, rather than fostering creativity and self-discovery. Join SLO Classical Academy at Harold J. Miossi Cultural & Performing Arts Center at Cuesta College to hear Deresiewicz’s critique on the education system’s herd mentality. Homemade concessions will be available for purchase on the green just outside the theater at 6 p.m. Bill D. will take the stage at 7 p.m. For more information, visit sloclassical.org.
SLO Symphony presents, Pacific Coast Classics: Big Sur Inspirations – March 9; slosymphony.org
San Luis Obispo Symphony is bringing Romantic era composer, Robert Schumann, and Pulitzer Prize winner John Adams to the Performing Arts Center. Performing, Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, SLO Symphony is adding their own interpretation to this famous piece. Minimalist composer John Adams will feature his tribute to the Central Coast, The Dharma at BigSur, and special guest Tracy Silverman will share his groundbreaking work with the 6-string electric violin. Visit slosymphony.org for more information.
Cal Poly Arts presents, Ladysmith Black Mambazo – March 12; calpolyarts.org
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is returning to the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center for another joyous concert on Tuesday, March 12. No group is more closely identified with African song – some might say with world music itself – than this vibrant South African nine-member vocal ensemble. This Grammy-award winning group have traveled the world with uplifting, polyrhythmic harmonies of South Africa, since their introduction in the release of Paul Simon’s Graceland album. For information and tickets, visits calpolyarts.org.
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – March 12-17; slofilmfest.org
The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is all about connecting local films to a bigger screen. Choose from one of the many tickets/passes options and catch screenings in San Luis Obispo at the Downtown Centre Cinema, Palm Theatre, Fremont Theater, and other various locations throughout the county. This year, SLOIFF is excited kick off opening night with Katharine Ross and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra. Enjoy workshops, social events and special presentations in addition to the films. For more information, visit slofilmfest.org.
Cal Poly Arts presents, Monty Python’s Spamalot – March 14; calpolyarts.org
Cal Poly Arts presents Monty Python’s Spamalot! A lovingly ripped off from the film classic, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” This outrageous musical comedy tells the tale of King Author and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest in their search for the Holy Grail. Tickets include a pre-show lecture. Visit calpolyarts.org for more information.
Cal Poly Arts presents, Jacob Jonas The Company – March 15; calpolyarts.org
Join Cal Poly Arts as Jacob Jonas The Company presents an evening of eclectic and dynamic choreography in the Performing Arts Center’s Spanos Theatre. This Los Angeles based dance troupe gained notoriety for its honest storytelling, visceral performances and visual content creation, all while combining breakdance, acrobatics, and contemporary ballet techniques. For more information and tickets, visit calpolyarts.org.
SLO Repertory Theatre presents, Ubu’s Other Shoe: Marjorie Prime – March 15-16; slorep.org
Join San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre in a staged reading of Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime. Set in the age of artificial intelligence, 85-year-old Marjorie, facing memory loss, has a handsome new companion who is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. This richly spare, wondrous play will explore the mysteries of human identity and the limits of what technology can replace. Visit slorep.org for tickets and showtimes.
Cal Poly Choirs’ Winter Concert: “All of Us” – March 16; music.calpoly.edu
The Cal Poly Choirs’ Winter Concert, “All of Us”, is set for March 16 at the Performing Arts Center. The theme of this concert is diversity and inclusion, featuring positive and uplifting musical selection. The concert will be a joint effort of PolyPhonics, University Singers, Chamber Choir and the premiere of Advanced Women’s Choir who performs challenging repertoire of high notes. In addition to musical selection, students form the Theater and Dance Department will present a variety of monologues highlighting various social issues. For more information, visit music.calpoly.edu.
SLO Repertory Theatre presents, Doubt, A Parable – March 29- April 14; slorep.org
The San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre presents Doubt, A Parable, a drama that follows Sister Aloysius in an investigation of a young priest’s suspicious behavior. Less about scandal than about the nuanced questions of moral certainty, this Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner will leave the audience members at the edge of their seats during this gripping mystery. Visit slorep.org for showtimes.
Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial Tour – April 5; calpolyarts.org
One of today’s leading female comedians, Iliza Sclesinger is coming to the Central Coast this April. Performing her fourth Netflix stand up special, Elder Millennial, Schlesinger is bringing the classic look from the late 90s with an official Spotify playlist featuring songs from the era. Visit calpolyarts.org for tickets and additional information.
San Luis Obispo Soccer Club presents, Junior Classics – April 6-7; centralcoastunitedsc.com
Show your support for the San Luis Obispo Soccer Club this spring during the annual Junior’s Classic weekend. This Central Coast youth competitive soccer tournament is open both boys and girls under the age of 9 through 14. Teams will be competing against each other in their respective age group. Cheer on the rising soccer stars of the Central Coast at the Damon Garcia Sports Complex. For more information, visit centralcoastunitedsc.com/slo-junior-classic-2019.
Cal Poly Arts presents, Something Rotten! – April 10; calpolyarts.org
With ten Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Something Rotten, is “a big, fat hit” (New York Post) and will be coming to the San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center this spring. Set in the 1590s, this hilarious musical follows Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers desperate to write their own play while “rock star” Shakespeare is producing all the hits. When hearing that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting all at the same time, the Bottom brothers set out to write the world’s first musical. Visit calpolyarts.org to learn more.
Cal Poly presents, the 79th Annual Poly Royal Rodeo – April 12-13; cafes-rodeo.calpoly.edu
The 79th Annual Poly Royal Rodeo rides back to Cal Poly’s Alex G. Spanos Stadium on April 12-13. At this Cal Poly tradition, college rodeo athletes from all over the West Coast are competing at this for a championship title in events such as barrel racing, team roping, and more. Country artists Casey Donahew and Chancey Wiliams will be performing after the rodeo. The Poly Royal Rodeo is the marquee event on campus during Cal Poly’s annual Open House. For tickets and more information, visit cafes-rodeo.calpoly.edu/.
SLO Half Marathon & Relay Races – April 26-28; raceslo.com
This year, San Luis Obispo is hosting a three-day Race SLO festival for runners, walkers, and fit fans for all ages and levels on April 26-28 at the Madonna Meadows. Start off the weekend on April 26 with Race SLO’s first ever YogaMusic Fest, featuring local DJs, food and drinks, a dance party and various yoga workouts. Saturday April 27 is Family Day, which includes a 5K and 2 Kids Races. On Sunday, register or come out to cheer on the athletes during the Half Marathon and Relay Race. Strollers, walkers, and runners are welcomed to this family friendly event, with vendors, healthy food, and loads of free activity and live music. Visit raceslo.com to register or learn more.
San Luis Obispo Master Chorale presents, Moments of the Jewish Tradition – April 28; slomasterchorale.org
San Luis Obispo Master Chorale celebrates the “Monuments of the Jewish Tradition” on April 28. Continuing the celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, the SLO Master Chorale and Orchestra will perform Bernseint’s energetic setting of “Chichester Psalms” in the styles of West Side Story and Candide. “Monuments of the Jewish Tradition” will also feature Ernest Bloch’s dramatic and passionate “Avodath Hakodesh”. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit slomasterchorale.org.
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art presents, Awaken: Discovery – May 3-12; sloma.org
AWAKEN is year-long program celebrating art and community expressed though the imaginative creations of students in San Luis Obispo. Three student exhibitions will be displayed at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art throughout the year. Visit the SLO Museum of Art and watch as young minds share their discoveries and wonders of life through curriculum-driven art projects. For more information, visit sloma.org.
SLO Repertory Theatre presents Blithe Spirit – May 3-19; slorep.org
This spring, Blithe Spirit, the smash hit of the London and Broadway stages is coming to San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre. This much-revived classic follows ill-tempered novelist Charles Condomine whose second marriage is haunted by the ghost of his temperamental first wife, Elvira. Blithe Spirit will keep the audience laughing with British hilarity. Visit slorep.org for more information.
San Luis Obispo Symphony presents, Beethoven’s “Eroica” – May 4; slosymphony.org
The SLO Symphony is bringing the work of the most recognized and influential composer of all time, Beethoven and his first major work, Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” to the Performing Arts Center this May. Fun fact, this symphony was initially named “Buonaparte” as a homage to Napoleon Bonaparte. But after Bonaparte declared himself Emperor, Beethoven became so enrage and subsequently changed the name to “Sinfonia Eroica.” This classical evening will also include works from Maurice Ravel, Samael Barber, and William Walton. Visit slosymphony.org for more information.
United Way of SLO County presents, Flavors of SLO – May 4; flavorofslo.org
Save the date for 11th Annual Flavors of SLO, a benefit for United Way of SLO County. At this all-inclusive, now family-friendly event, guests will sample some of the best food, wine, and beer the Central Coast has to offer. This SLO City sponsored event will take place in Mission Plaza and provide live entertainment from local musicians and bands. To buy tickets or for information, visit flavorofslo.org.
San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum presents, Southern Pacific’s Coastline – May 4; slorrm.com
Join San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum in a presentation of how this rail line, connecting SLO and other coastal community to San Francisco and Los Angeles, changed the local economy and its social and cultural expectations. Celebrate the Pacific Coastline’s 125th anniversary on Saturday, May 4th at 11 a.m. at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. For more information, visit slorrm.com.
San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum presents San Luis Obispo Train Day – May 11; slorrm.com
Come out to SLO Train Day on May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historical Freighthouse at the SLO Railroad Museum and celebrate 150 years of the transcontinental railroad completion. Event activities include running model trains, various activities for children, railroad displays with interpretations, as well as presentations and tours. Admission is $5 for ages 16 and over; and $3 for ages 4 to 15. For more information, visit slorrm.com.
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church presents San Luis Obispo Greek Festival – June 1-2; greekfestivalslo.com
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church invites you to the annual San Luis Obispo Greek Festival to learn about Greek culture, eat delicious authentic Greek meals and dance to the sounds of Greece (courtesy of The Spartan Band). This event is sponsored by the City of San Luis Obispo and welcomes all-age groups! The event will showcase traditional Greek dishes, pastries, and offer the opportunity for you to learn Syrto, traditional Greek dancing! The SLO Greek Festival is free to the public with food and beverage for purchase and will be held at the Alex Madonna Expo Center. For more information, visit greekfestivalslo.com.
San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre presents, Hello, Dolly – June 7-30; slorep.org
Join San Luis Obispo Repertory Theater for one of Broadway’s most enduring musical theatre hits, Hello, Dolly! This romantic comedy follows professional matchmaker, Dolly Gallagher-Levi, as she decides to find a match for Horace Vandergelder, a miserly half-a-millionaire hay and feed dealer. Hello, Dolly! Is filled with bursts of humor, romance, high energy dancing, and some great hits, including “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” and “It Only Takes a Moment.” Visit slorep.org for tickets and showtimes.
SLO Wine Country presents, Barrels in the Plaza – June 20; slowine.com
Kick off the summer during SLO Wine Country’s Roll Out the Barrels Weekend and experience San Luis Obispo’s finest SLO County wines and food pairings. Hang out with friends at “Barrels in The Plaza” on Thursday, June 20 at the historic Mission in Downtown SLO. This SLO City sponsored event serves local wines paired with artfully prepared treats presented by the county’s finest chefs with, of course, live music. For more information, visit slowine.com.
San Luis Obispo’s signature ongoing events
- Farmers’ Market – Every Thursday night; 6-9 p.m.; downtownslo.com
- Arts Obispo’s Art After Dark – Every first Friday; 6-9 p.m.; sloartscouncil.org
- Cal Poly Sports – gopoly.com
- Performing Arts Center – pacslo.org
- SLO Repertory Theatre – slorep.org