Blessed with an enviable climate, natural beauty, and exciting urban pursuits, Concord, California, never falls short on fun no matter what time of year. For the ultimate experience, be sure to mark these “only-in-Concord” events on your calendar.
1. Comfort Food Week
Expand your culinary repertoire in the New Year by trying a few new foods during Concord’s Comfort Food Week. Part of California Restaurant Month, created by Visit California, this event highlights the exciting and eclectic variety of restaurants found throughout the city. With the comfort of delicious home cooking in mind, eateries create unique menu items and many offer specials deals or discounts for further enticement.
2. Spring Brews Festival
Tapping into Concord’s innovative craft-brew scene, Spring Brews Festival brings a stellar lineup of beers to the vibrant Todos Santos Plaza, conveniently located just a few blocks from the Concord BART Station. Enjoy a festive weekend afternoon in the park while trying out pours from dozens of breweries, listening to live music, and indulging in great food. Proceeds from the festival are donated to a different community organization or cause each year.
3. Farmers’ Market
Tuesdays Year Round
Gather a bounty of local food for your home kitchen at Concord’s Farmer’s Market, organized in partnership with the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association. Vendors line Todos Santos Plaza every Tuesday and Thursday with the best seasonal offerings—from delicious strawberries, plums, and tomatoes in the summer to apples, pumpkins, and squash in the fall. For added sweetness, shop local pastries and kettle corn, and on Thursdays enjoy tasty meals like homemade falafel, wood-fired pizza, and giant turkey legs from an array of food vendors.
4. MOMDay in the Park, All Area Music Festival, and the Annual Art & Wine (and Beer!) Walk
Celebrate your mom and music at the family-friendly MOMDay in the Park and All Area Music Festival in Todos Santos Plaza. Moms—and everyone for that matter—will love the festival’s performances by student musicians filling the area with the sound of trumpets, xylophones, flutes, bells, and sweet singing. As a special treat, reserve a table at one of the nearby restaurants for a scrumptious Mother’s Day meal. Presented by the Mount Diablo Music Education Foundation and the City of Concord, the All Area Music Festival raises awareness and funds to preserve quality music education in the public schools. At the same time, the Annual Art & Wine (and Beer!) Walk will also take place around the plaza, as participants can explore Todos Santos Plaza, Salvio Pacheco Square, and Downtown Concord while enjoying fine wines, craft beers, and appetizers, while meeting local artists and viewing the art for sale. Start outside the E.J. Phair Brewing Company/Concord Alehouse, where you will receive a tasting glass, a hand stamp, and a map of participating locations and businesses, which will be marked with balloons.
5. Music and Market Series
Summer in Concord means delightfully warm nights that are perfect for enjoying the outdoor Music and Market Concert Series on Thursday evenings. Peruse the Farmers’ Market in Todos Santos Plaza while being entertained by an exciting lineup of Bay Area musicians playing salsa, jazz, zydeco, blues, and more. This event is considered to be one of the Bay Area's most vibrant live music events, drawing thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
6. Armed Forces Half Marathon
The Color Guard kicks off this invigorating half-marathon with a 12K option at the crack of dawn following the playing of taps and the singing of the national anthem. Two-thirds of the relatively flat course passes through the Concord Naval Weapons Station, a former military base established in 1942. Runners cross the finish line in Todos Santos Plaza, where they are presented with a commemorative medal of the U.S. Armed Forces and greeted with live music and other festivities.
7. Tuesday Night Blues
Grab a lawn chair and find your groove at Tuesday Night Blues in Todos Santos Plaza. Part of Concord’s Music and Market summer series, this free concert every Tuesday evening in July will ease you into the week with an impressive lineup of artists representing a range of blues interpretations.
8. Cool Concord Cars
Adding to the fun of Tuesday Night Blues is Cool Concord Cars. Auto enthusiasts and collectors will be enthralled with the slick collection of wheels at this free car show in Todos Santos Plaza. Registration is free with dash plaques, and prizes will be awarded to the coolest of the “cool Concord cars.”
9. Independence Day Events
When it comes to the 4th of July, Concord pulls out all the stops with a full and spirited day of patriotic events, starting with the Stars and Stripes 5K Run & Walk and Kids Run in Todos Santos Plaza. After the race, stick around for the colorful 4th of July Parade, complete with floats, bands, equestrian and dance teams, and more. Later in the day, head to Mt. Diablo High School for the annual 4th of July Festival featuring a kids carnival, food booths, vendor exhibits, and live entertainment, capped off with a dazzling fireworks display after dark.
10. Concord Oktoberfest
Pull out your lederhosen and usher in fall at one of the Bay Area’s premier Oktoberfest events. For two days, Todos Santos Plaza transforms into a mini-Bavaria, hosting an authentic German Oktoberfest with a beer tent, live music, singing, dancing, strongman contests, food trucks, a kids area, and more. Admission is free, but be sure to get your Oktoberfest Beer Pass to taste the German-style brews.
11. Concord Turkey Trot
Kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving tradition that’ll get you into shape while bringing together the community for a good cause. This fun, rain-or-shine 5K/10K Run & Walk is presented by the Bay Church and takes place in Todos Santos Plaza. Each runner will take home a race T-shirt and custom-designed Turkey Trot finisher medal.
12. Holiday Tree-Lighting and Festivities
Festive holiday celebrations abound as the year comes to a close. Concord’s official tree-lighting on the first Saturday in December is not to be missed, featuring a visit from Santa, carriage rides, entertainment by local school choirs, the mayor’s holiday sing-a-long, and of course the illumination of the tree in Todos Santos Plaza. For more holiday joy, lace up your skates for a spin on the Ice Rink at the Veranda open November through February, and find one-of-a-kind gifts and stocking stuffers at the Super Holiday Boutique at the Centre Concord or the Gingerbread House Boutique at the Concord Event Center.