Just 90 miles east of San Francisco, the city of Lodi has become a destination for wine enthusiasts and a hub for culture in the Central Valley. In the late ’90s, renovations to the area’s downtown helped inspire new life in Lodi, where today visitors can explore more than 85 local wineries, enjoy year-round entertainment and savor fresh ingredients from the San Joaquin Valley.
Summer is the perfect time to explore Lodi’s endless offerings. In addition to great entertainment, Lodi’s focus on community and philanthropy invites visitors to explore a different side of this charming city—a place where family roots grow just as deep in local businesses as they do in the Zinfandel vineyards.
There’s never been a better time to explore Lodi’s roots. Check out these inspired summer events you’ll only find in Lodi.
Lodi’s Certified Farmers Market
Sycamore trees line the downtown streets of Lodi and create a shady canopy to escape the summer sun. During the day, Downtown Lodi is a great place to explore one-of-a-kind boutiques selling wares of every variety.
But make an evening of a day trip to Downtown Lodi every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and stay for Lodi’s Certified Farmers Market. It’s here you’ll also find select handmade products, crafts, wine and foods for purchase from local food trucks and touring vendors. Grab something to eat or drink and enjoy live music as twilight turns to dusk in Lodi’s rejuvenated downtown.
Back in 1984, the Lodi Memorial Hospital Foundation launched its inaugural Mai Fest, which became known as SummerFest in 1991. Today, this community event helps the hospital raise important funds for various patient care projects.
In addition to supporting the hospital, SummerFest has become an annual celebration for Lodi residents and visitors alike, showcasing the area’s proclivity for wine and fresh food in a fun outdoor setting. Scheduled to take place this year on July 13 at Bare Ranch by Michael David, the festival includes silent auctions with wine-club-selected wines and surprises from local vendors as well as food from some of the area’s most popular restaurants.
Music in the Park
Few buildings are as recognizable or as important to Downtown Lodi as Hutchins Street Square—a historical site, education center and world-class stage for international and local talent. As the creative hub for the community, Hutchins Street Square hosts Music in the Park every summer to celebrate both the season and the people who help foster arts programs in the city of Lodi.
From May to late September, Hutchins Street Square produces this series of free summer concerts on the beautiful grounds of the performing arts center. Every fourth Wednesday of the month, families and friends gather to enjoy different musical genres for some outdoor fun in the heart of Lodi’s downtown district
Bring some folding chairs, a blanket and a picnic, or enjoy local food vendors selling summer-inspired al fresco bites.
Fireworks on Fourth of July
Few things are more beautiful on a summer evening in Lodi than real pyrotechnics reflected across the still waters of Lodi Lake.
Start your Fourth of July celebration at the annual Kiwanis International Pancake Breakfast, which has attracted thousands of Lodi residents for almost 50 years. The money raised by the event helps the organization support youth programming, education and community projects that will inspire future generations to participate in Key Club events and service.
Then set up camp along the lake’s edge to grab a spot for the evening fireworks show. Enjoy a hot dog, and even a swim in the lake. Every Independence Day, the city, in collaboration with local businesses and organizations like the Kiwanis Club, puts on a spectacular display for the whole community to enjoy.
“Stuck in Lodi” Car Show
In the 1990s, a group of classic car enthusiasts met regularly at a local A&W restaurant to talk shop about their four-wheeled passion for American muscle. This private group would become Lodi’s own American Steel Car Club, which today organizes the annual “Stuck in Lodi” Car Show in Downtown Lodi.
This year, on August 13, start your engines and hit the streets for a day of automotive histories told by more than 250 classic American-made cars, trucks and hot rods. From glossy Corvettes to gleaming Bel Airs, this impressive display of vintage cars takes attendees back to a simpler time, perfect for a carefree summer.