Avalon’s calendar is filled with events from art festivals to concerts on the beach. Enjoy museum exhibits and many sporting events. Here’s a look at what’s happening.
Please note all events are subject to change.
6/20 Opening Reception: “Frida Kahlo” Exhibition
Members and guests are invited to the official opening of the much awaited exhibition of “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray”. This exhibition provides an intimate look at Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist, through the photographic lens of her long-time friend and lover, Nickolas Muray.
7/4 Independence Day - Postponed
There are so many exciting ways to celebrate the 4th of July on Catalina Island! This year’s festivities include the annual golf cart parade, USC marching band performance, firework spectacular, party at Antonio’s Cabaret, El Galleon shindig, and children’s festival with dinghy parade.
8/8 Catalinaville Fundraiser
Follow the sound of the steel drums to the first annual Catalinaville! Enjoy a mouthwatering surf & turf dinner, open bar, live music, and dancing at the Descanso Beach Club. Enjoy this private beach party with live auctions, raffles, and world-class companies.
9/12 - 13 61st Annual Channel Crossing
The longest Polynesian canoe races in the continental U.S. features a 26-30 miles paddle from Newport Beach to Avalon. The 61st Annual Channel Crossing includes an all-female racer on Saturday and all-male racer on Sunday.
9/18 - 20 62nd Annual Festival of Art
One of the longest-running and most acclaimed art festivals in California features artists from all over the country exhibiting along Crescent Avenue. Purchase fine art, sculpture, crafts, photography and more. Also, stop by the art auction and kid’s art show.
9/19 Catalina Island Women’s Forum Wine Festival
This wonderful fundraiser features more than 70 wines, food and smooth jazz and is held in concert with the Annual Festival of Art. Proceeds support mentoring and scholarship programs. Tickets available online or at the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce.
9/24 - 27 Catalina Film Festival
This star-studded festival celebrates Catalina’s rich film history. Featuring approximately 100 films screened at venues around the Island plus live music, VIP parties and exciting entertainment.
9/20 - 10/30 Artisan PizzaFest & Oktoberfest
Running from September 20 through October 30, Antonio’s Pizzeria & Cabaret hosts Artisan PizzaFest and Oktoberfest. Enjoy delicious pizza and other signature dishes overlooking Avalon Harbor.
10/8 - 11 & 10/15 - 18 34th Annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival
The longest-running Smooth-Jazz festival held on two consecutive weekends includes three days of live music including “Unplugged at Descanso Beach Club” on Thursday night and performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Casino Ballroom.
10/10 REI Trans-Catalina Trail Expedition
Join REI on Catalina Island for a Trans-Catalina Trail Expedition where you will hike through the rugged island interior and camping next to pristine beaches. Covering 38.5 miles in four days, you will traverse the Island starting at the Trailhead in Avalon and finishing at Two Harbors.
10/15 Fall Fest
Catalina Island’s Annual Fall Fest includes live music, food, games, hayrides, pumpkin patch on the beach and more.
10/31 Halloween Parade
Locals and visitors alike gather around Crescent Avenue the Annual Halloween Parade. Get creative and dress up for contests and giveaways.
11/7 Catalina Island Triathlon, Duathlon & Aqua Bike
Swim it. Bike it. Run it. Tri it! This race attracts tri-athletes who are looking for one of the last races of the season. Experience Catalina Island’s beautiful scenery and crisp water as you complete this challenging course.
11/14 Catalina Island Half Marathon & 10K
California’s ultimate trail half-marathon will challenge you with climbs, peaks and vistas unlike any you will experience at any other half marathon. Starting in Avalon you will witness the rewarding coastal views and stunning scenery.
12/5 27th Annual “Shop Catalina Night”
Celebrate the beginning of the holiday spirit with a tree-lighting ceremony, music, pictures with Santa, prize drawings and holiday discounts in Avalon shops.
12/12 Christmas Bazaar & Craft Fair
Come and buy your handmade Christmas Gifts and delicious homemade sweets and treats. Showcasing local talent.
12/31 48th Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration, Casino Ballroom
Dance in the New Year at this black-tie optional event. This spectacular annual celebration includes dinner, dancing, champagne and party favors.
- Ongoing Events
Elizabeth Turk: Tipping Point
MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship Awardee Elizabeth Turk highlights various attributes of this continent's birds, Turk developed an alphabet of symbols. Using these unique symbols, she explores the greater concept – Extinction. The “Sound Columns” juxtapose the ephemeral with the eternal. Inspired by recordings of extinct birds (cataloged by the Ornithology Lab at Cornell University) Turk created evocative sculptural forms. Ending March 2020. Catalina Island Museum.
Esther Williams: The Swimming Queen of the Silver Screen
Esther Williams dazzled movie audiences around the world in her aqua-musical films. This exhibition chronicles Williams’ life from humble beginnings to her success as a champion athlete, a major Hollywood celebrity and an entrepreneur. The exhibition includes movie memorabilia, costumes, photographs and never-before-seen personal home movies. Ending March 8, 2020, Catalina Island Museum.
Wrigley's Catalina: A Centennial Celebration
This special exhibition commemorates William Wrigley Jr. and the execution of his vision for Catalina Island - especially during his first year of ownership: 1919. The exhibition reveals his remarkable and ambitious plan using photographs, letters, original documents, plans, blueprints, maps, steamship artifacts, advertisements, tools and objects relating to the various projects and industries. Catalina Island Museum.
First Friday at the Museum (First Friday of each month)
6pm-8pm. First Fridays encourage residents and visitors to explore the museum’s galleries and digital theater, enjoy refreshments and snacks in the outdoor plazas and shop in the Museum Store. Events may include music and dance performances, lectures, gallery talks, or films. Catalina Island Museum
The History of Catalina Island Exhibition - Permanent Installation
From the island’s discovery some 8,000 years ago to William Wrigley’s purchase of the island and the rise of Avalon as Hollywood’s favorite vacation spot, Catalina Island has a history that is rich in events and personalities. 10am-5pm daily. Catalina Island Museum
Thursday Morning at Native Plant Nursery in Middle Ranch
Volunteering at the James H. Ackerman Native Plant Nursery provides an excellent opportunity to gain access to the interior of Catalina Island and become more familiar with Island ecology and plant species while helping the nursery achieve its goals. Enjoy the tranquil morning in Middle Ranch while working with plants in a casual, social environment. Volunteers receive training in the horticulture and ecology of Catalina's varied flora and tasks are tailored to all ability levels. Volunteers are welcome every Thursday year-round from 7:30am-12pm. Catalina Conservancy
Windward Beach Cleanup (2nd Saturday each month)
Volunteer in the great outdoors while combing the sand for debris to help keep our windward beaches pristine. Clean-up locations (Shark Harbor, Little Harbor, Ben Weston and Cottonwood) rotate throughout the year. Catalina Island Conservancy.