The annual Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee is a fantastic event! In 2011, they offered more than 400 sets of live music! That's 20 venues with over 70 bands, including a few dozen internationally known artists that had revelers dancing in the streets! It's always one GIANT PARTY as the sounds of jazz, blues, zydeco (and related styles) permeate Old Sac and the Downtown area. Specialty concerts and events include: the Opening Day Parade on Friday, a Swing Dance Contest on Saturday, some Gospel Sets on Sunday, and a Memorial Day Salute to Service. Drexel University's Jazz Master Class Series presents well-known musicians speaking at the high-tech campus in Old Sac.
Time to sip suds on a riverboat, ride a train, take a class, explore the CA State Railroad Museum, learn about the Gold Rush, enjoy some MUSIC!
Admission to Old Sacramento is free and extremely family friendly if you'd like to attend with your children without paying for a ticket to the jazz festival. The shops in Old Sacramento are also family friendly. You can expect to see toy stores, ice cream parlors, and old fashioned candy stores. The streets are alive with jazz music and band players.
I took my son (2 years 9 months) to the 38th annual Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee on Sunday May 30th 2011! To avoid paying for parking in Old Sacramento I parked my car on the West Sacramento side of the American River and walked with my stroller across the Tower Bridge to enter Old Sacramento. It was a lovely five minute walk at most.
I didn’t purchase a ticket to the jazz festival but the street of Old Sacramento were so alive that I couldn’t tell the difference between where I was and where the ticketed admission concerts were happening. My son and I walked around Old Sacramento exploring toy stores, ice cream parlors, and old fashioned candy stores. The streets were bustling with bands and jazz music. Many families were all around me.
My son danced to Jazz music in the streets while eating strawberry ice cream. A street entertainer sold balloons in front of Joe’s Crab Shack. He fashioned my son a balloon dog on a balloon leash for a $3 tip. My son also charmed me into buying him a $5 sword with lights and sounds from one of the store vendors who wisely set up a table outside his shop displaying his assorted wares to capture the attention of the foot traffic.
During this festive weekend the streets smell like popcorn and sponsor booths line up against the back end of Old Sacramento. The weather is perfect, people are courteous, and the jazz is happy and upbeat. The Sacramento Jazz Festival is the perfect day trip for any family.