Guests enjoy live music on the redwood deck during Saturdays on the Deck. (Contributed)

Vacations are meant to be filled with adventure, curiosity and pure enjoyment. We all have ideas of how to spend our holiday time, but there’s something special about strolling along the main streets of downtown areas anywhere in the world. It’s a chance to immerse ourselves in a vibrant atmosphere where original art and handcrafted goods come to life. 

Walking alongside the bustling main street, exploring small shops and conversing with the local owners, we glimpse the diverse range of goods and services available. It’s an experience that leaves us with cherished memories and the warm thought of saying, “We visited there.”

Go no further

But guess what? You don’t have to venture far to enjoy all that. Instead of incurring travel expenses, why not head downtown Felton and let your senses come alive in our community? Thinking local means, we can savor the delightful smell and taste of freshly baked foods from The Grove Café & Bakery and other tasty delights along its main street. As locals, we can appreciate such joys, local artistic talents, and live music with our friends and neighbors.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Christy Shults, owner of Ethel & Sabel, a woman-owned shop on Highway 9 (main street), and the Downtown Felton Association (DFA) president. Christy’s enthusiasm for Saturdays on the Deck (SOTD) exemplifies how fortunate we are to live here. In her shop, besides her unique items, a significant portion of the DF merchandise proceeds goes toward supporting the DFA, which helps organize all the events held on SOTD. 

According to Christy, “SOTD is all about community. It’s where everyone gathers under the tall redwood on the deck. We want everyone to feel welcome, come out, and enjoy a cup of coffee, a delicious bakery treat, or a tasty lunch from Wild Root, just across the street.”

Prepare to indulge your senses on the first and third Saturdays of every month as the DFA’s vision unfolds. The deck becomes a hub of community connection, laughter and music, courtesy of the talented regular performers Lucas Lawson and Leland Mackessy. This is where Saturdays on the Deck indeed come alive!

Check out their website for all the upcoming events:

Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter

No matter the season, downtown Felton offers a wealth of community experiences. “In the spring is the lively sidewalk sale, which takes place in April. As summer rolls in, with its delightful weather, we have more in store.”

In addition to the live music on the non-smoking redwood deck during SOTD, mid-August brings us the fundraiser for Beautify Felton and the famous Pie Contest, accompanied by music.

This year’s pie contest is their first ever. They cannot boast favorites yet, but one of their judges is a celebrity chef, along with other local judges. Plus, this pie contest is for home bakers only, along with the Coffee Zombie Collective, who will headline this event, ensuring a fun-filled time for everyone.

Community support

However, enjoying good food and music beneath the open sky requires donations and volunteers. DFA covers the costs of musicians’ services and events, but donations help support these events. “That’s why your local financial support is greatly appreciated,” DFA says. 

If you’d like to contribute, visit or contact Christy at [email protected] if you have any questions. They thank you in advance.

So, my friends, let’s fully embrace the treasures that our valley has to offer. With over 30 shops within easy walking distance, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage your senses with delectable food, captivating music, and a strong sense of community connection. See you on the deck!

Janet Janssen is a Life in Business coach, specializing in mindset in goal achievement, supervision and leadership training. She is also a distinguished Toastmasters International speaker. Contact her at 831-335-0553 or visit

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Janet Janssen is a Life in Business and Speaking Coach, Leadership Santa Cruz County board member, local Chamber member and Distinguished speaker with Toastmasters International. She provides individual and team-building workshops in leadership and public speaking. Currently, she is a volunteer coach for April’s TEDx Santa Cruz. Contact her at


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