Thousands of San Diego residents and visitors are expected to flock to sunny Ocean Beach for the 34th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival happening Saturday, June 22, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The iconic community event will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of San Diego’s first amusement park, Wonderland, which was built in Ocean Beach along Dog Beach. The Street Fair offers attendees a vast array of activities and attractions from unique handcrafted merchandise, local food vendors, beachfront entertainment and beer garden to art demonstrations and children’s activities. There will also be a ‘Wonderland: Take Two’ at Saratoga Park with attractions and games to recreate the amusement park feel.
“Though short-lived, Wonderland is an iconic piece of Ocean Beach’s, and San Diego’s, history,” said Denny Knox, Executive Director of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association. “We’re excited to pay homage to Ocean Beach’s first attraction at what is now perhaps Ocean Beach’s largest attraction.” The Wonderland: Take Two game area will include a surf simulator, inflatable slides and more.
Other popular Street Fair attractions include the oceanfront chili cook-off from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., live entertainment and community mural project. This year’s chili competition will feature more than 25 entries from amateur competitors vying for the titles of Hottest Chili, Judges Award and grand prize People’s Choice Award. Chili tastings will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will last until contestants run out of samples. (Voting ends when three contestants run out of samples.) Tastings can be purchased for $1 per chili entry, or attendees can buy a Master Ticket to try every recipe, plus the committee chili, for $20.
There will also be six stages of continuous live music throughout the day. Music genres throughout the day include acoustic, rock, blues, alternative, Americana and more. One of the Street Fair bands will also be debuting an original song written as an homage to the old Wonderland Amusement Park, and its significance for the San Diego region. Billy Lee & The Swamp Critters, a Gulf Coast band with Cajun & Zydeco roots, have created a tribute to San Diego’s first amusement park in their song “Wonderland.” The song is a waltz, to reflect the trends of the time, but modified for the modern age. Billy Lee & The Swamp Critters will be performing on the Artist Alley Stage from 6 to 7 p.m.
Art lovers can take part in creating one of the annual Ocean Beach community murals by purchasing and painting individual squares that make up the murals. Squares sell quickly so anyone interested is encouraged to come early and reserve their space. This year’s design will pay homage to Wonderland, and a second mural will be palm tree themed. Squares can be purchased for a minimum donation of $10 apiece.
Family-friendly attractions include a skateboard exhibition from Ocean Beach Surf and Skate Shop and the Wonderland Children’s area with carnival games, pony rides and more (located in the parking lot adjacent to US Bank near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Newport Avenue).
The festival will take place from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the 4800-5000 blocks of Newport Avenue, along the waterfront and in the pier parking lot. The San Diego Bicycle Coalition, and sponsor Therapie Day Spa, will host a free bicycle valet throughout the day, where attendees can drop off their bike for safe keeping during the Street Fair. Trolley services from Knights of Columbus on Bacon Street between W. Point Loma Boulevard and Voltaire Street (every 30 minutes) and the parking lot at the intersection of Sea World Dr. and Pacific Coast Highway (every hour) will be free from 9:30a.m.-9:00p.m. Parking in the Sea World Drive trolley stop and admission to the event is free. For further event information, visit www.oceanbeachsandiego.com.
The Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off Festival has been a vibrant community tradition for more than 30 years, attracting tourists and San Diego natives alike to sunny Ocean Beach each year. Join more than 70,000 visitors throughout the day for eclectic fun in the sun, shopping, festival nosh, surf and beachfront entertainment.
Maps and all pertinent information will be available online at www.oceanbeachsandiego.com.