The OB Rag will be reporting on this years’ Ocean Beach Street Fair with a team of seven correspondents and photographers (& maybe more!). We hope to provide in depth coverage of the many different events that occur during the day, along with tons of photography. This will be our first attempt at collective reporting, so it should be….interesting. Here’s our first report:
The 30th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival is just a few weeks away (Saturday, June 27th). I attended a working meeting at the OB Main Street Assn offices this week, and can report that community volunteers are already hard at work to insure that this year’s event is the best ever. There will be a few new wrinkles for this year’s Fair, but, for the most part, the group seems intent on building on past years’ successes. Past events have drawn over 70,000 visitors to OB. The Fair has a reputation for being well-run, user friendly and a lot of fun for everyone.
The biggest news about this years’ event is that all the bands will be from Ocean Beach. Stage manager Chuck Schiele says that booking the bands required for the four stages he runs was a snap. With all the talent in OB, he says they could have easily filled two more stages. (For the band line up go .)
Schiele is also producing a CD featuring music about OB performed by community musicians. There will be a release party for the Waves: the Sound of Ocean Beach, Volume 1 at the Masonic Temple later this month—watch these pages for more info. The CD will be on sale at the Street Fair, and OBRag blogger Dave Gilbert will be posting an advance review in the near future. Proceeds will be used to help fund the annual 4th of July Fireworks at the OB Pier. And, oh yeah, there is some kind of surprise planned for this years’ fireworks display. It’s officially a secret, so you’ll just have to go and find out.
This years’ As of June 1st, 21 of the 24 slots for competitors have been filled. If you have been to this particular Chili Cookoff before, the best advice is to come early (before noon) because many of the participants are sold out by 2pm or so. Tickets for tastings will be on sale starting at 10am; booths will be open by 11am.promises to be better than ever.
The Wonderland Play area, located adjacent to US Bank, will feature pony rides, jump tents and lots of other fun things aimed at the younger set. (Yes, there are new rides this year!) Those who are young at heart but not so vertically challenged and still seeking thrills are invited to join the fun at the OB Fun Zone, located in the parking next to Starbucks. Here’s a of where things will be located.
Artists Alley is like a fair within the fair, featuring its own stage (next to Union bank), beer garden, local art, and an amazing array of hand crafted items. Featured local artisans will include: Brita Ferm, Todd Cooper, Dan Drea, Penny Sitko, Linda Madden and Danielle Eder.
Another highlight of the Street Fair is the annual mural, an artistic tradition established by the late artist/activist Rich James in 1999 as a way to beautify and instill a sense of pride in the community. I happened to get a sneak peak at the design for this years’ mural. It really cool, with lots of bits of local history (and legend, in the case of OB Spaceman) scattered throughout its 196 panels.
For the past few years OB Surf and Skate has hosted a skate jam, with skate board ramps set up for open skating (starting at 10am) and a contest (2pm). Riders over 18 are required to wear a helmet, all skaters are required to sign a release form, and contest entries cost $5.
Bringing in 70,000 of our closest friends and neighbors in for a little ol’ street party is no small undertaking. One of the best ways to get here that day will be on the free trolleys running every half hour from Sea World Drive at Pacific Highway and continuously from the entrance to Robb Field. The Old Town Trolley drivers are reported to be very “colorful”, with spontaneous “histories” and “guided tours”, so you can consider the transportation to the Fair as part of the fun.
The OB Street Fair & Chili Cook-off Festival is still on the hunt for a few good volunteers to work the day of the event, especially in the morning hours. There are a just a few vendors booth left—they are very close to being sold out.