by on June 27, 2009 · 6 comments

in Economy, Labor, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing

There’s more to our little Street Fair than chili, music, beer & good times.

What makes this whole extravaganza tick is money. That’s right, crass as it may seem, it’s money that makes the Street Fair go ‘round.

All 250 vendors (give or take a few) with their colorful booths, their sizzling grills loaded with sausages, chicken & who-knows-what-else had to fork over $365 bucks each for the privilege of putting their wares in front of the 70,000 or more jubilant fair goers.

Two of those vendor booths belong to the OBMA (Ocean Beach MainStreet Association). They hawk everything from shot glasses to T shirts and Boy! Do those T shirts sell!

But, wait! There’s more! How about some chili! How would you like to try a little of the stuff that makes this celebration so popular? It’s gonna cost you $10 bucks for a ticket to savor all 27 entries. That’s a pretty good deal but, if you’d rather pick and choose your chili it’s only going to cost you fifty cents a cup.

Now, for the good part. The Beer Gardens! This year there’s two of them and they rake in the bucks. It’s good to know that Winstons is in charge of the Beer Gardens and most of the workers are locals. It’s also good to know that Winstons forks over a healthy portion of the proceeds.

All in all, that makes for a tidy little chunk of change. You get the picture. Money flows into the OBMA’s coffers by the boatload. There’s a rumor that they need a bulldozer to move all that cash around.

So, this begs the question…. What do they do with all that loot? Buy Bentleys for all the merchants? Stash it in hundreds of coffee cans and bury it in the parking lot behind The Black? There’s an answer but, you’ll have to wait until next week for that.

Meanwhile, there are good times to be had. There is music and dancing, food and drink, shopping, strolling and the satisfaction of knowing that this is the 30th year that our eclectic cozy neighborhood invites the world to join us in celebration. Cheers!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

fstued June 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Good story I am anxious for the rest of the story. Next week when the firworks go off VIVA OB Street Fair


BillRayDrums June 28, 2009 at 10:40 am

Since none of the local news outlets are reporting on the OB street fair, I suppose that the OB Rag blog needs to create a special section to show the highlights.

If you need help doing that, let me know. I develop websites (in addition to playing drums) so if help is needed, just ask!


Patty Jones June 28, 2009 at 11:27 am

Hey thanks, BillyRayDrums! We’ll be posting articles in the main section of the Rag, but we’re getting bigger all the time and will sure keep that offer in mind!


Joanna Schiele June 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

We all know that throwing big shindigs costs money. Security alone is a fortune, permits aren’t free, cleaning up after 70,000+ party goers is $$$ and the Fireworks costs many thousands of dollars.
I’m proud to say that the performers who play the OB Street Fair get paid to entertain you.
The “free” trolleys aren’t free to the OBMA and the trolley company doesn’t give discounts ;-)
I can go on with the list of costs but I know that Gary will cover it in his next installment.
The vendors who signed up late paid $365, others paid under $300 and for a Fair with the attendance we get that’s very reasonable. Yes please tell the other side, how much it costs to have a huge event.
I think its fair to say that a good time was had and you can go the OB Street Fair and not pay a dime and still have fun.
Please check the OBMA blog and Facebook page for recaps and photos. Thanks!


BillRayDrums June 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Thanks Joanna and all OBMA people! That was one heck of a party.


Dan Shay October 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Hi Mr. Gilmore, I like your store and articles. My question is; How much money that was made at the OB Street fair or Oktoberfest went to Security? These businesses bring in thousands of non-locals, get them highly intoxicated then turn them loose on each other with no security. OB is a designated “Combat Zone” by our Mayor and District attorney. Violent crime rose 18% in the US in 2011 and far more in OB. I am sure you heard about all the batteries and the stabbing after Oktoberfest this year. PB lost the block party b/c it got out of control. These bar owners probably raked in about $20k cash each on Saturday! Is that close? They should be forced to give 5% to security if they want to keep the event and make all that money at our expense. You have a store on Newport and are active in the community – what do you think?


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