Polls show most want to keep OB’s Marshmallow Fight – but many want some kind of controls placed on the event

by on July 27, 2009 · 19 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

OCEAN BEACH, CA.  Two recent polls – one by this blog – and one that is still on-going by the Peninsula Beacon, show that most – or at least the respondents – want to keep the annual July 4th Marshmallow War around.  The Ocean Beach public event has been the subject of debate recently after the mess that was left behind.  (Just recently was the the marshmallow mess on the OB Veteran’s Memorial cleaned up by volunteers and the OBMA.)

Our blog ran a poll for a week and received 80 respondents.  Clearly most – 56 respondents, 71%, wanted the event to continue, although nearly half of them (33% of total) wanted some kind of volunteer-run controls placed on the craziness.

In opposition were 22 respondents – 28% – believed the Marshmallow War was out of control and needed to be ended.

These figures fit in with the Beacon’s poll, which asked “Has the annual OB Fourth of July post-fireworks marshmallow fight become an unsafe public event?” 67% said ‘no’ while 33% said ‘yes.’  The total number of respondents were not disclosed by the weekly newspaper.  Their poll is supposed to run another two days.

Several questions have arisen over the course of this marshmallow debate: why did the police expand the traditional area of the gooey fight – from the two firepits to the entire area between the pier and the life guard station?  And also, if controls are to be placed on the event – which most obervers agree now has a life of its own, who and how will those controls be put in place?

The community has a year to figure this out.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Gilbert July 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm

As much as I love everyone coming to O.B. for our Street Fair every year, I’d equally love to close off O.B. on the 4th of July and keep it locals only.

I know this could never happen and that the local Chamber of Commerce would shudder at the mere mention of it, but imho too many kooks spoil the 4th for us locals and the traffic jams have made our streets as jammed as an L.A. freeway.

As far as the Marshmallow wars are concerned, I didn’t realize so many folks owned stock in the Kraft corporation ;)


r hoobler July 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm

maybe if you hippies insisted on organic marshmallows, there wouldn’t be sure a fuss about this


Dave Gilbert July 27, 2009 at 3:23 pm

LOL at “organic marshmallows”

Talk about 2 things that are mutually exclusive! xD


Danny Morales July 28, 2009 at 12:07 am

The police needed to create a situation that would draw the attention of the media and create an illusion that the people have to be controlled. Remember the trashing of downtown Seattle in 1999? All that we need is for the p*lice to move through an adjacent OB neighborhood and bust up some innocent heads for the powers that be to declare our 4th of July celebrations a symptom of the rabble gone wild…hippies indeed, TROLL!


bodysurferbob July 28, 2009 at 6:54 am

danny, calling r hoobler a troll is indeed right on. however your scenario for a crackdown is a bit over the top – like riding those big waves that just rolled through our community


Molly July 28, 2009 at 7:07 am

r hoobler is a troll and a sham, and needs to be exposed for the closet liberal he or she is!


bodysurferbob July 28, 2009 at 7:08 am

Molly – I still say that’s a red star – not a red blossom – in your avatar. i bet you’re one of those what the conservatives call a watermelon: green on the outside but red on the inside. heh heh


Mark July 28, 2009 at 11:29 am

The Marshmellow fight is so much fun!


Danny Morales July 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm

BSB-I suffer from a hyper-extended analogy which I got from riding the swell in from outside the other day! Not my scenario for a crackdown. Truth be told I don’t want no stinking crackdown. Try surfing between the lines.-danny


jettyboy July 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Why do some people always think that “more control” is the way to deal with problems that arise? More control how? Rope off the area and sell tickets to get in? Count everyones marshmallows, and restrict the amount each person can have? Have people in the crowd act as referees to keep the level of excitement down? How exactly would you control it? Here’s a way – if you don’t like it stay the fuck away from it! Let the people who want to do it control it themselves. Don’t give me the BS that there’s always someone who will ruin it for the rest of us. That’s only true when you let someone control it and there are rules to break. No rules, nothing to break, nothing to control. No one is forced to attend this event. The only rule should be to make an announcement before it starts and give the people who don’t want to engage in anarchy for fun, enough time to leave or move away


jon July 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Well I don’t like the annual pancake breakfast because pancakes are lame and boring, so I stay away from that. But nobody throws the pancakes they didn’t eat on the ground, and I have a hard time staying away from the messy aftermath created by the marshmallow battle. I’m not against it outright, and believe me, I’m the LAST person that would want to take a fun event away from anybody. I just want people to be more responsible. But I’m afraid that’s just way too much to ask anyone nowadays.


mr fresh July 29, 2009 at 8:00 am

i hear they’re going to hemp flavored pancakes this year. that should put a little more glide in your stride.


jim grant July 29, 2009 at 8:23 am

The Marshmallow fight is not a ” mellow” as it once was.To Mark @ 11:29  were you helping clean up the mess?I really don’t care who does what to whom, it’s your life make whatever you want of it. Move your little war down to dog beach close to the shoreline. Or someplace where the effects of the ” war” will not affect others. When a person or a group’s right to have fun endanger others or soil public property that is unacceptable. At least to me. Would this type of ” fun”  be accepted in Balboa Park, Horton Plaza, or any other public place? I doubt it.

Either you get it or you dont….


jon July 29, 2009 at 8:36 am

lol Mr. Frsh! If they also spike the maple syrup with Johnnie Walker, I’m there! Now THAT would be an OB pancake breakfast!


jon July 29, 2009 at 8:39 am

Mr. Frsh huh? I think I spiked my coffee this morning with a little JW and Hemp.


Kristin C. July 31, 2009 at 10:26 am

I think we need to leave the marshmallow fight just as it is – a wacky, fun, local tradition, but when everyone comes out on July 5th to clean up the beach, they should clean any sidewalk areas that were affected as well. Why not? You’ve got the volunteers all there – take care of the whole area at one time before the mess gets ground in and dirty. Problem solved! And BTW, I was one of the people that helped clean the veterans’ memorial recently. I just don’t think it should have had to wait that long. As to Jim, of course this wouldn’t happen in Balboa Park or Horton Plaza, but this is OB. We do things OUR way. And if the mess is cleaned up the next day, you’d never even see it.


jim grant August 4, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I guess I missed something as I was out of town on the 4th. but back in OB taking friends from San Fran to Hodads they went for a short walk on the beach at Tower # 1 and ruined flip flops due to marshmellows…who cleaned up the beach on the 5th. and where? The beach had thousands of soft melted gooey marshmellows on it !!

Kristin C July 31 8:39 ::::: I just disagree that a small group can create a mess with no reguard for public property either in Balboa Park or OB or anywhere else…..As far as people in OB doing things ” our way” if the Veterans Plaza mess or the trash at Sunset Cliffs is an example of ” our way” thats pretty sad. If the trash along Newport or the theft or the beating of someone is ” our way” well its sad. OB is not it’s own state moral laws always apply.

Sixty or Seventy in the OB Rag poll said keep the marshmellow fight and ONE showed up to clean…..WOW impressive …I was there 3 times with Jon Carr, Sean Simpson, Steven the OB comedian + girlfriend…I guess we missed you. Hopefully it wont happen next year.


Dena August 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm

My family and I were in San Diego this year for the fourth of July. We had never been there before and when the marshmallow fight started, we laughing hysterically. We even saw an 80 year old woman pick one up off the street and she said,”Aw what the hell” and threw it. It was so much fun. Makes us want to come back every year. My kids are 9 and 11. Too much fun and seems pretty harmless. We walked about a mile from the pier to our car and never saw anyone out of control.


Teresa July 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

yeah lets just move closer to dog beach and have the fight there! good idea :-P


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