OB Town Council Calls for Community Members to Sign “Pledge to Mallow Out”

by on June 17, 2014 · 53 comments

in Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing

RIP OB Marshmallow Wars – 1985 to 2013

The Ocean Beach Town Council hopes to bury the OB Marshmallow Wars this July. And the group says: “Rest in Peace, OB Marshmallow Wars” – you lasted from 1985 to 2013, and now it’s time to bury you.

The Town Council is calling on community members to sign their “Pledge” to “Mallow out”. Plus they’re looking for volunteers for the Peace Patrol that will collect marshmallows in the hours leading up to the Fireworks show.  The OBTC will also be devoting part of their next meeting on June 25th on the campaign to end the marshmallow as a weapon and destructive device in OB.

Here’s the Pledge.

Here’s what the Town Council says about their campaign (from their website):

Another beautiful OB summer is just around the corner. With the warm weather, gorgeous natural scenery, and OB’s classic beach-town vibe, tourists and locals alike will soon be flocking to our shores.

That’s why it is so important for the OB community to always put our best foot forward and keep our visitors coming back year after year. The 4th of July is one of those days when we have the opportunity to show off all that OB has to offer to thousands of tourists. However, over the last few years, we have seen first-hand the trouble caused by the unregulated tradition of the “marshmallow war” after the fireworks show.

Last year, the Ocean Beach Town Council responded to an overwhelming call from OB residents and business owners to put an end to the “war.” Residents asked the Town Council to take action because bystanders – including a child and a senior citizen — were injured in the melee, businesses were damaged, and more than 2,000 pounds of trash were left behind on the beach and Veterans Plaza. The cleanup cost thousands of dollars and the negative publicity lasted for days. Our resolution calling for an end to the “war” passed by unanimous vote.

 Here’s the Resolution:


Whereas, the Ocean Beach Town Council is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the betterment and welfare of our community.

Whereas, the Town Council Board of Directors recognizes the annual 4th of July marshmallow fight is a tradition that started as a friendly rivalry between two Ocean Beach families involving a small group of people and no significant property damage.

Whereas, the annual 4th of July marshmallow fight has devolved into a rolling, violent altercation in which some bystanders have been injured and had their property destroyed.

Whereas, the 2013 marshmallow fight desecrated the Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza, left thousands of pounds of marshmallows on the streets and beaches, damaged clean-up equipment, and made the intersection of Newport and Abbott virtually impassable.

Whereas, the 2013 fight resulted in negative attention and harsh criticism from tourists, local business owners and media outlets, and prompted hundreds of Ocean Beach residents to call for the permanent end of the marshmallow fight.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors calls for the continuation of the annual 4th of July fireworks show but an end to the marshmallow fight. It is further resolved that the Board will call upon San Diego Police to enforce the City’s littering and vandalism laws, and target any individual seen throwing potentially harmful objects in public areas on the 4th of July.

The Board is willing to assist the City by executing a comprehensive public relations campaign in advance of the holiday advising people that the fight has been cancelled and warning that police will be citing lawbreakers. Further, we request that Ocean Beach businesses stop selling marshmallows, marshmallow-firing devices, T-shirts and other paraphernalia that promote the fight. We also call upon OB residents to respect the wishes of their neighbors and not participate in July 4 activities that do not contribute to the beautification and welfare of Ocean Beach.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Aging Hippie June 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm

“It is further resolved that the Board will call upon San Diego Police to enforce the City’s littering and vandalism laws, and target any individual seen throwing potentially harmful objects in public areas on the 4th of July.”.

In other words, instead of a marshmallow fight, we will now have a marshmallow fight + a riot, including broken glass, fires, looting, mass arrests, fire hoses, rubber bullets, tear gas…

I think we’ll go up to MB or over to Coronado for the fireworks this year.


Aging Hippie June 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

If you wanted to actually solve the problem, instead of making it worse, you’d designate an area.


UNWASHEDwalmartTHONG June 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

By all the powers bequeathed upon me by nobody in particular, I hereby designate the rooftop of the recognized San Diego Police Department trailer, located within the OB parking lot at the junction of the land, the OB Pier, & the ocean, as the official war zone of the Marshmallow Wars of July 2014.


Debbie June 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

It’s been awhile since I was a member …. now I am rejoining the OBTC. I approve of there action and concern for this community.

Thank you for your leadership!


Aging Hippie June 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

It’s not going to work, whether you “approve” of it or not. It’s foolish and dangerous, and the result is going to be much more property damage and injury than ever before.

Designate an area.


Debbie June 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm

You need a hobby…. Take your wife out for a walk, read a book, grow a garden, write a poem, see a movie…..whatever just stop living in fear

Of course you may do as you wish…its a free country. Do let the RAG know how you enjoyed the fireworks at Coronado or MB.


Aging Hippie June 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I don’t live in fear except when I see people doing stupid stuff that’s going to result in disaster, like the OBTC is doing here. There’s still a chance for them to make an intelligent decision, to try to contain the thing to a limited area, which might be possible to do, unlike their impossible plan.


CC June 18, 2014 at 8:23 am

People might take issue with it this year, but much like the drinking ban at the beach, kate sessions, and floatopia ban…. people forget about these things quickly and move on. What people need to learn is to not let things get out of hand or they will be taken away, like the events I mentioned. Now you can’t BYOB at OTL either.

People might “rise up against the man” and throw some marshmallows this 4th but i guarantee you that by next year and the year after, the ban will be followed. I have no problem with the ban, and I was there throwing marshmallows the last 2 years. I have a feeling a majority of people feel the same way as I do. Had my fun but now it’s time to find something else to do.


Aging Hippie June 18, 2014 at 8:35 am

There will be violence, arrests, significant property damage, injuries, and severe damage to the reputation of OB as a result of this foolish policy. Police pressure will turn what was once just “a mess” into a full scale riot. The worst part is that the resulting riot could become a tradition of its own, as it did in Fort Lauderdale on NYE during the ’70’s.

There is still time to make smart decisions. Cordon off a section of the beach and confine the marshmallow throwing to that area. No, you won’t get 100% compliance, but you will get better compliance than you will with this impossibly idiotic strategy. For next year, plan a “marshmallow festival” including food vendors and a sponsor, various marshmallow based games, and a smaller designated throwing area. Either the marshmallow war will die on its own, or it will be transformed into something more positive.

But try to force it to stop using cops, and you not only won’t stop it, you’ll magnify the problem into something horrific rather than just unpleasant.


unWasHEdwalmartTHONG June 18, 2014 at 9:24 am

The gentleman makes some good points. I think he may be a venerable sage.
Shall I purchase body armor to protect myself from the marshmallows or from the zealous riot police?


Aging Hippie June 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

Avoid the area. Tear gas, firehoses, and rubber bullets do not differentiate between those who are throwing marshmallows and those who are not. Broken glass, fires, and overturned vehicles are not fun to walk through either.


Jon June 18, 2014 at 9:27 am

“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”


CC June 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm

agree to disagree. Have fun listening to your police scanner on the 4th.


Debbie June 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Oops! I guess I must remember to spell correctly….THEIR instead of THERE…before I get grieve from the readers :-)


Tim H. June 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm

I believe you mean “grief”.


Debbie June 17, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Something like that….ya’ll know what where I am coming from ….go to…

It’s all good.

Thank you OBTC and thank you RAG, nite nite


obracer June 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm

IMO most locals will listen and not get involved.
However, shouldn’t we try to prevent some of the damage we know will occur at Veterans Plaza and the intersection of Abbot & Newport ? maybe spread sand over these areas ?
Signs ? any signs available for residents to post around O.B. ?


Aging Hippie June 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Sand, or nonstick cooking spray, might be a good idea. Signs will only serve as targets.

This is going to be ugly. Watch and see, the police will show up wearing vests and carrying batons and plastic shields.


Debra June 20, 2014 at 10:37 pm

NO nonstick cooking spray, please. If the surface is at all slippery, it could be disastrous for anyone walking around with slick bottom flip flops or sandals. Just sand should be fine, I would think.


Aging Hippie June 21, 2014 at 12:28 am

Wonder what cat litter would do?


Dan Shay June 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I am not sure the police will enforce the laws even if we ask them to do so. They already said they are not increasing officers on the 4th – or if they do it will only be a few. The last thing the SDPD wants to do is bite off more than they can chew. It would take an army of officers to enforce the laws – especially now that the event has grown so much.

I heard there has been private security guards roaming Newport lately. That option may work for the 4th if the SDPD wont enforce.

I also heard that some groups donate to the SDPD to have DUI checkpoints in their neighborhood occasionally. Maybe if OB donates money to the SDPD they would enforce on the 4th. It seems borderline shady though.

I also wonder if there are plans to have extra security for the Street Fair – if so, they need to be present all the way through closing time for the bars. I think there was a mini riot outside of Winstons last year with one person using a shovel as a weapon. And didn’t a bouncer from Sunshine get stabbed after the Street Fair or was it the 4th?

I do not think a designated marshmallow area would work. The thing that is so fun about the marshmallow war is the unlawfulness and the mob mentality.


Aging Hippie June 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I think a designated area would be somewhat, but not totally, effective. People don’t throw the marshmallows at the ground, they throw them at each other. In a designated area, that portion of the “fun” would still be present.

I think police or private security will be completely ineffective – either they’ll make no difference, or they’ll escalate the violence without any effect on the total number of marshmallows or their distribution the next morning. Hiring private security could expose the OBTC to litigation liability in addition.

Don’t fairs and festivals already get extra police?


CC June 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm

we get it, you want a designated area. give it a rest


Aging Hippie June 18, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I don’t want a designated area. I’m just telling everyone what might work, and what will instead result in a far worse situation. But everyone is so determined to “prove something”, or exercise their power because “we’re the town council and we run this place”, that there’s no shifting them from their dangerous ill-fated strategy.


objamie June 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Off topic- how long until the first REAL incident between Elite Security and the “denizens” of OB? And then what is going to happen? Besides lawsuits , I mean….


Aging Hippie June 18, 2014 at 3:02 pm

July 4th when they start trying to search people’s possessions for marshmallows. Of course typical luck would be that it will be a family of tourists from Ohio who brought marshmallows to roast over a fire pit and don’t know anything at all about any marshmallow war.


unwashedwalmartTHONG June 18, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Elite Security has no authority unless they have been deputized by the police department. And what an appropriate name! Those with money (the elite) buy security.
I’m thinking perhaps a small vigilante militia would help after curfew. Who would like to volunteer? We can have bake sales to buy some jack boots, leather belts, & brown shirts. I used to love jodhpurs & jack boots–when I rode dressage!
The Pinkertons, the Pinks, are now among us. The neighborhood is not private property; they city streets are public. Elite Security has no authority.
Are there no anarchists among us to teach us how to behave?


objamie June 20, 2014 at 11:25 am

Wow…yep, this is messed up UnWashed….OT again…you should see all the hate fermenting on FaceBook pages in OB…sad and scary.


Sarah June 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

OT yet again…. My stomach has been turning ever since I visited a couple of the “OB Crime Watch” FB pages. It’s awful and I am sad that I probably know those people.


OB Dude June 20, 2014 at 9:07 am
Aging Hippie June 20, 2014 at 9:10 am

Did it get reported on any *real* news networks?

Anyway, we’ve made plans to be elsewhere. You people enjoy your riot, and in the aftermath perhaps you’ll learn something about human nature and about the police, and be a little smarter next year.


OB Dude June 20, 2014 at 9:35 am



Frank Gormlie June 20, 2014 at 9:35 am
Aging Hippie June 20, 2014 at 9:47 am

I’m surprised to see ABC admitting to the probability that the ban will fail while NBC, usually a more impartial source, doesn’t.


editordude June 20, 2014 at 9:37 am

Aging Hippie – are you implying that the OB Rag doesn’t deal in “real” news?


Aging Hippie June 20, 2014 at 9:41 am

No, I was saying that Faux Noise is not real news. OB Rag is a much more reliable, accurate, and complete source of local information (for OB) than any of the mainstream media.


Ob surfer June 21, 2014 at 12:08 am

Webern watching this whole mm war debacle from afar. I’m glad to see the community taking some sort of stand. A year ago there were not many who cared and many strongly in support. Anyone who saw the damage and walked through vets plaza after, which I did until my sandal got stuck in the muck, knows it’s a pretty lame deal.

I’m guessing the mm people will be out in force, it will be identical to last year if not worse and when all is said and done we will be looking at a cancellation of the fireworks next year. Let’s see. People traditionally like causing trouble in ob especially when police have made it clear they don’t intend to do anything. Hoping no one is hurt.

Once again me and my friends will enjoy alrernTe viewing zones where the people are enjoying the fireworks with family. Won’t be back down to the peir fireworks until the mm joke is history. Good luck down there kids.


OB Resident June 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I LOVE THE OB MARSHMALLOW FIGHT. What a fun and wholesome tradition. I do not know the what exactly occured where these two were injured and am very sorry to hear about it. Having been there many times, I can say that using terms like “war” is a GROSS overstatement. This is OB, not Fox News, let’s be civil and keep our facts straight.

It’s UNIQUE events like this that give OB CHARACTER.

Spoiling the fun for everyone, like the recent beach prohibition rule, is never the best solution. I like the idea of a designated area, that makes sense. Taking freedom from others does not.

Next, let’s get to the comment on “property destruction.” If by property you’re referring to the phrase “damaged clean-up equipment,” it doesn’t take an engineer to tell you that you’re using the wrong cleanup equipment.

Come on OB, including the Rag, we’re better than this.


SaneVoice June 24, 2014 at 9:54 am

You really need to revisit the definition of wholesome. Assaulting someone with a flaming marshmallow or frozen marshmallow while using a gun to do it is hardly wholesome. If you want to blame someone for spoiling your fun, look no further than the miscreants who come into OB, trash the place and then leave. The same type of people that got alcohol banned from the beach because they refuse to exercise personal responsibility.

By property destruction, they are referring to the damage caused to the homes and vehicles of people who live in OB along with the damage done to Veterans Plaza.

You’re right about using the wrong cleanup equipment. The clean up equipment is You. You claim to be an OB resident so I’m sure the day after this mess, you’re out there cleaning things up, right ? How about instead of loving the marshmallow fight, you love OB and respect the rights and wishes of your fellow OBceans ? We are all better than this and we all should do our best to make OB the best.


Aging Hippie June 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

Let’s be clear: we are not arguing the merits of the marshmallow fight. We are discussing whether and how it could be stopped. My argument is that it can be contained or redirected, but it cannot be stopped or prevented. Attempts to stop or prevent it will not only fail, but will result in far worse consequences than doing nothing at all.

Sorry you got hit with a frozen marshmallow. If it makes you feel better, I got nailed with a half-eaten wet one that stuck. BFD. The Veteran’s plaza is made out of stone. Since when is stone damaged by marshmallows? The houses are made out of wood or stucco with some metal and glass parts – also not very vulnerable to soft candy, even when fired from an air gun. The vehicles are metal, glass, rubber and plastic – again, not much affected by the impact of confectionry.


SaneVoice June 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

So I guess all those photos of the day after mess and reports of injuries and damages to local businesses were just misdirection and propaganda, just a clever scheme by the OBTC to corner the market on marshmallows ?


Aging Hippie June 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Once again, we are not arguing the merits of the marshmallow fight. We are discussing what is, and what is *not*, possible.

Trying to exaggerate the damage or injuries does not make the proposed impossible solution any more possible. Bemoaning the mess does not make the proposed impossible solution any more possible. Repeating the same talking points over and over does not make the proposed impossible solution any more possible.


SaneVoice June 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Exaggerating the damage ? You need to open your eyes because the damage is still visible in Vet’s Plaza. You should listen to your words too, repeating the same talking point over and over. I’m surprised you didn’t use your favorite word “riot” yet again and talk about police presence turning into jack-booted thug action. Come to grips, the real people of OB have spoken. They don’t want this event to continue and it’s not going to. It’s done, it’s over.


Aging Hippie June 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

And again, you dodge the point. It doesn’t matter what your opinion or mine is about the marshmallow fight. The fact is, the OBTC did not start the tradition, they cannot stop it. It. will. not. work.

Let me know when you’ve grasped this simple point. Otherwise, you’re really not worth talking to about it.


SaneVoice June 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Change your moniker to Ad Nauseam. It’s more fitting to your personality or lack thereof. The OBTC has stopped it, no matter what delusions you have of some massive riot where the police beat everyone into submission.


Aging Hippie June 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm

OBTC stops the marshmallow fight…



SaneVoice June 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

Yes, we saw it the first time you posted in at the bottom of the article. Posting youtube videos is the laziest form of trying to prove a point. Whatever merit your opinions had before ate now lost.

Ob surfer June 23, 2014 at 9:07 pm

If It’s all about fun then throw pancakes. Or bread. Or tortillas. Something that doesn’t leave a long term black sticky goo all over. That seems like an easy solution. That sounds like real fun. Pfffff


Aging Hippie June 24, 2014 at 6:49 am

Provoke a riot trying to prevent a mess? I guarantee the mess then will be much bigger.

I was just reading about March 28, 1971. It’s really not that long ago, some of these people should be able to remember it, and apply that to what they’re trying to do here and forecast the result.


OB Dude June 24, 2014 at 8:23 am

You are like a broken record


Aging Hippie June 24, 2014 at 8:54 am

So are all of you. The difference is that my prediction is reality based and yours are fantasy based.


Aging Hippie June 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm

OBTC trying to stop the marshmallow fight by force is like….



Aging Hippie June 25, 2014 at 9:13 am

OBTC passes unanimous resolution banning fog!


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