Ocean Beach Street Fair Blended Community With Consumerism

by on June 28, 2022 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

Photo from Charles Landon’s video.

By Carson Davis

The Street Fair has returned! After two years of dormancy, the Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair has finally come back and is more with the times than ever.

Offering booth after booth of consumerism blended with community, there was something for everyone.

With over 80 artist alley booths, 35 food vendors, 130 volunteers, and a chili cookoff that offered 18 different local and corporate competitors to around 1,000 community judges, this year’s street fair was as expansive as ever.

One minute you could find yourself watching one of the three murals being lovingly added onto by a passionate artist, and the next be hit in the face with a t-shirt by a chicken-wing eating contest chicken mascot.

The street fair really will never leave you unfulfilled. You could spend all day in Artist Alley perusing some high art, or catch the vibe with the blue-mohawked SurfDog and his hairstyle matching owner.

All photos by Carson Davis unless otherwise noted.

The OB Street Fair is an annual tradition that the community has been sorely missing for the last two years, and on Saturday June 25th it was finally welcomed back with open arms.

With murals anyone can contribute too (for a hefty 20$ price tag), corporate food and drink stands, artist showcase booths, live music stages, and even a section for our favorite small local businesses State Farm and Chevrolet. Understandable as the street fair attracts around 50,000 people to Ocean Beach annually, those big businesses would definitely want a window into that profit pit, same as the local ones.

Across the way from the corporate corner, you have the artists alley which was by far my favorite part of the fair. All different kinds of artists brought their talent to the fair. Painters, fashion designers, interior floral designers, even jewelry made out of fruit.

I talked with Lea from Slices of Citrus about her glossy finished fruit jewelry. She told me about how she and the others at her company have been doing this for 10 years, creating and selling earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces all made out of fruit! She wouldn’t disclose exactly how they do it (trade secrets she said), but it definitely didn’t feel like fruit.

Some of the other booths were more nuanced in their presentation, like the real estate agent rollerblading across the fair inviting people to her booth. Or the outdoor lounge area with leaves and flowing water all surrounding a tiny little table with their business card and a pamphlet. Or the painter who had a canvas and easel set up where anyone could come up and paint whatever they wanted.

As is tradition with the OB street fair, live music and chili were in the air! Thousands of people came from all over southern California to take part in the chili tasting.

You had everyone from corporate chains, down to the local friend groups just wanting to bring their chili to the masses.

I talked to one of the chili contest winner hopefuls Mike Carmichael of the “Hangover Chili Crew” and even though Mike said he “wasn’t confident” they were going to win, they were still having fun and supporting the community.

“Yeah, I’ve been prepping for a month for this, yeah it cost a lot of money out of my pocket, yeah if I win I’m gonna win 300 bucks which covers about a tenth of the cost of this, but where can I go and be around this type of community.”

Overall, while there was a lot of capitalistic consumerism happening, yet most of the time I spent at the OB Street Fair was with chili, live music, and watching a real estate agent rollerblade past SurfDog.

And that’s what I think Ocean Beach is all about: Free spirit, community, and SurfDog.

[Here’s a link to Charles Landon’s video of the 2022 OB Street Fair.]


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