BeachFest celebrates the San Diego lifestyle
by Bart Mendoza
Published - 09/30/13 - 11:16 AM | 13072 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are many wonderful outdoor festivals in San Diego each year, but only one truly takes advantage of its location — Pacific BeachFest. Now in its 17th year, the event takes place on Oct. 5. Marking the unofficial end of summer, the free, family-friendly event takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the boardwalk between Diamond and Thomas streets. More than 50,000 people are expected to spend part of their day at the festival.

To be sure, Pacific BeachFest has much in common with similarly styled happenings around the city. Lots of booths with hand-crafted items and food vendors and plenty of music, to be sure. But what makes Pacific BeachFest special is the physical activities the public is invited to take part in.

Among the day’s highlights on the beach will be Revolt in Style magazine’s Summer Surf Series Finals beginning at 8 a.m. at Crystal Pier; a volleyball tournament starting at 9 a.m.; and a 5k run kicking off at 10:30 a.m. For those 12 and under, there will also be a 1k run just prior to the main event, as well as skateboarding and bike-riding demonstrations in Action Alley on Thomas Avenue. Additionally, there will be a Kids’ Action Alley, complete with surf simulator on the boardwalk at Grand Avenue.

While there are numerous food options on the day, including a Best of PB Food Court, a popular part of this annual event is the Best of the Beach Fish Taco Challenge, featuring food from some of the area’s best-known restaurants like the PB Shore Club, Oscars Mexican Seafood, The Fish Shop, Moondoggies, PB Alehouse and the Sandbar Sports Grill. It’s this sort of community spirit, involving local merchants and the public, which makes Pacific BeachFest so special. Other community interaction includes sidewalk sales from area shops and an artist’s alley featuring handmade items from local artisans.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The event packs a lot into its eight hours, even for those a little less athletically inclined, with three stages of continuous entertainment kicking off at 11 a.m.

The main Beer Garden Stage will feature a mix of DJs and bands with reggae favorites Sunny Rude, Natural Heights, So Cal Vibes and Hightide all taking part, alongside DJ Elliot Thomas, DJ Billy The Kid, DJ Who and DJ Mike Czech. Singer-songwriter Sando opens.

Meanwhile, the Center Stage will be topped by R&B whirlwinds Lady Dottie & The Diamonds, with other artists on the bill set to include the Cool Soul Trio, Bateke Beat, Alas de Mosca and The Routine.

Finally, the Community Stage will open with a performance from the Crown Point Jr. Music Academy, with appearances from the Tap Fever Dancers, the PB Kids Musical Showcase, The Simmer Down Riddum Section, Tiffany Jane and the Kicks, The Big Daddy Blues Band and Indian Summer. There will also be a “Skate This!” demonstration at 11:40 a.m.

With its great mix of sun, surf, music, food and especially community, it’s clear the Pacific BeachFest is the best way to celebrate the end of another glorious summer in San Diego.

As with any large event in San Diego, taking public transportation is recommended. Free valet bicycle parking is available at Thomas Street.

Pacific BeachFest takes place beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 from Diamond to Thomas Streets.
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