Brazilian Festival almost fails test of committee
by DAVE SCHWAB
Jun 26, 2014 | 949 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Special Events Committee of the Pacific Beach Town Council nearly gave a thumbs-down recommendation to the annual Brazilian Fest in PB because it might have outgrown its local venue.
The Special Events Committee of the Pacific Beach Town Council nearly gave a thumbs-down recommendation to the annual Brazilian Fest in PB because it might have outgrown its local venue.
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A car show, a fire run and the Polish Festival all got big thumbs-ups by a local special-events recommendation panel, but the annual Brazilian Festival was nearly turned down because of fears the event is outgrowing its Pacific Beach venue.

That was the verdict of a Pacific Beach Special Events Committee that met June 17 at Discover PB to review plans for special events held annually in the beach community.

The committee also heard a request by Pacific Beach activist Marcie Beckett, who recommended against e-cigarette booths being allowed at public events because they are unregulated and that encourage smoking. But the board tabled her request because of uncertainties over potential legal liability regarding First Amendment issues.

“Charger” Steve Lordigyan pitched the committee on his annual Wild Rides Car Show, which attracts some 30,000 people to Garnet Avenue between Mission Boulevard and Dawes Street. The car exhibit will be held this year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24.

The event promoter was chastised by the committee for not having a map prepared for the event or an updated list of entertainers performing. The “tastefulness” of a bikini contest and burlesque show held in conjunction with the event were also questioned.

“I’ve done the same thing for five years,” said Lordigyan, who noted his history of successful dealings with the committee and community over the car show.

Lordigyan was warned by the committee not to become “complacent” and expect a pass-through for the event strictly based on past performance.

Lordigyan said he’s stepped back entertainment somewhat because of financial considerations since last year’s car show, which featured actress Catherine Bach from the “Dukes of Hazzard” TV series and the “General Lee” car showcased by the show.

Regarding the bikini contest and burlesque show, Lordigyan said the bikini contest is hosted by Hollywood Tans, benefiting local business. He said the burlesque show and all other event entertainment is family friendly.

The End of Summer 4-mile Fire Walk/Run, also to be held Aug. 24 in the morning from Prospect Stret and Girard Boulvevard in La Jolla to Mission Boulevard and Felspar Street in Pacific Beach, drew rave reviews from committee and audience members alike, as did the Oct. 10-12 annual Polish Festival, a tribute to Polish heritage, cuisine and culture held at the Catholic Mission at 1735 Grand Ave. 

Both were cited for being model events that were well-suited to the community.

Such was not entirely the case with the annual Brazilian Festival to be held Sunday, Sept. 7 from

11 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring a parade, festival, 100-plus vendors, a food court, a carnival and live music.

Neighbors complained the event is too loud and that last year promoters failed to return calls from people with noise complaints.

Promoters were also rebuffed in their attempt to petition the committee to extend the event an extra hour, as neighbors said they felt it was already too long, lasting more than two hours beyond the 4 p.m. parade time.

Eve Anderson and other committee members said noise complaints recur annually from the event, now in its seventh year. The commitee suggested the Brazilian Festival may have outgrown its surroundings and ought to be moved somewhere else, like downtown San Diego, where it could be more easily grown.

Promoters said they were unprepared to move for a variety of reasons, noting the event has remained about the same size the past couple years.

They pointed out that there are a large number of Brazilians in Pacific Beach, adding that requiring them to move elsewhere would essentially be “moving them out of their own community.”

Promoters promised to be more responsive to complaints, adding they’ve taken steps to muffle sounds from the performing stage. They said Brazilian music by its very nature is “drum-driven.”

One committee member, noting the large number of vendors, said he felt this posed competition to local restaurateurs and other merchants. He said promoters ought to do something “to give back to the community” in exchange for being allowed to host an event that draws 50,000-plus participants to the area.

Following a long discussion, the committee voted 5-4 in favor of recommending that Brazilian Days be allowed to be held but attached several conditions to rein in the event in terms of hours and noise.
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