The aftermath of last year’s event has prompted Ocean Beach MainStreet Association executive director Denny Knox to encourage this year’s participants to keep the fight on the beach during the event’s silver anniversary this Fourth of July.
“Everybody is recommending this year — even the marshmallow throwers — that we all keep our heads about it and don’t take [the fight] off of the sand,” Knox said. “I think they were just having so much fun [last year] and they got carried away.”
Volunteers and local residents were left to clean up last year’s mess on the morning after July 4. Knox said keeping the marshmallows on the sand should make this year’s cleanup significantly easier.
“We’re hoping people will respect the streets and the sidewalks and not do that again,” Knox said. “If you stay on the sand, it just makes it so much better and so much easier to clean up.”
In its 25th year, the marshmallow fight began in 1985 as a friendly rivalry between the Grosch and Zounes families, who hosted rival Fourth of July holiday parties. Grosch lived on Saratoga Avenue and Zounes lived on Muir Avenue.
Rich Grosch told The Beacon in 2002 that his friends and family from Saratoga Avenue were sitting near tower two at Ocean Beach — ready to roast marshmallows — when they found a better use for them. They threw marshmallows at the Zounes party down the beach.
A year later, Grosch moved to Muir Avenue near the Zounes, and Muir Avenue got its revenge on Saratoga Street with an onslaught of marshmallows. Ever since then, the marshmallow fight has been a post-fireworks tradition on Ocean Beach.