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North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Children’s activities get positive feedback at Encinitas fair

Framed exotic insects, screen-print pillows, kettle corn, kids’ rides, and arts and crafts were just a few of the attractions that brought more than 100,000 people to the 30th annual Encinitas Street Fair on April 27 and 28.

The fair featured 450 vendors’ booths, live music performances and a Beer Garden Stage sponsored by Stone Brewing and Port Brewing Co.

This year, there was a new addition to the fair that focused on families with small children. The new kids’ zone was located in The Lumberyard shopping area on Coast Highway 101. The kids’ zone featured 13 vendors with activities for children.

Little ones “dug for treasure” in a sandbox station and got their faces painted while those a little older rode the slide and tried out the skate ramp provided by Aura Skateboarding.

Carmel Valley resident Laura Paez sat with her daughter, Sara, who was drawing at an arts and crafts table.

“I wanted to come and bring my daughter so she can enjoy the kids’ activities,” Paez said.

First-time fair visitor Paez came to the event with her daughter and husband, and said she was happy to see so many activities for her daughter.

Olivia Paccione of the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association said the motivation for opening the kids’ zone was to offer more “freebies” to kids beside the usual carnival rides that cost families money.

“It provided an opportunity for these organizations to promote their programs and summer camps for kids,” said Rick Moore, assistant director of the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association.

Moore said that he anticipates the kids’ zone being featured next year, but may change its location.

“I was really happy with the traffic over there and the participants and vendors seemed happy with it, too,” Moore said.

Families were not only visiting the event, but showing off their businesses as well. One family-owned business was not too far from the kids’ zone.

Aja Simone said she started her home decor company, Ecarlate Boutique, with her mom in 2010. She and her mom hosted a booth selling pillows, frames and textiles.

“We were in the interior design business, and then the recession hit so we decided to start up this company,” Simone said.

This is the third time the pair has featured their designs at the Encinitas Street Fair.

Simone said she doesn’t mind the long days starting as early as 4 a.m. and ending late in the evening when she closes down her booth because she enjoys the festivities and the crowd.

The fair was open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It closed down Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas from D to J streets.

Jessica LaFontaine is a North County freelance writer

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Children’s activities get positive feedback at Encinitas fair