Street Fair set to return this weekend

Ernesto Lopez

The 29th edition of the Encinitas Street Fair is rolling into town April 28 and 29, and it promises, like every year, to showcase local talent, good food and unique items on sale from around the world.

“This is a great family event and an opportunity to run into old friends and make new ones,” said Dody Crawford, executive director at the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association (DEMA), the group that annually hosts the fair.

More than 100,000 people are expected to flock to the two-day affair which stretches along Coast Highway 101 from D to J Streets. It will feature 10 bands and solo artists on five stages, rides, a beer garden and about 400 vendors selling clothes, plants, household goods, antiques, art and home decor.

On the stages set up throughout the grounds, people can catch performances by groups such as Rhythm Method, a classical/contemporary rock rhythm and blues group, Shoreline Rootz, a 10-piece reggae/rock group, the Encinitas School of Music and more.

Jeff Hodson, a trombone player with Shoreline Rootz, which is playing Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the beer garden, said their reggae style is sure to get people on the dance floor.

“People can expect good music with a lot of energy,” Hodson said. “Come see us. We are like a family, really close, and that togetherness comes across in our music. You will have a good time.”

Crawford said the music during the fair is a favorite of longtime attendees.

“This community has the best artists and musicians bar none,” Crawford said. “We work very hard to get these local top-notch bands; we are lucky to have them.”

In keeping with tradition, on Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m., the Encinitas Fire Department will host its annual Pancake Breakfast at the 7-Eleven parking lot located at D Street and Coast Highway 101.

All proceeds go toward the department’s charity work in the community throughout the year, according to firefighter Paul Reeve.

“Come out and help support your local fire department; 100 percent of the proceeds goes back to the city,” Reeve said. “We believe in giving back to the citizens that make our salary possible.

“We are out in the community for the community,” he added.

Bringing the beer party once again this year are locals Stone Brewing Co. and Port Brewing Company on Saturday and Sunday at the Lumberyard parking lot on I Street from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They will be serving tap beer; each cup will cost $5.

And to help alleviate traffic congestion, DEMA is continuing its partnership with the North County Transit District, which will be running a two-for-one fare.

“Leave your car at home because it can get a little hairy with the traffic,” Crawford said.

The Coaster rail line stops less than one block away from the fair. To purchase tickets or for more information on the deal, visit www.gonctd.com/coaster.

If driving, suggested parking spots are at City Hall on Vulcan Avenue, the Moonlight Beach parking lot on Third Street and the two Coaster station parking lots – Vulcan and D Street, and Vulcan and E Street.

Brian Roth of Kennedy & Associates, the company organizing and managing the fair, is advising attendees not to bring pets, as they can get hurt among the high volume of people.

The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For more information, call DEMA at 760-945-9288 or visit www.encinitas101.com.

Ernesto Lopez is a San Diego freelance writer