At Pacific Beachfest, visitors will find all the festival basics, with music and food topping the attractions — but this event is far from typical.
Notably, Pacific Beachfest has more of an athletic outdoors theme than any other local community gathering.
“[We have] an active component to our festival that a lot of others don’t, which I just think really highlights the whole Pacific Beach attitude,” said Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB.
Options for the more energetic guests include an 8K beach fun run/walk presented by San Diego County Credit Union, a Firehouse Beach Volleyball Tournament and a VANS/Pacific Drive and Skateboard magazine “action alley,” featuring professional skateboard demonstrations.
Meanwhile, on the water, Revolt in Style magazine will host the Revolt Summer Surf Series 5.0.
Berns said she is also proud of the fact that event is truly about Pacific Beach, with most of the participants based in the area.
“It takes a lot of community involvement,” Berns said.
Several hundred people are involved in the total operation, from the half-dozen board members to volunteers from local schools. Berns said the event is also very Pacific Beach-targeted in terms of business.
“We are different. While we have our handmade arts and crafts area [open to all vendors], our merchant’s area is open to only Pacific Beach businesses and our food court only has PB restaurants,” she said.
This includes entrants in the Best of the Beach Fish Taco Challenge.
Most of talent performing during the day is from the neighborhood as well.
Those wanting a more leisurely day won’t find any shortage of activities either. Three stages will provide musical entertainment. The main stage will host local favorites, including reggae groups Sunny Rude and Sando & The Irie Vibes, hip-hop from Vokab Kompany as well as performances from Boom Snap, Split Finger and In Transit Audio.
Meanwhile the beer garden stage will include sets from some of San Diego’s top DJs, including Who, Beatnick, Demon, Artistic, Chris Cutz and Mikey Beats. The community stage will feature an eclectic mix of talent, with bands from local schools, acoustic performers and a dance group.
For the younger set, there will be a special area set aside that includes a giant slide and activities ranging from the Rad Hatter, who makes paper hats, to face painting and flower potting for children.
“Our rides are inflatables on the sand,” Berns said. “This year, we’re going to have an inflatable obstacle course and a giant, tropical slide.”
Parking will likely be at a premium during Pacific Beachfest, so Berns advises visitors to use pay lots or public transportation, while there will be bike parking at the Beach Cottage on Thomas Street. Parking is a situation she hopes can be improved in future years.
“We’d like to get the event to the point where we can start doing shuttles from the local school parking lots,” Berns said.
An ideal day out for anyone on an entertainment budget — or who simply likes the combination of ocean breezes, music, food and fun — this years’ Pacific Beachfest is hard to beat.
Berns said the reason for the event’s success is clear.
“It’s really a great chance to showcase PB,” she said. “We have over 50,000 people come down and visit the beach. It’s usually a really nice day and we’re right on the boardwalk. There’s a lot going on.”
Pacific Beachfest takes place beginning at
11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 between Diamond and Thomas streets. 21 and up. Free.
For more information, visit www.pacificbeachfest.org/pbfest/index.htm.