Home to numerous marquee attractions, miles of beautiful beachfront, and perfect weather year-round, San Diego should be at the top of everyone's list of California destinations to visit. Whether you’re on a relaxing couples exclusion or an adventure with the entire family, the city has the ideal attraction for you. Some can't miss options include Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, and more. If you’re looking to soak up some sun, the city offers more than 70 miles of coastline featuring some of the most beautiful beaches in the state. A few picture-perfect locations to put your toes in the sand include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Ocean Beach City Beach.
The Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off has been a go-to early summer event for tens of thousands of people for nearly 40 years, and it will take place June 23 in the Ocean Beach Neighborhood. Attendees will encounter a free-to-attend community celebration with activities and entertainment for all ages. This year's edition will feature live music by local and regional acts on four stages covering genres like rock, blues, alternative, and acoustic. A few of the participating acts include The Moves Collection, Ease Up, and more. At the Chili Cook-off, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase samples of a variety of chilis made by professional chefs and amateur cooks. Judges will determine the best chilis by professionals and amateurs separately, and patrons will determine the People's Choice Award winners. Additional awards will go to the hottest chili and the cooks with the best costumes and booth decor. Shoppers will love the vendor area, which will feature the handmade works of a variety of local and regional vendors. Those planning to attend with the entire family must stop by the Kids Fun Zone. Here attendees will find rides, games, activities, and more. ResortsandLodges.com interviewed Event Representative, Chloe Janda, to learn more about this all-ages bash.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
CJ: The Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival is entering its 39th year! The Ocean Beach community started the event to bring the community together while enjoying the beautiful summer weather.
RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?
CJ: We typically see between 60,000 and 70,000 visitors, annually.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
CJ: We offer a variety of activities, from the Kid’s Zone to Beer Garden, so all ages, families, tourists, millennials and more enjoy the street fair and chili cook-off.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
CJ: There’s so much to do that it’s a big hit with everyone. It brings the community together by celebrating all aspects of Ocean Beach, from the Community Mural Project to the Chili Cook-Off.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
CJ: The Community Mural Project is a Street Fair tradition where attendees purchase and paint a square section of a mural that will be installed in the Ocean Beach community after the street fair. This year there are three different murals to paint. There’s also the Hodad’s Burger-Eating Competition, an Artists Alley where you can peruse handmade items from local and regional artists and crafters, a beachside beer garden, and family-friendly attractions like the Kids Fun Zone, Zip Line, Zorb balls, Hop ‘n Rock, laser tag, games and more.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
CJ: We have four stages of continuous music featuring local bands in a variety of genres. You can check out the full lineup on our website. Plus, Rock & Roll San Diego will return to the event to reprise their experiential music booth. Channel your inner rock star and learn how to play a song in just 15 minutes! Rock & Roll San Diego is a full-service music center offering band rehearsal space, instrument sales, equipment rentals, and more.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
CJ: The Chili Cook-Off competition features over 20 tastings in both amateur and restaurant divisions, of which different chili chef’s take home prizes like Best Restaurant Chili, Best Amateur Chili, Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice. Tastings are $2 per chili entry, or you can try every recipe and vote for the best with the Master Ticket for $20.
RAL: Our travelers seek out unique and boutique accommodations, where can they find these in your area?
CJ: Ocean Beach is home to a famous hostel at 4961 Newport Avenue, known for its beautiful artwork and friendly beachside vibe. The Ocean Villa Inn is right next to Dog Beach, and the Ocean Beach Hotel offers a beautiful view of the coastline. The Inn at Sunset Cliffs is another lovely spot to stay and is close to all the action.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
CJ: We host over 300 vendors from all over San Diego County and local artists along the Artist Alley. The Street Fair offers attendees the chance to get immersed in the Ocean Beach community.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
CJ: The event helps pay for the 4th of July Fireworks off the Ocean Beach Pier. Any other funds help us pay for small beautification projects throughout the year.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
CJ: There’s an endless supply of things to do, and you get to enjoy it all along the beautiful San Diego coastline. We also offer alternative ways to travel with a complimentary trolley service that will run from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm, one near Robb Field every 30 minutes and one on Seaworld Drive at Pacific Coast Highway every hour. There is a free bike valet at the intersection of Bacon Street and Newport Avenue, courtesy of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.
For more information about The Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off, please visit the event website.