Record visitor attendance predicted for Fiesta del Sol
Event to be powered with alternative energy
Fiesta del Sol has always been off the charts, but for the first time this year will also be off the grid.
That’s because the 31st annual two-day street party on June 5 and 6 will be powered fully by two solar trucks and three biodiesel generators. The idea of electrifying the event with alternative energies came through collaboration between the host Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce and the newly formed Green Chamber of San Diego County.
“We’ve developed some great synergy between the green chamber people and the Solana Beach chamber people,” said Green Chamber CEO Peter Zahn.
Solana Beach chamber President David Carroll said he is expecting a record crowd of at least 50,000 people to pack the streets around Fletcher Cove this year, an increase of roughly 20,000 over 2009.
He said free admission in a poor economy, as well as an attractive band lineup including the likes of surf musician Dick Dale, will bring in the extra attendees. The Aggrolites, a Los Angeles-based reggae group, will be the headline performance, as arranged by the Belly-up Tavern.
“We promote the city of Solana Beach to the world,” Carroll said. Proceeds from Fiesta Del Sol go to operational costs for the nonprofit Solana Beach chamber.
The annual event’s vendor spots are already sold out, he noted.
“It is not a gamble,” he said, adding that many of the exhibitors and sellers have been returning for more than 10 years. “As soon as we announce we’re opening, boom, boom, they jump in.”
And the core of the Fiesta del Sol remains the same. There will be multiple musical performances, games for kids, arts and crafts, and the ever-popular beer and wine garden for those over 21.
Although street fairs are exempt from having to collect sales tax, and therefore the city of Solana Beach receives no direct financial benefit from vendor success, Mayor Tom Campbell said the Fiesta del Sol is still a great way to bring people into town.
“It provides an opportunity for local residents to have a nice weekend, but also helps to attract visitors, which is certainly good for the city,” he said.
City Manager David Ott said the city has never studied whether Fiesta del Sol provides any boosts to local shops or restaurants through visitors patronizing them before or after attending the event.
The city gave the Solana Beach Chamber a $10,000 grant that will help pay for necessary sheriffs department and public works services that weekend.
The event runs Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6. It begins each morning at 9 a.m. with an arts-and-crafts fair and closes at 9 p.m. when the final musical performance is over.
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