One Of The Top Singles Party Weekends In The South Bay
There is a morning 10K.
There are arts and crafts and food booths. Even a small stage featuring local bands.
But true to Manhattan Beach style, this is only a sideshow to the main attraction: The beer garden!
It’s Old Hometown Fair, an annual party that celebrates life in this Los Angeles seaside city, and the centerpiece of it is the beer garden on Saturday and Sunday. Hometown Fair is always the first weekend in October which means in 2016 it’s Oct. 1-2.
The beer garden is located on a baseball field in a park along Valley/Ardmore streets, about a half mile from the downtown Pier and the Pacific. There is a wine garden, too, but it’s separate from the beer garden.
The beer garden is a lively, entertaining, full-to-capacity outdoor affair comprised mainly of single-minded singles who want nothing more than to meet other singles and consume beers in an outstanding environment.
In recent years officials have added a large tent area to provide shade for those who want to chill out a bit with their beers and that’s a good thing because it’s going to be about 80 degrees this year.
Now, if only the beer garden would extend out a little bit to include the stage with the band – increasing capacity and therefore revenue – it would be approaching perfection.
People start arriving by noon on Saturday and most are there by 1 o’clock because there’s a line that hardly dissipates, as NOBODY leaves the beer garden.
A band on the adjacent stage can somewhat be heard in the background, which are often comprised of high school garage musicians. But they are often drowned out by conversation and a regular roar with everyone joining in to do a “SOOO-CIAL!”
People are fenced in like circus animals and, frankly, that seems about appropriate for these two days.
If anything can lure the locals off the beach on a sunny weekend day, it’s a beer garden.
And this is not just any beer garden, it’s an annual rite of life here where the prime party people gather and the “old school” folks who are now married with children or have even moved far, far away, come to mingle together and remember their partying past.
“Everyone comes out of the woodwork for Old Hometown Fair,” they’ll say. “I haven’t seen you since, well, last year’s Hometown Fair.”
It’s been going on for decades and for a long while, was the #1 party event in the city. It is joined by the Holiday Fireworks in December, the Holiday Open House in November, the Manhattan Open beach volleyball tournament and the Trump National Beer & Wine Festival in August.
Manhattan Beach Old Hometown Fair Tips & Facts:
• Oct. 1-2 in 2016 (always the first weekend of October)
• Morning 10K run. Starts on Valley/Ardmore, visits downtown, goes thru the “tree section” and finishes with the final 1 1/2 miles along the Strand. Bands play all along the route. Many head straight from the finish line to the Shellback Tavern. See our 10K Run Review & Photos.
• The Beer garden runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with “last ticket call” at 5:30 p.m. Arrive Saturday by 1 p.m. Sunday the beer garden rarely reaches capacity but most people have brew in hand by 2 p.m.
• Beer tickets are sold at a booth for $5 (party tip: stock up on them early!).
• The beer garden is located at Live Oak Park just north of downtown MB.
• Since you are primed to party after the beer garden closes, head to the bars in downtown Manhattan Beach.