San Diego has several street fairs and festivals with bands, food and beer. There are so many it’s impossible to keep up with all of them. This is a review of the Adams Avenue Street Fair, which takes place in late September with five important things to know about it.
1.) About The Fair
This is a two-day free festival at the end of September in the Normal Heights are of San Diego, which is east of Hillcrest and at about the 805 freeway. It is put on the Adams Avenue Business Association, which has several other events throughout the year: the Adams Avenue Alive, the Adams Avenue Spirits Stroll, Holiday on Adams Avenue, Adams Avenue Unplugged and Taste of Adams Avenue. It sure is a laid-back festival.
2.) Adams Avenue Street Fair Bands
There are impressive six stages. They are on side streets and the bands are certainly good an entertaining. There is a great mix of music, ranging from hard rock to Motown-type harmony. Bands play from before Noon to closing time (10 p.m., on Saturday, 6 on Sunday). There is no main stage, tho. The DJ area is one of the most popular places for hearing music.
3.) The Scene At The Adams Avenue Street Fair
If you like vendor and food booths, then you will love the Adams Avenue Street Fair. There are a lot of them, lined up for eight blocks on both sides of Adams Ave., from 32nd to 35th streets. While not overrun by families and strollers, there are not a lot of single people, either, at least on Sunday anyway. It’s probably a bit different on Saturday night.
4.) The Beer Gardens
The event shows three areas serving craft brews but to call them beer gardens is stretching the term to say the least. They are hidden on side streets, so much so that I walked the entire length of the festival and didn’t see them. And for me not to notice a beer garden says a lot!
They are really small shaded areas with chairs that sell about six types of craft beers. They are chill out zones rather than raucous happening places full of single people who mingle more as they drink and party, like most beer gardens at street festivals. None are by a stage. They are across Adams Avenue from and you can hear the bands but not see them. Still, at just $7 a beer, the price is certainly right.
On Saturday there is a craft beer taste where you can get two-ounce pours from approximately 20 breweries. The price is a completely reasonable $25 in advance, $30 on site (tip: it does sell out so get tix in advance). It takes place from Noon-4 p.m.
5.) The Adams Avenue Bars
There are a few bars on Adams Ave., around the Normal Heights sign that stretches across the street. These are the best places to find the party people.
Official Event Website:
• Adams Avenue Street Fair San Diego