San Diego is a city full of fun large-scale events and the inaugural please-do-it-again Great Pumpkin Beer Festival is certainly one of them.
This Halloween costume block party in the Gaslamp Quarter brought a Seattle tradition to Southern California and it was beer-flowing fun. It was held along Island and Seventh Ave., which had been turned into a party pumping patch, pumping with people in costumes, tribute bands on a large stage (Member’s Only Yacht Club, Rosedale, No Duh and the Young Guns plus DJs in between sets), a costume contest, gord games and people in costumes walking around on stilts.
Even with all this, the main “get the party really started” happening was the tapping of huge pumpkin beer kegs. This was a fun ceremony built up with a drum corp band banging on trash cans – no, they were not Houston Astros players – followed by unleashing beer that was literally flowing out of the pumpkins.
The fine folks at Elysian Brewing filled up pitchers and then very generously poured it into eager empty cups. After that, the party seemed more alive, people became more chatty and the bands started sounding even better.
@pubclub.comPubClub.com Drinking Tip Of The Day #drinkingtipoftheday ##drinkingtip ##tips ##nighlife ##partytime ##nightlife ##beer ##halloween ##s#andiego♬ original sound – PubClub
Among the best costumes were a pair of cute girls who dressed up as Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Yeah, Olympic flashback! “Tonya” had a rubber stick and was hitting “Nancy” on the knee. This netted them second place in the costume contest. The winner was, well, I’m not sure what she was, haha.
I went as a race car driver. My suit is authentic, given to me by an IndyCar driver upon his retirement (I spent several years doing PR for the PPG IndyCar World Series). It’s not one of those on-line bought Ricky Bobby ones although there was at least one of those in the crowd.
Constantly, I was stopped by people saying “that’s real!” This added to my fun at the event. I, and just about everyone else, had a big smile on our faces the entire time. And that’s what makes a great event.
It was put on by McFarlane Promotions, which also puts on the La Mesa Oktoberfest and other big-time events in San Diego.
Tips To Know Before You Go
Take a credit or debit card. That’s the only way to purchase beers…PubClub.com got there at about 7 p.m., and the place was already cranking. So it’s best to get there earlier, at least by 6. There are long lines for beers along the main street but turn left by the stage and you’ll find almost no wait.
Is Getting VIP Worth It?
First of all, you get a lot more beer tickets! Granted, they are beers in cups the size of shot glasses but they do add up after a while. Plus there’s no waiting in long lines for a beer. A bonus is that the full beer station not only has no line but the beers are only $10 as opposed to $14 in the GA area.
Official Event Website: The Great Pumpkin Beer Festival
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