Escondido, CA

Bi-annual Grand Avenue Festival will celebrate fall

Celebrating the fall season will be the theme of this year’s Grand Avenue Festival, Escondido on Sunday October 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. For 27 years, thousands of people from all over the county have come to enjoy the historic Grand Avenue during the street fair where over 400 vendors, local entertainment, kid’s rides and international cuisine fill twelve city blocks.

The street fair is one of the largest such events in the state. You could literally spend the entire day walking up and down the 12 city blocks that will be roped off and not see the same thing twice. The Grand Avenue Festival and Street Fair takes place twice a year on the third Sunday of May and October from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has been a family tradition since 1989.

New this year is a pumpkin carving challenge, and a children’s costume contest. Once again the Escondido Times Advocate is the Chamber’s media partner for this event.

Looking for a challenge? Grand Avenue Fall Festival attendees can participate in Zumba, fitness challenges and climbing a 24’ rock wall. In celebration of the fall season, street fair goers can enter a carved pumpkin contest and children 12 and under can enter the pumpkin costume contest. Winners will be recognized in the local newspaper and in the Chamber newsletter and social media.

Carved Pumpkin Contest

Drop off your masterpiece by 10 a.m.
Carved Pumpkin Awards 3:30 p.m.
Location s Maple Street Plaza at Grand
grand-avenue-festival/ to sign up.

“We are asking businesses to participate in the pumpkin,” Chamber of Commerce CEO Rorie Johnston told the Times-Advocate. “It’s a group opportunity to promote some creative skills in your organization. This is a way to celebrate fall. The Escondido Arts Partnership will judge the carved pumpkin contest.

The other new contest is the pumpkin costume contest for children, which will be judged by the YMCA. “Because we are celebrating fall and pumpkins it would be creative to dress up as a pumpkin, but we will welcome any child in costume,” said Johnston.

Pumpkin Costume Contest

ages up to 12
Check-in begins at 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Contest/Awards are at 3 p.m.
Maple Street Plaza at Grand Avenue.
Register online at:

Sprucing up your fall landscape? Join the festival for an opportunity to learn from celebrity landscape expert, Ahmed Hassan from HGTV and DIY Network. He is passionate about smart landscaping with zero waste. Find out what to plant in the fall and how to best manage pruning. Hassan will be presenting in the gazebo at Heritage Garden on Grand Ave at Juniper Street at 9:30, 12:30 and 2:30.

The Grand Ave Festival, Escondido is also the best place to get your holiday shopping started with unique gifts for the entire family, from hand crafted to one of a kind imports and stylish accessories at great prices.

Johnston told the Times-Advocate, “We used to have just one entertainment stage at Maple Street. Now we are taking advantage of the Gazebo at Heritage Garden. What you’ll see primarily there is talent from our local schools and there will also be roaming talent. You may be surprised by a group singing a capella roaming on the street. There are lots of opportunities to be entertained,” she said.

There will also be several cultural entertainments, such as the Folklorica Dance Group.

“As we grow this event it takes a lot of volunteers to bring a festival like this to fruition, I would like to personally thank our chairman John Schwab,” said Johnston. “It has been our goal for a couple of years to make this an actual festival. We are making these changes to accommodate that. As we grow we want the public to be engaged.”

At this point, although the time is late, vendor applications are still being accepted at Kennedy and Associates. Contact them at 760-842-8857 or apply online at: HYPERLINK “http:// escondido”

“We will do our best to accommodate any vendors who sign up late for the event, or sign up early for the spring event,” said Johnston.

For up to date event information, to register for a contest or to rent a booth, visit: festival or call the Chamber at 760- 745-2125.

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