Each fall when the weather in most parts of the country starts to turn cold, here in Escondido it can start to slightly, ever so slightly, get a little chilly, maybe…in the mornings. However, it could also just as easily start to get warmer and we could end up with a nice, hot Halloween. You never know. Although the weather is something you can’t completely count on, one thing you can count on for fall in Escondido is the semi-annual Grand Avenue Festival – and it’s this weekend!
Happening all day on Sunday, October 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on historic Grand Avenue, it’s a good bet that the weather won’t play a part in the festivities like it did earlier this year. Mother Nature certainly made it an interesting day during the May rendition of the GAF when the sky was grey and gloomy and rain fell for hours . . . with the clouds not breaking until late afternoon. It was much more akin to Seattle Chamber of Commerce weather instead of our beloved Escondido micro-climate…but there shouldn’t be any need for an umbrella this Sunday.
What you will need is an appetite, along with some comfortable shoes, and some spending money. That’s because there will be a plethora of eclectic food purveyors, arts & crafts vendors, three different community stages, and of course all the brick and mortar stores on historic Grand Avenue to visit and support.
On the west end of the event you’ll find The Super Dentists stage located on the Chase lawn, and here you’ll find a variety of acts to keep you entertained all day long. From dog contests in the morning (10-11 a.m.) with prizes from PetSmart to belly dancing, cultural dance programs, and more—including a demonstration from the Escondido Police K9 Unit (1:30 p.m.) that you won’t want to miss! Wrapping up the day at The Super Dentists stage will be Sunnyside Strings, featuring local maker of the best breakfast paninis around, Bob Carpenter from Sunny Side Kitchen.
At the other end of historic Grand Avenue you’ll find “Art in the Garden” at Heritage Garden where there will be a juried Art Show with a wide variety of local and regional artists who specialize in everything from blown glass creations, painting, mixed-media, sculpture, and more. You’ll also find a “pop-up” vinyl record store, some talented local musicians performing under the gazebo, and there will be Pizza Walks at Heritage Garden at 12:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. with pizza prizes from Shakey’s Pizza Parlor and Filippi’s Pizza Grotto!
Centrally located at the Maple Street Plaza will be the SDG&E Stage that will be the main stage and location for many community acts and performances. There you’ll be able to see several local school groups such as Ballet Folklorico and Ignite Dance, the YMCA Twirlers, Georgia’s School of Dance, Star Repertory Theater, Patio Playhouse, and more.
What started back in the late 1980’s has become quite the tradition here in Escondido, so make plans to continue that tradition on Sunday: bring your family and friends out to the Grand Avenue Festival!