The Escondido Street Festival is coming May 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Historic Downtown Escondido, brought to you by the Downtown Business Association. It will include live music, food, retail and craft vendors, a free family festival, Art in the Garden, a beer garden and a kids zone. It will run on Grand Avenue from Escondido Boulevard to Ivy.
The Times-Advocate spoke to Alex MacLachlan, president of the DBA, about the festival; what’s new and what’s old, tried and true. “The Escondido Street Festival will try to duplicate the success of last year’s event with great live music, Art in the Garden, and we’ll add some family friendly aspects, like a kid’s fun zone area on the west end of Grand Avenue,” said MacLachlan.
“We are really excited to announce Escondido-based Wildcat Studios as a stage sponsor this year,” he added. “The Wildcat Stage will be in Maple Street Plaza and will feature an interesting mix of talented up and coming bands that Wildcat has showcased on their streaming and in studio events with Escondido-based band SM Familia as headliner. This will be an all-ages show.”
At North Broadway will be the Broadway Stage and Beer Garden organized by the Downtown Business Association featuring the Neil Levin Trio and Yo Jonesy Jones, along with North County favorites Custard Pie and Band of Wolves. “We are also happy to announce the addition of the Fusion Esco Stage with the Jukebox Junkies at Kalmia and Grand Avenue,” said MacLachlan. “We are still adding bands, so check back occasionally at www.DowntownEscondido.com/events.”
The DBA expects 300-350 vendors this year—which is consistent with last year’s event.
MacLachlan added, “This will be the third time the Downtown Business Association has used this music heavy street fair model after running last Fall’s Grand Avenue Festival too. So we are getting very familiar with what works and what does not. What works is giving Escondido lots of entertainment and food options and hiring extra people to help on event day because there is LOTS to do.”
He continued, “There is a generous pool of volunteers in North County that help our DBA board members execute our plans on event day. We are always grateful for any help we can get as you can’t successfully put on a community event without volunteers.”
A good-sized attendance is anticipated. MacLachlan explained, “Our online ad has been performing even better than last year’s ad, which is a really good sign for attendance since last year’s crowd was estimated by City of Escondido cell phone data to be over 60,000, the highest attended event in over five years. I think we have almost 1,200 Likes and 300 shares, so it’s reaching tens of thousands of San Diegans with still three weeks to go. The comments and private messages we receive are mostly interested in what bands are playing and is there room on our stages for more bands. There are a lot of musicians in North County and not enough venues to play. I wish I could hire them all.”
There is still vendor space available and stage sponsorships available to help support live music and keep it coming back to Escondido. To find out more, visit eventhub.net/events/Escondido-Street-Festival_4320
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