Ocean Beach Street Fair, July 4 fireworks are canceled again; replaced with ‘Celebrate the OB Vibe’ June 26

The Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off has been canceled again this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off has been canceled again this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be replaced by “Celebrate the OB Vibe” on June 26.

The Ocean Beach MainStreet Association has canceled this year’s Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off that had been scheduled for Saturday, June 26, as well as the Fourth of July fireworks display, marking the second year in a row that the two events were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It just doesn’t feel like it’s the right time to spend that kind of money on an event that may or may not be able to happen,” Denny Knox, executive director of the MainStreet Association, said of the street fair. “It would be a complete disaster if there was a [COVID-19] surge on June 1 and things got shut down again. So we’re just trying to be realistic about it.”

Knox said there also were concerns about the price tag for the fireworks, which produce no returns, unlike the street fair.

“In a year like this, with what everybody’s been through, I just can’t see us spending $30,000, if we even had it to spend, on the fireworks this year,” she said.

As a replacement, OBMA will present an event called “Celebrate the OB Vibe” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 26, in which participating businesses will have specials for the day. In addition, arts and crafts, a children’s area and dance lessons will be offered in designated areas, along with art vendor areas near the Ocean Beach Pier and at Veterans Plaza.

No streets will be closed, and the event will have no food booths, beer garden, stages or music, Kristen Keltner, event and program manager for the MainStreet Association, said in an email March 26.

But “we believe this is our best opportunity to have something uniquely OB on our regular event day, and we think we can have a fun day for people to enjoy our community and patronize all our businesses,” Keltner said.

“It’s going to be Ocean Beach-centric,” Knox said. “We will be celebrating all of our local businesses, hoping that everybody comes down and eats at our restaurants and goes to our bars and shops in our stores.”

While the cancellations were generally bemoaned at the Ocean Beach Town Council’s March 24 meeting, board member Arlene Fink congratulated OBMA on its judgment.

“I commend you for keeping Ocean Beach and its residents safe,” Fink said. “Good for you for making the hard decision to take care of all of us. You should be proud of yourself.”


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