After Abnormal Year, Adams Avenue Street Fair Returns to Normal Heights

The Adams Avenue Street Fair is back for its 40th year

The iconic Discount Fabrics marquee displays the upcoming dates for the 40th Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair.
Steve Kader

After a year of COVID-19 restrictions and festival cancellations, live music, street food and reconnections with community are coming back to San Diego.

The 40th annual Adams Avenue Street Fair is tentatively scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 18 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 19.

Southern California’s largest free two-day music festival will feature 100 musical acts on seven different stages, according to festival organizer and talent booker Steve Kader, who said he is going to unveil the festival lineup "very soon."

In 2019, headlining performers included Los Texmaniacs with Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, the Western Standard Time Ska orchestra with Greg Lee, blues harp player extraordinaire James Harman and his band, Mexican ska-punk pioneers Tijuana No! with Ceci Bastida, surf-jazz duo Mattson 2, local alt-rock stalwarts Dead Feather Moon, and dozens of other live acts

Dozens of artists, including the Donkeys, the Frights, Low Volts, Chess Wars and Okapi Sun, kept the party going at the Adams Avenue Street Fair.

This year's event will also serve up beer gardens, carnival rides, festival foods and 300 arts and crafts booths.

The 21+ crowd can enjoy the Street Fair’s Craft Beer Taste from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday. Ale hounds will have the opportunity to sample unlimited tasters from over 17 breweries for $20. A variety of craft-beer styles from local standouts like Aztec Brewing Co., Stone, Green Flash, Prohibition, North Park Brewing, Belching Beaver, Port/Lost Abby, and Mission Brewery have been featured in previous years.

Three additional beer gardens will be open throughout the two-day run of the street fair. They will offer adult-size adult beverages.

While Mom and Dad are kicking it back with a cold drink, the kiddos can hop on their favorite carnival rides in the park, as they do every year. Carousels, bumper cars, and more, oh my!

If you want a break from all that action, stroll down Adams Avenue where hundreds of local businesses, organizations, and exhibitors will line the street with handmade goods, information packets, artwork and activities.

Do you have your own local business, restaurant or food truck? The Adams Avenue Business Association wants you to get in touch! Fill out a vendor application and have your work featured at the street fair.

For more information, a full lineup (when it's announced, schedule and map, visit the official Adams Avenue Street Fair website.

Can't wait till September for Adams Ave street action? The 20th annual Taste of Adams Avenue is just weeks away on July 25 from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. This event features 39 restaurants, coffee houses, pubs, wine bars, breweries and unique eateries.

Participating venues include Blackmarket Bakery, El Zarape Mexican Cantina, Hawthorn Coffee, Moosie’s Ice Cream and Señor Mango’s, to name just a few. For a full list of participants, go here.

Tickets for the Taste of Adams Avenue event are $40 online in advance, and $45 day-of.

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