Art, dance, music and beer highlight the 17th annual festival May 18
By Anthony King | SDUN Editor
The community is set to descend on North Park May 18 for the 17th annual North Park Festival of the Arts, featuring art for adults and children, live bands and dance performances, and the return of the Craft Brew Block, with beer and ale from a wide selection of local breweries. The yearly festival is organized by the North Park Main Street, and runs from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
“The Kids ART Block section is a crowd favorite,” organizers said on the official event website. “Kids are given the opportunity to participate in a variety of interactive arts related activities all geared to teach and inspire young minds to explore their own artistic creativity.” Planned activities include origami-making lessons, crafting with recycled items and multi-media and photography projects.
North Park Craft Mafia will once again host the festival’s Spring Line Up, which the arts and crafts nonprofit has overseen since founding in 2007.
Called the “hub” of North Park’s artistic community, Ray Street will be home to “local artist creations, live demonstrations and temporary installations created just for the festival,” organizers said.
There are over 35 juried artists for this year’s event, including Ashley Carattini, Eric Cantrell, Rowshan Dowlatabadi and Amy Baca-Lopez, a North Park Main Street artist. This year’s featured artist is Sarah Stieber, who was selected by festival organizers during an open search for new talent that would best represent the spirit of the festival.
Stieber, who recently participated in the Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy and also hosted her own show called “Peaceful Chaos” at Cirello Gallery on Ray Street, spent time as a teenager in Florence, Italy, studying art at the Uffizi museum. During graduate school at Boston University, she also worked in Venice, Italy, and returned to California after graduation.
There will also be an interactive artist event centered at the San Diego Art Department (SDAD) located at 3830 Ray St. Called the Quick Draw Plein Air Competition, the event will see participants complete works of art throughout the festival between 12 and 1 p.m., which will then be on display in front of SDAD and available for purchase.
“The all-ages event invites artists, competition painters, professionals, amateurs and hobbyists to compete and have fun,” said Lesley Anderson of SDAD. “These artists have two hours to complete their work … giving onlookers the opportunity to see artists in action.” Registration for the competition begins at 9:30 a.m. at SDAD and Anderson said they were hoping to have at least 20 participants.
Called “a festival within a festival,” this year sees the return of the Craft Beer Block, an enclosed beer-garden style venue featuring selections from several regional craft breweries. There are 25 participating breweries total, including Chuck Alek Independent Brewers, Julian Hard Cider, Mad Lab Craft Brewing, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Thorn St. Brewery and Iron Fist Brewing Co.
“North Park Festival of Arts is excited for the return of the Craft Beer Block,” organizers said. “Beer enthusiasts will have the opportunity to sample the best craft beer prepared by San Diego’s top brewers.”
The addition of the Craft Beer Block is described on the festival’s blog as a “more budget-friendly” beer fest. “This is perfect for seasoned beer lovers who don’t want to travel high and low for a good pastime. Because of the large space, beer enthusiasts [are] able to enjoy the festivities without the feeling of being in a mosh pit,” the blog stated.
Advance tickets for the Craft Beer Block are $25, rising to $30 the day of the event. Tickets include 12 four-ounce samples and a commemorative glass. Organizers said there will also be “beer-friendly bites” available for purchase, all from North Park restaurants. Entry into the Craft Beer block ends at 5:15 p.m.
Live entertainment rounds out the festival, with five stages placed along University Avenue. The main stage will be located at the intersection of 30th Street and University Avenue, and bands from almost all music genres will be represented.
“The local bands featured on this stage will engage your senses both musically and visually,” organizers said. “Musicians range in age from kids to seasoned professionals.”
There is also a World Music Stage at Grim and University avenues, with performances starting at 11:30 a.m., a Beats & Eats stage near the food court and the Dance Stage at 32nd Street and University Avenue, hosting over 23 different groups.
“Fine Arts in Motion will entertain audiences of all ages at the 32nd Street Dance Stage featuring performances by … over 300 dancers from all over San Diego,” organizers said.
Most performances will end closer to the 6 p.m. event end, however the Bar Pink Stage, located in the beer garden, will have bands throughout the evening, with the Wild Wild Wets taking the stage at 8 p.m.
“Located in the Public House Beer Garden on University Avenue and 31st Street, the Bar Pink stage is an eclectic mix of Indie Rock bands,” organizers said. “Find new sounds of San Diego and dance into the dark as the party in the Public House is extended into evening hours.”
Parking in the North Park parking garage, located at 3829 29th St., will be free for the day. Additionally, the San Diego Bike Coalition will be hosting a free bicycle valet to help decrease parking congestion at 30th Street and University Avenue. San Diego Metro buses will be running as well: lines 2, 6, 7 and 10.
For complete information, including ticket purchase, visit northparkfestivalofarts.com.
1 a.m. – School of Rock
11:50 a.m. – Chess Wars
12:40 p.m. – Fashion Show
1 p.m. – Midnight Pine
1:50 p.m. – Michael McGraw and the Butchers
2:40 p.m. – Bulletins
3:30 p.m. – Fasion Show
3:50 p.m. – I Wish I
4:40 p.m. – The Palace Ballroom
Beats & Eats Stage
11 a.m. – The San Diego Mandolin Orchestra
11:50 a.m. – Bossa Lounge Project
1 p.m. – Fat Man’s Misery
2:30 p.m. – Generik & Anek (LNC)
3:15 p.m. – Bee-Hive
4 p.m. – Lips
4:45 p.m. – Afrojazziacs
Bar Pink Stage
1 p.m. – Bloody Mary Bastards
2 p.m. – Gone Baby Gone
3 p.m. – Okapi Sun
4 p.m. – The Kabbs
5 p.m. – Stevie & the Hi-Stax
6 p.m. – The Widows
7 p.m. – Tropical Popsicle
8 p.m. – Wild Wild Wets
11 a.m. – TOPS – Creative Dance Theatre
11:15 a.m. – Eveoke – Impulse Performing Group
11:30 a.m. – Jam Time Dance
11:45 a.m. – Alma Latina
12 p.m. – Zazz Productions
12:15 p.m. – City Ballet Junior Company
12:30 p.m. – Laurie Muniz
12:45 p.m. – Pride of Polynesia
1 p.m. – Casa Familiar
1:30 p.m. – Stage 7
1:45 p.m. – Kroc Kids
2 p.m. – Bonita Vista HS
2:15 p.m. – A Time to Dance
2:30 p.m. – Visionary Dance Theatre
2:45 p.m. – Vernetta Dance Studio
3 p.m. – Vernetta Dance Studio
3:15 p.m. – Vernetta Dance Studio
3:30 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan Dance Theatre
3:45 p.m. – Klika Scholarship Award
4 p.m. – Axxiom Dance
4:15 p.m. – Flamenco Sur
4:30 p.m. – Stage 7
4:45 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico Jalisciense
5 p.m. – Sohalia Stars
5:15 p.m. – Flamenco Arana
World Music Stage
11:30 a.m. – Eyo the StiltwalkerSekou
12 p.m. – Zimbeat Mbira
1 p.m. – Son de San Diego
2 p.m. – Sol e Mar
3 p.m. – Flamenco Arana
4 p.m. – Gender Wayang
5 p.m. – Los Bandaritos