CLOVER PARK ‚Äî Over 10,000 people are expected to flock to Clover Park this Saturday for the 22nd annual Santa Monica Festival, a celebration of everything that is the city by the sea.
The festival is the largest city organized event and will cost Santa Monica more than $100,000 for 2013‚Äôs gamut of activities and festivities which have a dual theme of the arts and sustainability.
There will be 10 separate zones within the festival ‚Äî including the debut of the Art Zone ‚Äî all equipped with their own unique and themed entertainment.
“It‚Äôs not so much about how big it is, it‚Äôs the fact that it‚Äôs the main city community festival,” said Allison Ostrovsky, cultural affairs supervisor for City Hall. “This is the event where you will probably be exposed to the most city resources and local organizations. ‚Ä¶ It pulls together a lot of different parts of the city and showcases them in one day.”
With over 50 different organizations in attendance, the event is a who‚Äôs who of local businesses with the Pico Improvement Organization, the Santa Monica Conservancy, and Santa Monica Little League just a taste of those who will be there.
To promote more sustainable forms of transportation, Big Blue Bus will be offering free rides to and from the festival, with a coupon available for download on their website.
Saturday will also be a great day for Santa Monicans to take their bikes for a spin because nonprofit Santa Monica Spoke will be offering free bike valet to all cyclists.
In addition, every resident who rides their bike to the festival will be entered in a raffle to win a Trek mountain bike.
And just in case you win the bike and you have no idea how to take care of it, there will be workshops throughout the day emphasizing bicycle handling and repair.
The creative minded will want to visit the Art Zone and the Mobile Mural Lab, which is what you get when you mix a van with a traveling art studio. The interactive mural will be open to the public and currently has 100 layers of paint caked on its mobile canvas.
Artist Cassandra Tondro will be hosting a painting workshop for kids and adults using recycled house paint to create their artwork, courtesy of the Household Hazardous Waste facility.
“Cassandra will be painting using used house paint, that‚Äôs the one thing that meets both of our criteria,” said Andrew Basmajian, communications coordinator for the Office of Sustainability and the Environment.
“Sustainability includes a lot of things, like having a population that‚Äôs engaged and informed and the festival goes to the roots of these things,” he said.
The activities found at the festival are as diverse as the city itself, with self-defense classes, a chef‚Äôs challenge, and a Michael Jackson flash mob all on the agenda.
“I think the reason why the [Santa Monica Festival] has staying power is the commitment of all the elected officials and [city employees],” Basmajian said. “The festival at its essence is the signature event of the city.”
The Santa Monica Festival will start at 11 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. Clover Park is located at 2600 Ocean Park Blvd. Entry is free of charge and open to all. For more information, visit smgov.net/festival.