Everyone is invited to eat and play for a good cause on Memorial Day weekend when Santa Monica hosts the 4th Annual MAINopoly event on Main Street.
What started as a simple fundraiser has grown into a destination celebration for that part of town and officials are hoping for another successful day on May 28.
“The first MAINopoly came together four years ago while we were planning for the SOULstice, and we were looking for a way to raise money,” said Main Street Business Improvement Association, Executive Director Gary Gordon. “Since then it has been an excellent event.”
The spring into summer event will benefit the upcoming Summer SOULstice as well as the Santa Monica based non-profit Heal the Bay.
“As a grassroots organization, we rely on the support of individuals and small businesses in our hometown,” said Heal the Bay Communications Director, Matthew King. “We are honored that the participating merchants continue to see the value we provide our community. The MAINopoly event not only raises needed funds, it also raises awareness.”
The fun foodie event is an interactive version of the classic board game, Monopoly.
Guest are encouraged to dress up like the characters from the board game. Participants receive a game board like map that will include the locations of different businesses along Main Street.
All guest receive food tastings at the various locations in exchange for MAINopoly dollars, which will feature items such as fresh fish ceviche from Enterprise Fish Co., and tastings from participating juiceries, eateries and coffee shops.
“This event has brought more attention to Main St. and the businesses,” said Gordon. “It has allowed people to really discover new places.”
Some restaurants are going above and beyond and offering drink specials which include $4 draft beers, $5 cocktails and $5 shots for those with the official wristbands.
Businesses participating in MAINopoly include Areal, Aussie Pie Kitchen, Bareburger, Basement Tavern, Birdcage, Books and Cookies, Bulletproof Coffee, Dolcenero Gelato, Enterprise Fish Co., Espresso Cielo, Finn McCool’s, Lula Cocina Mexicana, Manchego, Night:Shift, Pink Elephant, Rick’s Tavern, Three twins ice cream and Café 212 Pier, Ashland Hill, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Pressed Juicery, Novel Café, and Beyond o2.
Gordon explains that events this day in age are especially critical for business districts, which is why Main Street continues to host events multiple times throughout the year.
“Yes there is a community aspect to it, but also an economic survival aspect to it. If the economy doesn’t survive the community doesn’t survive,” said Gordon.
Which is why many Main St. businesses have got together to host numerous events that help the business district as well as the community.
The event will include beer gardens, a Kids Zone at Books & Cookies, a “Go to Jail” location and a VIP lounge.
Those who check off all of the locations on their game board and turn it in at the official after party will be entered to win a prize. Each ticket cost $25 in advance and $30 day of event for general admission.
General Admission includes MAINopoly dollars to exchange for tastings at participating locations, food and drink specials.
The event will begin at 3 p.m. and go through 8 p.m. and take place on Main Street between Pier Ave and Bay St. You can check in at Areal Restaurant (2820 Main St.)
For more information you can visit http://mainopolysm.com/ .