Fun in the sun: Main Street’s Summer Soulstice returns this weekend

Santa Monica skies may currently be a dark and gloomy gray but that won’t stop an annual Main Street celebration from shining brighter than ever this weekend.

Summer Soulstice returns to Main Street this Sunday, bringing with it the live music, shopping, and more event-goers have grown accustomed to.

This year’s nineteenth iteration of the event, however, will be Summer Soulstice’s largest in both scope and size; a full mile of Main Street will be closed from Pico to Marine and will house over 100 local vendors, six stages for music and beer and wine gardens.

“It’s a big deal,”  Hunter Hall, executive director of the Main Street Business Improvement Association, said. “It’s a feel-good event for everyone. We have better bands, an area for kids, an area for pets… It’s a huge morale booster for businesses and restaurants in the area and we have something for everyone.”

In addition to being beneficial to businesses and residents, Hall says he and the Main Street Business Improvement Association worked tirelessly with the city to make the largest Summer Soulstice its safest and most walkable yet.

Last year’s near-mile shut down of Main Street was a test-run that gave  city officials confidence that a full-mile Soulstice could be possible and assuage any safety concerns.

This year’s event will feature one road pass-through to allow some traffic to get by, alleviating congestion concerns. Perhaps most importantly to many pedestrians, there will be no scooters or electronically-assisted bikes from major scooter companies allowed inside the event.

According to Hall, all of the big scooter and e-bike players — Lyft, Jump, Lime, Bird — are “being very flexible with us” and enforcing geo-fencing around the area, deactivating scooters in the festival’s walk path.

Hall says he hopes while walking the mile stretch of Main that residents take time to familiarize themselves with the restaurants and businesses that call the street home and hopefully frequent them more.  “It’s great for them to see whats possible,” he said.

Joe Pipersky — owner of Main Street restaurants Holy Guacamole and Cowabunga Republic — agreed with Hall, saying Main can be a ghost town. However, if just for a day, Summer Soulstice changes that.

“Foot traffic on Main Street is always bad,” Pipersky said. “Aside from St. Patrick’s Day, Summer Soulstice is always the busiest day of the year.”

At the end of the day, Hall says the event is about celebrating Main and just having fun.

“It’s consistently rated as not just one of the best events in the Westside, but one of the best in LA, period. It’s going to be bigger and better. If you can find something better to do this Sunday, please let me know.”

Summer Soulstice is open to all ages and takes place Sunday, June 23 from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Admission to the event is free. Tickets for the Firestone Beer Garden are $15 and tickets for the VIP Bar Hopper are $45. For more information, please visit https://www.mainstreetsm.com/summer-soulstice/

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