Street Fair Offically Opens Summer
• The 32nd annual Palos Verdes Street Fair opened the summer on Peninsula.
Palos Verdes residents and visitors alike enjoyed the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s 32nd annual Palos Verdes Street Fair and Music Festival from June 7-9.
As an independent, nonprofit membership organization, the Chamber of Commerce strives to promote the community and bring people together by putting on educational programs, networking events and more.
The Fair is an example of an event that the Chamber set up to reach out to the community and even catch the attention of government officials, congressmen and assembly members.
Through the work put in by the president and CEO of the Chamber, Eileen Hupp, and several other paid staff members and volunteers, the Street Fair and Music Festival allowed people throughout the South Bay to enjoy the beginning of summer.
“The PV Fair is the single largest event in the area that brings together tens of thousands of people in the course of one weekend,” Hupp said.
Since the Fair is so large, the Chamber prepares for the event from the beginning of the year. The Chamber takes care of the logistics, which includes arranging for permits, licenses or insurance; hiring the bands; getting the vendors to come and doing all the marketing. The Fair’s success reflects the effort put in by the staff.
“Our fair has a reputation for being very family-friendly, well-organized and well-run, and I hear this from people who come: We are not a rowdy crowd,“ Hupp said. “We are families, grandparents, parents, young kids, students and more who are here to celebrate the beginning of summer, which gives a nice, warm community feeling that other fairs usually do not provide.”
This year, the Fair had 25 rides in the carnival, almost double that of last year. This was possible through the available space in the upper parking lot given to the Chamber of Commerce from the Peninsula Shopping Center.
The new space was used to hold the rides intended for the younger children, which was an idea that Hupp had wanted to implement for several years. In addition to a larger carnival, the amount of booths increased this year as well, and allowed visitors to enjoy the wide variety of food, art, goods and more.
Peninsula High School sophomore Ian Miller appreciated the bigger carnival this year, and agrees with Hupp’s idea for a distinction between the rides for younger and older kids.
“I think it is cool for the younger elementary and middle school kids, and it seems as though there are more of them attending each year, but I think the high schoolers should get something else more thrilling and exclusive from the younger kids,” Miller said.
However, the fair is not exclusive just to young children and families. The first night of the Fair is reserved for the teenagers, also known as “Teen Night.”
Peninsula High School sophomore Ashley Yoon had the opportunity to experience Teen Night this year, and enjoyed the novelty of the rides as well as the familiarity of the Fair itself.
“I like that [the Fair] is like a small, hidden gem our community has, which is unique,” Yoon said. “It is a small event in Palos Verdes that not even all of the residents of Palos Verdes know about, and it only happens for three days a year, so once you miss it, you have to wait until next year. If you do attend it, though, it is an experience you will treasure.”
Hupp shares similar sentiments, especially in regards to the outreach of the Fair. Each year, a recurring obstacle Hupp and the Chamber of Commerce face is getting more people to attend the Fair, especially those from the community. Since this event strives to promote the community, having more locals know and come to the Fair and Festival would fulfill the purpose of the Fair.
However, even with the presence of social media, the members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as local businesses find it difficult to break through the barrier and get the word out.
Another obstacle that the staff supporting the Palos Verdes Fair experiences each year is increasing costs. The booths, entertainment and performances grow more expensive, but the Fair still remains as a free event, so it becomes increasingly difficult to create revenue from the Fair to pay the higher costs. As a result, sponsors for the Fair become essential to keep it running.
Some of the sponsors include the Trump National Golf Club, Terranea Resort, Malaga Bank, State Farm Insurance, and many more who wish to make the Fair a success. Despite these obstacles, the staff always finds a way to overcome them with the help of the community, and finds that the results are worth the trouble after seeing the excitement and joy the Fair brings.
“The people who come are here to listen to the music, hangout with their friends and dance, because there are not a lot of other opportunities to do that in the community,” Hupp said. “When you see that community stage, and see people dancing, the young families on the carnival rides or the little kids in the petting zoo, it is just such a unique and heartwarming experience.”