Exploring San Diego


38th annual Adams Avenue Street Fair gives area businesses a boost

Posted at 9:34 AM, Sep 20, 2019

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Thousands of people are expected to head to Normal Heights this weekend for the 38th annual Adams Avenue Street Fair, which will provide a big boost for businesses in the area.

“It’s our biggest weekend of the year, by far,” said Mike DiMille, owner of DiMille’s Italian Restaurant.

DiMille’s, located at 3492 Adams Ave., has been around since the very first Adams Ave Street Fair back in 1981.

“I mean, there was barely anything on the avenue; a couple restaurants, a couple bars. Foot traffic was really low,” said DiMille.

This year, thousands of people are expected to pack Adams Avenue for the two-day street fair, which kicks off Saturday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.

According to event organizers, it is the biggest fundraiser for Normal Heights, bringing in $250,000 in two days.

Organizers say the reason for the success of the event is the music.

“We just made a decision years ago to focus on music,” said Scott Kessler, executive director of the event-sponsoring Adams Avenue Business Association. “Our first couple years, it was just one block. The eighth year, it was two blocks long and 30 vendors. Now, we have 300.”

Even more businesses will benefit from the 2019 edition of the massive event. Organizers have added a new section and a 21-and-over stage at Beerfish, off Adams Avenue and 30th Street, taking the event into North Park.

Abel Kaase, the owner of Beerfish, calls this his passion project. He is taking on duties of booking bands and running the stage, all to be part of the event and hopefully boost business on his side of the street.

“It really was about trying to get activity down to this corner so people can see all the great bars and restaurants that are down here,” said Kaase.


The Adams Ave Street Fair starts Saturday, Sept. 20, and runs from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 22, the event will run from 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.

The event will feature 300 vendors, eight stages, a carnival, and four beer gardens.

Click here for more event details.