Del Mar starts preparing for fair season

Posted at 6:00 AM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 09:00:15-04

Del Mar is now preparing for its most exciting, yet challenging time of the year.

Only about 4,000 people live in the city - but within a matter of weeks more than 100,000 will be there for the fair, and its large sandy beaches.
That presents a series of issues for the county's smallest city.
The Del Mar City Council will meet Monday to fine tune its plan to keep the influx of visitors and their belongings safe.
That includes paying overtime to the Sherriff's department. The move could help fight the annual increase to car break-ins and petty theft in the beach area, it'll also hike DUI enforcement.
Additionally, the city is increasing lifeguard staffing and hours to keep the visitors safe.
Del mar residents say while the town is small, they know the drill. 
Bettina Experton, a longtime Del Mar resident, said while the city is small, she and her neighbors know the drill.
"This is part of the Del Mar story," she said. "The races, the fair, so that's not something new and I think our council knows about the community the needs."
These extra services do cost Del Mar. 
The city expects to spend $40,000 to $50,000 in Sherriff's overtime alone, Deputy Mayor Dave Druker said. 
On that note, one other thing visitors need to be aware of is Del Mar's parking enforcement.
Some spots are enforced 7 days a week - with hours extended to 10 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
The city will add a parking enforcement officer on peak days - starting Memorial weekend.
"We do provide services for close to 5 million people a year, and somehow we do need to pay a little bit of those services through our parking enforcement," Druker said. "Plus our lifeguards are on duty 365 days out of the year."
The fair kicks off Friday, June 1. This year's theme - how sweet it is.