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A Family-Friendly Memorial Day Celebration in Beautiful Southern California

If your ideal getaway includes majestic mountain landscapes, shimmering lakes, and lush rolling hills, then Santee, California is the spot for you. Here visitors will find an excellent example of the gorgeous natural landscapes that Southern California has to offer. The Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve is the ideal location to experience the outdoors. This 194-acre park surrounds seven lakes and features ample opportunities for fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, canoeing, camping, and more. The city is also becoming a hotbed for craft breweries. Beer enthusiasts will love sampling beers at the Pacific Islander Beer Company, BNS Brewing & Distilling, and Groundswell Brewing Company.


The Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival has been the area’s top summer kick-off event for the past decade, and it will take place May 26 in Downtown Santee. This event is a community celebration and a tribute to veterans, active duty personnel, and fallen soldiers. Attendees will encounter a family-friendly event complete with games, rides, live performances, vendors, beer festival, and more. This year's event features more than 300 vendors selling everything from one-of-a-kind art pieces to artisan foods. In the kid's area, children and families can enjoy a slew of carnival games and rides, as well as inflatable attractions for teens. Patrons can watch and listen to a variety of music and live entertainment on two stages including musicians, dancers, and a variety of performance artists. If you're a foodie, this is the place to be. People can purchase meals from a variety of local restaurants and vendors including El Guero’s Mexican Food, Coffee Corner, 52 East Neighborhood Eatery, and more. The area is well known for its craft brewing scene and attendees (over 21) can sample beers from Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada, and Copper Collar Distillery. interviewed Event Representative, Chloe Janda, to learn more about this all-ages community celebration.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

CJ: This is the 10th year for the Santee Street Fair and 5th year for the Craft Beer Festival.


RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?

CJ: There will be more than 30,000 attendees from all over the region.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

CJ: All ages and demographics enjoy the event, and we see a lot of families and children. There are things to do for all kinds of attendees like carnival rides, a kids zone, shopping, two stages of constant entertainment and a beer garden.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

CJ: It's a community celebration for all that takes a special holiday and reinforces respect for the military in each attendee. We honor veterans, active duty and fallen soldiers of all branches of our armed forces. We are hosting a free, open to the public exhibit of Fallen Soldiers of California from the War on Terror that will be on display at the San Diego Christian College located at 200 Riverview Parkway.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What activities can I expect as an attendee?

CJ: There will be family-friendly games and carnival rides, activities for teens, live music and entertainment, over 300 various food and vendor booths, artists, a memorial exhibit, and craft beer festival.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

CJ: Local Santee resident and radio host on KGB FM, Clint August, will be our Master of Ceremonies for the 10th consecutive year. Two community stages with continuous live music and performances will be at the event. The community stages will feature various acts performed by Expressions Dance and Movement Center, Champion Gymnastics and Cheer, Staump Music School, City of Santee Recreational Services, as well as locally featured bands from around the region.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

Local fare from restaurants such as Rita’s Italian Ice, Chick-fil-A, El Guero’s Mexican Food, the Coffee Corner and even breakfast from a local Boy Scouts Troop! Preview a partial menu from 52 East Neighborhood Eatery slated to open doors in Santee later next month, or try Leilani’s Tropical Mexican Grill – a creation from the previous owners of K39 Taco Shop in Santee. Looking for something you can’t find in Santee? We will also feature Hunter Steakhouse, Doggus Gus and Ledesma’s to fill your needs. For those wanting some more traditional fair food, well have Hawaiian Honey Cones, kettle corn, Gnarley Nachos and favorites like funnel cake from The Sweet Stop. Anyone thirsty yet? Go into the beer garden for the best Craft Beer Festival in East County featuring drinks from BNS Brewing & Distilling Co., Creative Creature Brewing, Groundswell Brewing Co., Mike Hess Brewing Co., Guinness, Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada, Copper Collar Distillery, and more!


RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere?

CJ: It’s family and child-friendly, plus, there are plenty of activities for adults. Dogs are allowed on leashes, and people can purchase treats and toys at multiple pet-themed vendors.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

CJ: Yes, the vendors are local businesses, and the event provides increased exposure for all participants. It is a celebration of the community by the community.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

CJ: It’s an important San Diego community Memorial Day celebration that is looked forward to every year. It honors all the veterans, troops, and active duty personnel that fight to help maintain our way of life in a fun and welcoming atmosphere.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

CJ: There’s something for everyone to enjoy. The event is meaningful and supportive of military families and personnel. It’s the perfect way to spend a day with the entire family!


For more information about the Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival, please visit the event website.