CARLSBAD — For nearly 50 years, the Carlsbad Village Street Faire has attracted tens of thousands of visitors twice yearly to the city’s heart for the largest single-day street fair in the U.S.
And this Sunday, more than 100,000 visitors are expected to descend upon Carlsbad Village to enjoy local vendors, food and family entertainment for this year’s event hosted by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.
The Carlsbad Village Street Faire features more than 900 vendors selling everything from clothes and art to plants and antiques, plus an international food court with over 50 booths and live music at the Rotary Club of Carlsbad’s beer and wine garden.
The Kiwanis Club of Carlsbad will continue its 25-year tradition of hosting a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon at the Carlsbad railroad depot. For children, the Kids Zone features games, a super slide, bounce house, a rock climbing wall, face painting and arts and crafts.
The Carlsbad Village Street Faire runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with courtesy parking and shuttles at The Shoppes at Carlsbad and Poinsettia Train Station. The city will close most of Grand Avenue east from Carlsbad Boulevard Grand to Jefferson Street and all of the cross streets during the all-day event.
“I think what people love about this faire is you get great artisans and a lot of handmade, homemade vendors,” said Bret Schanzenbach, CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. “There’s a great blend of all that. People come back every year and go back to their favorite vendors.”
The Street Faire, starting in 1974, is held twice per year on the first Sunday in May and November, with the lone exception during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
According to Schanzenbach, the pandemic caused some of the Street Faire’s regular vendors to go out of business, but new companies and vendors have since filled those vacant spots. The chamber aims to expand the vendor waitlist, as demand has been very high, to secure a booth and inventory any available space to determine if the fair can expand its footprint.
“We’re constantly looking at ways we can enhance it and tweak it,” Schanzenbach said. “We did lose a little bit of space because when COVID hit, and restaurants were allowed to pop out into public parking spaces to survive.”