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Del Mar Village Association’s Summer Solstice event is a seaside soirée featuring food from local restaurants, craft cocktails and beachside music on June 20 at Powerhouse Park in Del Mar. Courtesy photo
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Celebrating summer solstice Del Mar style

There are many things about the summer solstice that have always appealed to me, and for many years, I celebrated it in a big way. For most of us, it harkens back to our youth, when it officially marked the beginning of the fun, carefree days by the ocean, lake, farm, city or wherever you let loose, before those first summer jobs and other pre-adulting preparations.

For me, in northern Michigan, it meant it did not get dark until 10 p.m., and we took full advantage of that. There is something special about cruising around a glassy inland lake on a pontoon boat, catching fish, swimming in the warm water, and listening to some Bob Seger that holds a special place in my heart.

I actually carried my love of the solstice into adulthood, hosting many sizable summer solstice parties in my Leucadia backyard, complete with a stage, multiple bands, Moxie Theatre performing scenes from upcoming shows, and fabulous food, of course. Well, it seems the folks in Del Mar share my passion for the solstice and have been celebrating it in a big way for many years now.

I caught up with event and program director Beth Gutierrez recently to learn more about how the Del Mar Village Association celebrates in style.  

LTP: As a longtime fan of celebrating the Summer Solstice, I’m curious about your motivation for organizing this fabulous event and your role.

BG: The Del Mar Village Association has been hosting Summer Solstice for 19 years if you can believe it. Summer Solstice is how we welcome summer to San Diego, our organization’s biggest fundraising event. DMVA’s primary function is to support the economic vitality of downtown Del Mar Village, and one of the ways we do that is through special events like this one. Net proceeds from the event benefit DMVA so it can continue its mission of supporting Del Mar’s beloved small businesses (folks can learn more about DMVA here).

I lead the planning and production of DMVA’s events, though our entire small but mighty team contributes to the success of our events and all of DMVA’s programming. This will be my sixth Summer Solstice event.

The city of Del Mar allows Summer Solstice to be hosted at Powerhouse Park. Courtesy photo

LTP: The location is amazing. Please share with readers where the event is being held.

BG: The City of Del Mar generously allows DMVA to create an event venue at Powerhouse Park, directly adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, which makes this event like no other in San Diego County. Guests get to eat delicious food, drink top-notch sips, and dance to music just steps from the sand. It’s pretty special! 

LTP: The list of participating restaurants is impressive. Who is participating this year, and what is the format for food?

BG: Summer Solstice showcases the best food from within Del Mar Village, and more than 15 of our award-winning restaurants are participating:

Adelaide at L’Auberge Del Mar, An’s Hatmakers, Beeside Balcony, Brigantine Del Mar, Del Mar Pizza, Il Fornaio, Jake’s Del Mar, Monarch Ocean Pub, Pacifica Del Mar, Poseidon Restaurant, Sbicca, Stratford Court Café, Tamarindo, The Cottage (coming soon to Del Mar Plaza), Viewpoint Brewing Co. and Zel’s Del Mar.

Guests can expect elevated, robust bites – think lobster and shrimp sliders (Monarch Ocean Pub), chicken mole bites (Tamarindo), fried zucchini blossoms (Il Fornaio), and blackened salmon (Brigantine).

LTP: The beverage selection is also stellar. What mix of participants do you have this year?

BG: This year features our most exciting beverage lineup yet, with not-to-be-missed cocktails, craft beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options: Caposaldo, Carruth Cellars, Casamigos, Cazadores, Curious Juniper, Fall Brewing, HALL Wines, Kove, Mate Maker, Prestons’ Ginger Beer, Propaganda Wine Co., Rombauer Vineyards, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, Topo Chico, Viewpoint Brewing Co., Volcan De Mi Tierram and Woodinville Whiskey.

LTP: For me, at least, Summer Solstice is about the music accompanying the longest day of the year. What entertainment do you have planned?

BG: It definitely is. We always want to have music that sets the mood. This year, we’re bringing back celebrated local performer Ben Benavente, accompanied by the Stateside Bruddahs, island–style music featuring reggae beats and instrumental looping. It’s the perfect music for an event right on the ocean.

LTP: Is there anything else you would like to add?

BG: Summer Solstice sells out yearly, so we encourage attendees to get their tickets early! Our VIP tickets, which grant early access to the venue at 4 p.m., sold out a few weeks ago, but general admission tickets are still available at We are thrilled to welcome everyone back to ring in the summer the way only Del Mar can. See you there.

My advice would be to start your solstice weekend at this amazing event on June 20, then hit up Summer Fun on the 101 in Leucadia on June 22. It sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of summer.


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