Downtown Briefs October 2016

Posted: October 7th, 2016 | Downtown Briefs, News, Opinion & News | No Comments


The largest Italian festival on the West Coast returns to San Diego’s Little Italy on Sunday, Oct. 9. Over 125,000 attendees are expected to celebrate authentic Italian and Sicilian culture with entertainment, food and Gesso Italiano.

Italian chalk art (“gesso Italiano”) is one of the most popular attractions at FESTA! (Courtesy Olive PR)

Italian chalk art (“gesso Italiano”) is one of the most popular attractions at FESTA! (Courtesy Olive PR)

“FESTA! is not only a celebration of Little Italy San Diego’s historic past, but also a time to recognize the hard work the Little Italy Association has put into making San Diego’s Little Italy a coveted neighborhood — transforming it into one of the top neighborhoods in the country,” said Marco Li Mandri, chief executive administrator of the Little Italy Association in a press release. “FESTA! is also a time to celebrate our future and each other — all the Little Italy residents, community members and business and property owners that take pride in our neighborhood. We want to showcase our community’s success and Italian love with everyone and FESTA! is the perfect event to do just that.”

Established in 1994 with just 10 vendors, FESTA! now takes place over 12 blocks of Little Italy and will include 150 vendors. The festivities will be held from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. with Italian music on three stages, a Sicilian flag processional, street stickball, bocce ball tournaments and lots of Italian food.

For more information, visit 


Over 550 Downtown residents mingled among tents, lanterns and chandeliers recently, while bringing in more than $500,000 for Girl Scouts of San Diego during this year’s annual fundraiser, “Urban Glampout.”

Anthony and Sara Napoli of Little Italy were among those helping to keep scouting available and affordable for local girls. (Photo by Dean Barker)

Anthony and Sara Napoli of Little Italy were among those helping to keep scouting available and affordable for local girls. (Photo by Dean Barker)

Guests played games while earning badges, placed bids on silent auction items, tried their hands at archery and crafts, listened to live music, danced, enjoyed gourmet food and drink and even roasted some s’mores around a campfire by the end of the evening.

Themed after the popular cultural vacation trend called “glamping,” the event took place at Girl Scouts Headquarters, located in Balboa Park. It was the 19th annual fundraiser for the local Girls Scouts organization, which includes more than 35,000 girls in grades K-12.

Co-chairs for this year’s fundraiser were Sue and John Major, with Liza Crisafi as committee chair. Major Executive Search acted as platinum sponsor; with Qualcomm and Wells Fargo as silver sponsors; and bronze sponsors included Mission Federal Credit Union, Nadine and Carlo Daleo, Patti Roscoe, Barbara Dickey and Jim Tiffany.

For more information visit


Over 5,000 square feet of vendor space — filled with more products for the active male than have ever been presented together in one place causing it to be dubbed the “ultimate guy’s playground” — will soon land at Broadway Pier’s Port Pavilion along the Embarcadero North, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Presented by Sycuan Golf Resort and Broadcast Company of the Americas (BCA) — owners of local radio stations XPRS 1090-AM The Max; XEPE ESPN 1700-AM; and XPRS-FM 105.7 MAX FM — The Big Boys Toy Show will be an entire day filled with cars, motorcycles, trucks, luxury RVs, boats, Segways, the latest in hover boards, electronics, gaming, hobby crafts, home theaters and other furnishings, local sports celebrities, sports team cheerleaders and much more.

Food trucks, offering pizza, seafood, tacos, ice cream and other desserts will also be on hand as well as a craft beer garden.

“We are excited to assemble an incredible array of extraordinary exhibits of wheels, waves and wings, including interactive displays to see, touch and experience, all under one roof, all in one place,” said Mike Glickenhaus, president and market manager of BCA, in a press release.

“Here’s your chance to experience up close every amazing and awesome toy, gizmo, gadget and gear you’ve ever dreamed about, plus hang out with famous sports celebrities and San Diego’s top radio sports talk-show personalities,” Glickenhaus continued. “This will be a unique, all-day event where you’ll find everything a man wants and needs under one roof. We’re bringing the best to you. This is not your average trade show, it’s an action-packed event not to be missed.”

Appearances are expected by the following sports celebrities: Chargers offensive lineman Orlando Franklin; Padres ownership partner Peter Seidler; former Padres players Tony Gwynn Jr., Kurt Bevacqua, and Randy Jones; former Chargers players Billy Ray Smith, Stephen Cooper; Pete Shaw, Burt Grossman, John Carney, Darren Bennett, Willie Buchanon, and Vencie Glenn; and legendary Gulls player Willie O’Ree. In addition, meet members from the San Diego Gulls Skate Girls, the San Diego Charger Girls, the Padres Pad Squad, the Tijuana Xolos Girls and more.

The Big Boy’s Toy Show will take place Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Broadway Pier’s Port Pavilion, located at 1000 N. Harbor Drive, Downtown. Tickets are just $10 for adults, with children under 14 welcome free along with a paying adult. Proceeds go to Computers 2 San Diego Kids, an organization that refurbishes computers to give needy children equal access to technology to assist in their education. For more information visit


The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (SDCHM) has received a $25,000 grant from the Parker Foundation to support its multicultural education programs.

SDCHM is the only museum in San Diego to offer independent courses on Chinese history, art and culture that “adhere to Common Core Standards.”

SDCHM’s programs — which explore the histories of Asia, China and Chinese America — are utilized by approximately 2,500 students each year. Nearly 37,000 students have been served over its 20-year history.

“Our educational programs seek to empower children and adults to discover the relevance of Chinese history in profoundly personal ways,” said Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres, executive director of SDCHM. “Given our current limited resources for education programs, this $25,000 Parker Grant will enable us to take our educational offerings to a whole new level — providing the resources to improve access, training, and development, as well as the momentum to continue these programs moving forward.”

Located in the heart of Downtown’s Asian Pacific Historic District Museum at 404 Third Ave., the SDCHM plans to use the Parker grant to maximize its educational outreach and help subsidize the cost for Title 1 schools to visit the museum.

Learn more about SDCHM at


pumpkin2The National Comedy Theatre (NCT) will be treating audiences to Halloween improv over the weekend of Friday, Oct. 28–Sunday, Oct. 29 at their theater in Mission Hills, located at 3717 India St.

The Spooktacular is an annual occurrence, but this year’s version will feature scenes and games never done before with creepy themes to be created from audience suggestions. Organizers said audience members “will witness the weirdest ending to a comedy show they have ever seen. No. Lie.”

Performances will be held: Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:30, 9:45 and 11:45 p.m. (the last show is “unrated” and not for children); and Sunday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students.

Visit to pre-purchase tickets.


The annual San Diego zydeco, blues and crawfish festival, Gator By The Bay, has extended their deadline for artist submissions for its official 2017 festival poster.

The deadline for artwork is now 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31.

“We are looking for an artist who can capture the dynamic essence of the Gator By The Bay Festival,” said Peter Oliver, the event’s producer. “This family-friendly music and food event showcases the vibrant, colorful culture, music and cuisine of Louisiana. With musical genres which include Cajun, blues, zydeco, Latin, rockabilly and country, the multi-day event celebrates fun, friendship, life and dance – or as they say in French, ‘joie de vivre’, joy of living.

gator-by-the-bay-logo“We look forward to selecting from a variety of creative submissions, and providing exposure to the artist who best portrays the festival’s spirit,” he said.

Artists of all skill levels are invited to enter artwork that is drawn, painted, electronically created or composed of mixed media. Those interested should initially submit a sketch, preliminary drawing or concept as well as a description of the medium to be used to and put “2017 Art Entry” in the subject line.

The 16th annual festival will be held May 11–14, 2017.

For more information, visit for artwork guidelines and to submit entries.


Community HousingWorks (CHW) will hold their DreamBuilder party on Tuesday, Oct. 18 in the Shiley Special Events Suite on the ninth floor of the San Diego Central Library, located at 330 Park Blvd., in East Village.

Councilmember Todd Gloria will serve as emcee for a short program about CHW. The program will also feature the story of someone who is “achieving their dreams from inside a CHW community.”

CHW is responsible for a number of affordable housing projects around town, giving those who struggle to get by place to call home. Two of the most notable developments are Kalos, which opened in 2013 on Florida Street near University Avenue in Uptown and the soon-to-be-built LGBT-affirming senior housing on the corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue, also in Uptown. The project broke ground in July and is expected to be complete by summer of 2017.

The DreamBuilder event will allow attendees, both longtime supporters and those wishing to learn more about the organization, to mix and mingle over food and drinks and celebrate another year with CHW. Donations given the night of the event will be matched one-to-one by a group of donors.

The party will be held from 5:30–8 p.m. and tickets are $75. Proceeds will go to CHW’s community programs. Visit for tickets.

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