Leave your cash at home for free fair

by Courtney Brown

For more than three decades, the annual Adams Avenue Street Fair has been a cultural San Diego tradition and has grown in size as well as variety each year.

It is one of the largest free music fairs in California, expanding on seven blocks with 90 music acts on seven stages this year. While the emphasis circulates around the medley of musical acts, the two-day event promotes local breweries, restaurants and artists. The event this weekend will offer four beer gardens, carnival rides and 300 food and craft vendors.

The plethora of musical talent lined up for the weekend ranges from blues to punk to Afro-Latin funk. Some of the acts will include the rockabilly sounds of the Dave and Deke Combo, the indie rock of Wild Belle, Kofi Baker’s Cream Experience, the punk bluegrass of Old Man Markley and the “raw soul” of San Diego’s The Styletones.

Whether or not you dig blues music, one act not to miss is Zac Harmon and his band. The Mississippi native will be performing his mixture of traditional “real deal” blues with a modern rock texture at 4:15-5:30 p.m. on Sunday on the Hawley Blues Stage. The singer and guitarist, who recently released a widely well-reviewed album called “From the Root,” has been known to play Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan classics, in addition to his own blues and gospel-fueled songs.

Also performing on Sunday is self-described “electronic tribal dance party” music group Okapi Sun. The duo, Leo and Dallas, share vocal duties, as well as play the drums, synth, guitar and viola. Although relatively new to the music business, Okapi Sun is already making a statement on the local music scene. The group is a nominee in the 2013 San Diego Music Awards for Best Pop.

It’s rare for such a great opportunity to hear real, organic musical talent, eat some good food and support local businesses for no cost at all. The Adams Avenue Street Fair will last from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. Those looking for a good time, great food and even better music, be sure to check it out.

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Photo courtesy of Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/MCT