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4 San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 5–18, 2011

FEATURE CityFest celebrates

spirit, rhythm of Hillcrest Festival relights Hillcrest sign

Elena Buckley SDUN Reporter

Underneath the historic Hill-

crest sign stretched across Univer- sity Avenue, the entire community will come together to celebrate the spirit of the neighborhood. On Sun., Aug. 14, from noon to 9 p.m., CityFest will cover six blocks on Fifth Ave., from Brookes to University avenues, branching out on the side streets one block to either side. With more than 250 food and arts and crafts vendors, an expansive beer garden on University between Fifth and Fourth avenues, a large main stage beneath the Hillcrest sign and a water slide on Penn- sylvania Avenue, this enormous street party truly outdoes itself. Since the first CityFest in

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1984, which attracted only 3,000 attendees, the event has grown to 66,000 attendees in 1995 and a whopping 150,000 last year. The rise in attendance is due largely to the year-round planning that the Hillcrest Busi- ness Improvement Association (HBIA) and sponsors—such as Three Olives, Coors and San Diego Pix invest in the affair. Volunteers, community partners and board members also help brainstorm for the event. HBIA’s executive director

Benjamin Nicholls said it costs

The Spirit of Hillcrest (Courtesy of Hillcrest Business Improvement Association)

$100,000 to host CityFest, but the festival also makes money, which is invested in the community. “Last year we made [a profit

of] about $45,000,” said Nicholls. “The money we raised last year is being used to renovate the Hill- crest sign, keep it looking good.” The money this year’s CityFest

will raise isn’t yet allocated for any one specific project, but according to Lisa Weir, HBIA’s communica- tions and marketing program manager, HBIA is considering numerous beautification projects. Nicholls explained that

about three years ago the HBIA changed the direction of the festi- val, taking it back to its roots and focusing on the Hillcrest sign.

“When CityFest first started, it was to memorialize the new Hill- crest sign and the lighting of [it],” said Nicholls. “So what they did was they closed University and had a big party right under the sign.” This year is especially focused on the sign due to its having malfunctioned over the last few months, Weir added, noting that this year’s festival is, in a way, “marrying” historic Hillcrest with the present day, installing new LED lights and revamping the sign for its grand relighting at 8 p.m. the day of the festival. “This CityFest, we’re really capitalizing on all the revitaliza-

see Fest, page 5

Fabrics & notions that speak to the heart

Vietnamese silks, Indian Ikats, Irish & Italian linens, Rayon batiks

A bit of Amy Butler & Kaffe Fassett

Day of the Dead & Frida Kahlo cottons Hand-dyed silk ribbons & cording Japanese Chirimen trims & Private label patterns Unusual & vintage buttons Vintage kimono & haori Handmade one-of-a-kind scarves

2802 Juan St., #15 Old Town San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 295-2802 – Open Tue. to Sat. 10:30 am to 5:00 pm


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