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Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair Preview: What's New, What's Coming Back

Sep 30, 2023 10:43PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The 51st annual Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair is set for this coming weekend (October 7 and 8). The popular all-volunteer-run fair features food, games, drinks, crafts, community exhibits, music, a parade, and more. Located on Ardmore between 15th and 21st Streets, it takes up the entire Live Oak Park, Live Oak Field, and Dorsey Field - and draws upwards of 80,000 people over Saturday and Sunday.

To learn more about what fair-goers can look forward to this year, MB News talked with Dana Old, the new Manhattan Beach Fair Executive Board president.

MB News: What's new at the fair this year?

Dana Old: There are lots of new attractions this year that fair-goers can look forward to:

South Stage will be moving to Live Oak Field, allowing for increased visibility and ambience. It will have the same great music and entertainment at its new location on the baseball diamond. We have already renamed the stage to Dietz Stage, honoring the late Pat Dietz and the entire Dietz family, who have made an incredible impact on our South Bay community. Additionally, please join us on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for a stage dedication and special performance from the Dietz Band. 

For the first time, we will be partnering with Rock & Brews in the Beer Garden, and will feature one of their top-rated beers - Colin Cowherd’s The Herd Pilzner. 

We are upping the ante at this year's Battle of the Bands by featuring Manhattan Beach's very own KC Campbell of Vox DJs as emcee.

Better Daze (a.k.a. the Pancho's Band) will be back by popular demand, performing on the Main Stage on Saturday afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Our silent auction is featuring new and exciting items like ticket packages for the WM Phoenix Open, the LA Kings and LA Galaxy, reserved MB Fireworks seating, and an exclusive American Girl doll experience at the brand-new LA store opening this fall, to name a few. The auction is already live - you can visit our website at to bid. Fairgoers can visit our Auction & Raffle Booth on Dorsey Field and purchase raffle tickets to win a Blix e-bike, donated by Jen Caskey Group.

We will offer an expanded Bike Valet presence to better serve our attendees. There is a new, huge location at the South end of the fair in Lot 8 (Valley Drive across from the Manhattan Beach Police Department). We have also expanded the North end location located near 20th Place and Valley. Both areas are sponsored and staffed by volunteers of the Kiwanis Club of Manhattan Beach.

There will be a new and expanded Wine Garden layout with two serving tents. Come join us!

MB News: What are some of the fan-favorite highlights that we can expect to see again?

Dana Old: Of course we will have our traditional opening parade on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.

There will also be 200+ arts and crafts booths, food booths, and paid games. Then we have free games such as the Diaper Derby and Ping Pong Tournament. We'll have prizes donated by local companies Baskin Robbins, Bella Beach Kids, California Pizza Kitchen, Fresh Brothers, Gum Tree, Islands, Johnny Rockets, REI, and Treasured Moments Photography.

At Kid Country, the inflatable jumpers are back, as well as the pony rides, the petting zoo, a magic show, an animal show, plus a balloon artist both days from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

There will also be the traditional Community Showcase performances and art show.

MB News: Will there be a parking shuttle?

Dana Old: Parking at the beach is always at a premium, so we provide our visitors with free parking and free shuttle buses. This is the quickest and easiest way to drive to the fair.

The 2023 Parking and Shuttle pick up location is at the Kinecta Rosecrans parking lot, located at 1440 Rosecrans Ave in Manhattan Beach.

The shuttle hours run from 6:30 a.m.* to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. The shuttle will run approximately every 20-30 minutes throughout each day.

(*Editor's note: On Saturday, one shuttle will run at 6:30 a.m. for vendors. The shuttle will then start operating again at about 9:00 a.m. after the conclusion of the Manhattan Beach 10K race.)

MB News: How can someone volunteer for the fair? Is there an area of greatest need?

Dana Old: We are happy to accept volunteers, ages 12+, and students can earn community service credits for volunteering. All volunteers receive a Fair Volunteer T-shirt. You can sign up at We are still looking for some help in Kid Country.

MB News: You probably aren't ready to think about "after the fair" yet, but after the fair, where do the proceeds go?

Dana Old: The proceeds from the fair are directed to civic engagement, event execution and scholarships and grants to non-profit civic and booster organizations, and deserving local students. Last year, the fair awarded three scholarships to Mira Costa High School seniors, and we hope to increase the scholarships next year with funds raised from the silent auction.

(Editor's note: Last year, the Hometown Fair silent auction raised $11,826.)

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