September 28 & 29, 2019 - 10am-6pm, Palmetto Ave. in Pacifica

Author Archive

Fog Fest: A Unique Pacifica Celebration – Essay by Erik Piro

Erik Piro from Pacifica won second place in the first annual Essay Contest 2018.

Fog…it’s a mysterious phenomenon of nature.  Sometimes it rolls into Pacifica quickly, while at other times it slowly creeps in from afar.  It hugs our coastal shores, hangs in the valleys, and other times lingers around for a few more minutes than anticipated.  It’s a friend to some people and a foe to others. However, one thing that fog is to everyone is a cause for celebration every September during the Pacific Coast Fog Fest!

People are amazed at how fog is celebrated during Fog Fest each year.  During its weekend celebration, fog becomes a living form that binds Pacifica together in a number of ways that are unique to Pacifica.

Fog Fest celebrates life in Pacifica.  During the Fog Fest, residents as well as local businesses celebrate life together with a wide variety of local music, food and beverage, arts and crafts and activities.  A true sense of community is displayed during the whimsical Fog Fest Parade where the fog calls on its friend, the mermaid, to lead the lively procession. Fog inspires the famous Fog Cutter drink that is enjoyed by festival goers and winds its way into arts and crafts available for purchase.  It encourages families to have fun together during the Family Fun Fest where a variety of games and activities encourage everyone to play.

Fog Fest connects people, even just for one weekend. Fog Fest is that special time of year when a large majority of the town comes out to enjoy the festivities.  Even visitors from out of town and from across the U.S. make the journey to Pacifica, often in curiosity of just how fog is celebrated. It’s a weekend of fun with family, friends, neighbors, and those that you might not have seen for many years, providing a chance to catch up with life.  Some people shop, others eat and drink, some dance to the live music, and others play at the Family Fun Fest. No matter what people do, everyone has a good time together as a community.

Finally, Fog Fest inspires creativity.  Whether it is a colorful float in the parade or one of the hundreds of arts and crafts booths, creativity shines at the Fog Fest.  Festival goers truly are treated to a sight and sound spectacle. From the moment festival goers enter the festival zone, live music fills the air.  Local musicians of all musical genres get the crowds dancing with some of their favorite songs. Yes, dancing in the street really does happen in Pacifica!  Continuing to walk past the multiple stages of music, local and national artists display custom made and one of a kind gifts, including custom photography, jewelry, fashion apparel, glass, sculptures, and much more.  Some of these artistic gifts are inspired by the fog while others beckon the sun or the beautiful California coastline. The Fog Fest is the perfect place to treat yourself to something special or start your holiday shopping a bit early.  Of course, one can’t forget to make a stop at the giant sand sculpture to gaze in awe at the sandy masterpiece or the photo contest exhibit that showcases amazing photos that capture the essence of life in Pacifica. No matter where you turn at Fog Fest, there is always something that will capture your eyes and perk up your ears.

So, just like the fog that comes and goes into town, another Fog Fest will soon vanish.  However, the good times and celebrations of this unique festival will be remembered and will be something to look forward to again next year.  Happy Fog Fest, Pacifica!

Oh! What a Parade – Essay by Kimberly Schultz

Kimberly Schultz lives in Fairmont, she won the $100 prize for best essay, in the first annual Fog Fest Essay Contest 2018.

       “You want me to what?” I asked my daughter’s dance teacher.

        “I want you and your daughter to walk in the parade at the FogFest,” she responded nonchalantly.

        Now don’t get me wrong! I love a parade… from the sidelines, though!

        “Ohhh-kaaaa,” I hesitantly agreed. And boy, was I in for an adventure!

          Every year since we started dating and right up until welcoming our two daughters, my husband and I have joined in on the celebration of Pacifica taking in every aspect of the FogFest – except the Discover Pacifica Parade. We had nothing against the parade, we just chose to begin our venture in early afternoon where we have always gathered the family and sauntered down Palmetto Avenue. Our noses always lead the way to some truly unique food. We always sample a smorgasbord of flavors, knowing that our purchases support great local community groups! We become one with the sea of people, leisurely peeking our heads under every white canopy that line both sides of Palmetto Avenue. Every cubicle promises a unique treasure. We finger the handmade crafts from local artists, take in the glorious sights of one-of-a-kind sculptures, and spoil ourselves with unique gifts.

        That year, five years ago, when my daughter and I were asked to join the Discover Pacifica Parade, what a wonderful new world it opened for my family. On that opening day, we anxiously arrived very early and waited in our parade order at the far end of Brighton Road. I watched as the Girl Scouts adorned in brown and blue vests eagerly hopped around; the Vallemar Cabrillo Band blew their horns and pounded their drums in hopes to be heard; their vibrations echoing throughout the streets; preschools dotted with clever vehicles to get their wee little ones safely down Palmetto Avenue; the 4H Club reassuring their frightened animals. “Wow!” I thought.

        Wow was an understatement when the parade actually began and I watched as my timid daughter proudly bounced down the busy street in support of her dance school. In the rows of smiling, cheering onlookers that waved us through, I recognized friends, neighbors, and even the checkout cashier at our local grocery store.

        I never felt so proud to be a part of something so meaningful. Our little Fog Fest parade had a purpose and I truly realized that this parade gave tribute to all the hardworking people and businesses from our tight-knit community. It was in those moments that I saw the pride my daughter took in dancing with her friends in one of our local thriving dance schools. I’m certain those moments were what all marchers in this festive parade felt.

        From then on, my daughters and I have joined in on this grand showcase of talent. I have marched with both my girls with the Girl Scouts, Vallemar Cabrillo School Band, and with my youngest daughter’s dance school. Somewhere along the way I graduated from a devoted marcher to spectator. My husband and I now watch our two daughters, who are Pacificans born and raised, proudly march in the parade in support of our little community. Their contributions to our community is honored through this spectacular parade.


Celebrating 34 Years September 28 & 29, 2019

10am - 6pm on Palmetto Ave. in Pacifica.
Admission is Free!

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