Fog Fest returns September 23rd and 24th, 2023

A Sunny Day in Pacifica – Essay by Alexander Perea

In a nest far from Pacifica there was a family of cardinals. The mother and the father had built a nest in late September. The mother then laid her eggs in the nest. There were two eggs in total. During December and January the parents took turns on keeping the eggs warm. Then one day, there was a third egg that wasn’t the same as the other eggs. In the early spring an egg began to shake. Then the next day the egg hatched and the parents named the chick Niko. Then a couple days later the second egg hatched, the parents named him Bud. Then there was the third egg. The third egg didn’t hatch and the parents got depressed. Then in late spring there was a wiggle. The day after there was another wiggle. Then on the sunny, third day, the egg hatched and the parents named her Sunny.

Sunny was a very strange chick compared to others. Niko was big and strong, he hung out with the bigger birds. Bud was smart and had many friends who would play with him. Sunny was a brownish white unlike the red of a cardinal. Sunny didn’t have any friends. She was a lot bigger but weaker than anyone else. She loved to learn and talk about things. She loved to explore the unknown and the mysterious. She wondered what was beyond the forest. Instead of playing Sunny would stay with her parents a lot.

Sunny’s parents told her about the darkest part of the forest. This part of the forest was uncharted and scary. No animal or bird would dare go there. Even though her parents told her all the scary stories, Sunny decided to go anyways. She traveled alone at night so she could be home by morning. Unfortunately it was a stormy night. Around her she could hear thunder and occasionally she saw lightning. Then she got tired of flying and flew into a little hole in the tree. She waited a while and then the thunder kept getting louder. Then from outside the hole lightning struck a tree in front of her.

All of the sudden her heart began to race. She began to breathe heavily, so many thoughts ran through her mind all at once. Some thoughts were nice and happy and others were dark and scary. Fire began to burn the forest. Sunny flew out of the hole and straight home. By the morning everything was on fire. All the homes were burned down. Every started coming up with ideas on how to fix it Sunny came up with the idea that they all move. No one agreed and the birds said it was stupid so they stayed and tryed to rebuild what was burned.

Meanwhile Sunny flew off in anger, she flew high in the sky. She flew past a river and over a mountain. She flew in a valley for days. Then one day she was wondering, Is there another place besides home? Then the next day she flew over a mountain and into a valley. This valley had houses made by people. She was amazed at what she saw. The sun was a beautiful gold on the bright green leaves and her now white feathers. She then saw the ocean. She got closer and saw other birds that looked like Sunny. The other birds were seagulls. Sunny loved the smell of the beach. Then a huge humpback whale leapt out of the water. She saw the other birds talk to the whale so Sunny went as well. The whale noticed that she was different and asked her what her name was. Sunny replied with her name. Sunny then asked the whale what his name was? The whale replied with Oliver. Oliver told Sunny to dive in the water, Sunny dove into the water and she could see clearly.

Sunny was amazed at what she could see. She saw plenty of fish and sea animals. She swam a little bit and saw sea otters playing with their children. She also saw how nice and friendly the animals were. She saw sea lions playing in the water. Most of them were asleep on the pier, and yelling at each other. Giant sail boats going around the bay. Sunny made friends with a baby otter. Sunny took another dive and saw a huge kelp forest. She witnessed an explosion of life and colors. Oliver was close as well.

Then she now went to the land and saw all the lovely people dressed in their shorts and bathing suits. She also met tons of dogs of all breeds. Then she saw a person sitting on rock at the far side of the beach. The person looked sad so Sunny went over to the person. Sunny knew the person wouldn’t understand what she was saying but Sunny asked the person why they were sad. Sunny was confused, she thought, “How could anyone be sad in such a happy place?”

Sunny kept on exploring, she saw so many happy people with happy faces. She then remembered her family and how they were happy, so she then went past the valley and into the mountains. All the way back to her family. She told them about this amazing place and every thing she saw. They all followed and then they were all surprised on what Sunny had found. Sunny said, “Even if you are different you can still make a difference”. They met many new friends and lived in Pacifica. For generations the family would live in Pacifica as happy as ever. This is the beauty of Pacifica. Sunny truly discovered Pacifica.


Alexander Perea won runner up in under 18 category for the 2019 Fog Fest Essay Contest with theme of ‘Discover Pacifica’. Learn more about Fog Fest Annual Essay contest here. 

I Found Home – Essay by Heather Tanner

I have been fortunate enough to “discover” Pacifica multiple times. What I discovered was a place I could call home, and that I always want to be at.

First, as a teenager in 1991, or so, my family moved here. I was a graduating senior and I discovered all the adventure waiting for me. I walked the beaches, the pier, and the hills, and with each step, discovered Pacifica was beautiful, full of nice people, and richly diverse, but it didn’t feel like home.

Then, I left for college. I came home, briefly, after college, but Pacifica was mostly a bedroom. When I truly moved back to Pacifica it was as a young mom, with my two kids in tow. This was when I really discovered Pacifica.

I enrolled my kids at the preschool in the community center and met many young families. We had things in common, including a love for Pacifica as a safe place to raise our kids. I convinced my mother and brother to move here (although it may have been the grandkids). All along, I was falling in love with this town. But it still wasn’t home.

As my kids grew, so did my love for this town. My kids, and by default, me, were involved in so many things. First, they enjoyed the great libraries. Then, they attended Ocean Shore K-8 and were involved in a dizzying amount of activities. Spindrift, PSL swim team, Challenger soccer camps, robotics, girl scouts—it never ended. One was consistent, and they wore their uniforms with pride—Pacifica Tigersharks. Everytime they wore their uniforms they proudly told people they were from Pacifica. I got to know many Pacificans, and all I can tell you is they’re great. But it didn’t feel like my home, just the kids.

On July 15, 2015, tragedy befell me. On my way home from work, I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke. Thanks to some quick thinking by my husband, I survived. I went from running everywhere to being stuck in a wheelchair. I was bitter, to boot. But Pacifica stepped up in a big way. My family never had to worry about food or rent. My kids got to school. Neighbors pitched in to help a Pacifican who needed help.

For 5 months, I was in the hospital working hard to get back to the community I loved. Everyday, I found myself missing Pacifica more and more. These were my friends, family, neighbors and fellow citizens. When I first got back, I found it hard to find my groove. I still find it hard, truth be told. With its hills and beaches, Pacifica is not exactly equipped to welcome wheelchairs (but they are getting better). But what I found was my neighbors, my friends, my family, and ordinary Pacificans willing to help. I found an embracing community. I found that Pacifica is more than just a unique set of places to visit that make it a really cool town. Pacifica is special because the people in it are special.

I found home.


Heather Tanner won runner up for the 2019 essay contest with theme of ‘Discover Pacifica’. Learn more about Fog Fest Annual Essay contest here. 

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 36 Years September 23rd & 24th 2023

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

About the Fog Fest

The Pacific Coast Fog Fest each year promotes the City of Pacifica, attracts visitors, celebrates our community and raises funds for local community groups as well as the “Gift for Pacifica Fund.” Now over 50 groups benefit and to date, an amount of $1,250,000 has been donated back.

The Fog Fest was created in 1986 to promote Pacifica and to celebrate our marvelous coast. The last full weekend of September was chosen because historically the weather is unbeatable. The Fog Fest kicks off Saturday morning at 10 am with the Parade, honoring the local community and a competition for best float. Then stay and enjoy our Arts and Crafts booths, Food and Beverage booths, Music & Entertainment, Family Fun Fest and a variety of other activities.

Learn More about Fog Fest

2023 Official Beer Sponsor of Fog Fest

805 Firestone Walker Beer  

2023 Stage Sponsors

Vinefast Logo   Lytt  


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