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Weekend Preview: Tour De Fat, Adams Avenue Street Fair, Oktoberfest And More

Tour de Fat, the annual traveling "cycling circus" returns to San Diego's Golden Hill Park Saturday, September 29, 2012.
Alex Zaragoza
Tour de Fat, the annual traveling "cycling circus" returns to San Diego's Golden Hill Park Saturday, September 29, 2012.
Weekend Preview: Tour De Fat, Adams Avenue Street Fair, Oktoberfest And More
GUESTSErin Chambers Smith, editor in chief at San Diego Magazine. Alex Zaragoza, calendar editor and columnist at San Diego CityBeat.

CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Lots of fairs and fests being celebrated in San Diego from the annual Adams avenue street fair to the bikes and brew fest, tour de fat. And we top off our events with a whole pig on a plate! This is the weekend preview. My guests, Erin Chambers Smith is editor in chief of San Diego magazine. Welcome back. SMITH: Good morning! CAVANAUGH: And Alex Zaragosa is calendar editor is columnist at San Diego City beat. ZARAGOSA: Hi, how are you! CAVANAUGH: Let me start out with you. The tour de fat is happening on Saturday. ZARAGOSA: Well, it's an annual, like you mentioned, an annual bike and brew event. But what's so cool about this is just how epically weird it is! It's put on by new Belgium brewing company, and it's always got this weird, circus, kookie thing going on. It's all about bikes and promoting bicycle culture, and also beer which everyone in San Diego loves, obviously. [ LAUGHTER ] CAVANAUGH: Besides the bikes and beer, what adds to the kookiness of this event? ZARAGOSA: Oh, well, there's all these fun activities that are going on. For one, they have all these cool bikes that they have people -- that people have made. Some of them are, like, two to five wheels on them. There's one that's like a bicycle merry go round that I rode last year and fell off so bad! [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOSA: But it's so much fun. And there's things like a yo-yo performance by this group called yo-yo people. And my favorite is the Porta-Potti karaoke, which kinds kind of gross, but it's really great! [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOSA: They converted these Porta-Potties into karaoke stations, and you're just in there singing whatever you're into. CAVANAUGH: And there's also live music. ZARAGOSA: There is. This really awesome band, called Devotchka, and they do this interesting kind of gypsy punk rock, and some mellower stuff. They actually scored the movie little Ms. Sunshine, which is if you remember the music and everything was so great in that movie. So they're the headliner. CAVANAUGH: But you don't actually -- I mean, the bikes and the beer are separated, right? ZARAGOSA: Yes! You're not chugging beer and biking. That would be difficult. That would be bad! CAVANAUGH: Tour de fat, Saturday on Golden Hill park on 25th street in golden hit. Oktoberfest is back with us! It's a popular fall tradition. Tell us about Oktoberfest in El Cajon! SMITH: Oktoberfest start this is weekend, goes for two weekend, and it's important to note that this is different than the La Mesa Oktoberfest which is very widely attended. There's also one in Ocean Beach. But this one is put on by the German club of San Diego. And it's sort of known as the more authentic of the Oktoberfests. CAVANAUGH: More costumes? SMITH: There you go. [ LAUGHTER ] SMITH: But yeah, it does -- it's steeped in history, and it is put on by the German club of San Diego. So it's less about the funnel cakes and the corn and all the things you see at carnivals. There is quite a German population there. The club was founded in 1965. The Spreckles, that's a name you see all over San Diego. He was born in Hannover, Germany. Then there's the community of Aleaven hane, founded by a group of Germans in North County. CAVANAUGH: Besides the beer and the bratwurst, what else can we take in? SMITH: Of course there's going to be dancing. I hear they do a mean polka, waltzes, and cabbages and food and stuff like that. And there is a kids zone. Of CAVANAUGH: Beer again, Alex! ZARAGOSA: We love beer! CAVANAUGH: This time, it's mixed with politics! ZARAGOSA: It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Political discourse, everyone is going to be an alcoholic. [ LAUGHTER ] CAVANAUGH: Polity fest. ZARAGOSA: It's being put on by voice of San Diego, and I believe KPBS is a media partner for this. It's a really interesting event because it givings a lot of locals a chance to really get to know their officials, so what's going on with civic affairs and see what's going on with local issues as well. But it's also fun! So yay! There will be a debate between the mayoral candidates, Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio, which should be interesting. If only it was a bare-knuckle boxing match. That's what I really want to see. CAVANAUGH: It's coming to that! [ LAUGHTER ] SMITH: Or beer pong. ZARAGOSA: In our paper we have a little imagine of a possible, imaginary bare-knuckle boxing match made by a director. So that'll be interesting to watch. And also there'll be debates between candidates for School Board. CAVANAUGH: And there's an idea tournament. ZARAGOSA: How many times are we walking around, like, you know, this bush should be doing this, or blah blah blah? This is basically a chance for people to have those genius ideas and share them with the community. CAVANAUGH: It's like a suggestion box only what? ZARAGOSA: Probably louder? [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOSA: Yeah, it's like a suggestion box in a way, but these ideas that can possibly bring about some change in the community. I'm not sure if they actually ever use any of the ideas. But if they do, it's an awesome opportunity for somebody to really get their voice heard in terms of our community. SMITH: Last year, are the idea tournament is really interesting. They vet the ideas before. So it's not just a whole -- it's not 50 random ideas. And if you go there, then the crowd gets to vote on the ones you think are the best and the ones that actually should take place. So it's kind of cool. CAVANAUGH: And I mentioned beer upfront, but actually there's a beer garden. That's not just going to be wandering beer people. And live music and activities for the kids. ZARAGOSA: That's the great thing. It's an opportunity to get involved and so what's going on in the community, and you can bring your kids, they can run around, and kind of not hate being there as much. CAVANAUGH: Blue print at the Mingei. A literary inspired event happening tomorrow. SMITH: Yeah, this an interesting event at the Mingei. It's trendy these days to go to the museum's afterhours. This is their attempt to get some people in in more of a social setting, and everyone's favorite around here, Grant Barrett, is going to be emceeing this. And there's an exhibit at the Mingei right now called true blue, it's fabrics and paintings and all of that. And a couple weeks ago, the SD writers group had a group of writers into this exhibit, and they wrote poetry, whatever their choice was, and they're going to come back and read what they have written. CAVANAUGH: And emceed by Grant Barrett, who is the host of public radio's a way with words. And there's hands on art-making activities, right? SMITH: Yep. There is like I said -- it's very much a social thing. You can wear a cute outfit, and there will be other people there. And Liza Alvarez is going to be there. And she does really cool art about books and paper products. So she has interesting bindings, so there will be a book-making project. And she's going to be there on Sunday, I think, to do it with kids. So it should be very interactive. And I think there's an open mic element to this. So if you weren't part of the writers group, there will be an open mic aspect, and of course cocktails. CAVANAUGH: Blueprint takes place Friday at the Mingei international museum in Balboa Park. The Adams avenue street fair is this weekend. Remind us. It's every year, right? ZARAGOSA: It is. And it is a very big event, actually. It's one of the biggest music festivals that are free in California. And it's going to be great! There's going to be 90 live music acts on seven stages and carnival riders, it's going to be a really fun day just out on the street, hanging out, you know? CAVANAUGH: What kind -- do they feature a specific kind of music? ZARAGOSA: You know what's cool about this? It does feature a wide array of musical styles. There's indie, blues, R&B, Rockabilly, pretty much everything you can imagine. There's something for everybody. CAVANAUGH: We have a clip from a very old band. ZARAGOSA: I love this band! CAVANAUGH: Strawberry Alarm Clock, the members are going to be at the Adams Avenue street fair. And here's their big hit, incense and peppermints. (Audio Recording Played) CAVANAUGH: We are actually talking about the Adams avenue street fair! Mojo Nixon is going to be there too. ZARAGOSA: That's right. And skid roper are reuniting. They are probably known for some of their -- some cool songs. I love their song titles, Jesus and McDonald's, Elvis is everywhere. Check the National Inquirer! CAVANAUGH: So music, bands, craft vendors. And a lot to eat and drink. ZARAGOSA: Right. And obviously there's a beer garden! CAVANAUGH: This seems to be a theme. ZARAGOSA: There say theme here, promoting beer-drinking. [ LAUGHTER ] CAVANAUGH: Saturday and Sunday along Adams avenue in university heights, normal height, and Kensington. We just really have to think about this for a minute Erin. There's a whole-animal dinner. It's a nose to tail celebration. SMITH: There you go. I love the writing. CAVANAUGH: What is this, really? SMITH: This is just a celebration of the whole animal. You get to eat a very well-done, gourmet meal. It's just using all parts of the animal, and celebrating letting nothing go to waste. And using all parts of it. They will be having different animals. They've done this before where they really just focus on the pig. About you they're going to via first course rabbit, a second course three types of goat, and a young pig porChetta. And there is a beer pairing though. With every course. Of course! ZARAGOSA: Coronado brewing, I think. SMITH: Yeah, and the Oktoberfest is going to be paired with the pig at the end. It's a good excuse to go see J-6. It's one of those restaurants sort of tucked away in a hotel downtown.

From outdoor festivals to an indoor feast, this weekend is chock-full of events to celebrate the beginning of fall (and soak up the endless summer sun). Here are some of this weekend's event highlights:

Carniverous foodies who believe in "waste not, want not" can rejoice tonight (Thursday, September 27) at the Whole Animal Dinner at J Six Restaurant at Hotel Solamar in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter. Billed as a "nose to tail celebration," the dinner will feature rabbit, pork and goat dishes created by Chef Christian Graves, along with beer pairings curated by Coronado Brewing Co. (View the menu.)


Bikes and beer take center stage this Saturday at the annual Tour de Fat, a traveling festival organized by New Belgium Brewing Co. The one-day "cycling circus" kicks off with a costumed bike parade at 11 am through the streets of Golden Hill and South Park. Post-parade, cyclists will convene at Golden Hill Park (at the end of 25th Street) for a wide array of kooky carnival-inspired entertainment, a yo-yo show, and live music by Devotchka (the gypsy-punk quartet known for its score of "Little Miss Sunshine") and The Cleverlys, a bluegrass pop-cover band. The event is free. Proceeds from food and beer sales will benefit local nonprofits San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and San Diego Mountain Bike Association.

Beer, bratwurst and pretzels, oh my! The annual Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest descends upon El Cajon's South Mollison Avenue this weekend. From Friday through Sunday, revelers can enjoy an array of German beer and food, plus live oom-pah music, folk dance contests, craft booths and a Kids Zone, all hosted by the German American Societies of San Diego, Inc. If you can't make it this weekend, Oktoberfest in El Cajon continues next weekend, October 5-7. Lederhosen optional.

Election season is underway ... celebrate your right to vote, the freedom of assembly and all the perks of citizenship at Politifest, the second annual event organized by Voice of San Diego, this Saturday at Liberty Station’s Ingram Plaza in Point Loma (KPBS is a media partner). Highlights include a debate between San Diego mayoral candidates Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner, and an “Idea Tournament," where the crowd will pick the winner from a pool of pre-submitted solutions to civic issues, from sustainable energy and water conservation to education and transportation. In addition to political discourse, festival goers also can enjoy live music, kid-friendly activities and live music.

For the literary-minded who like to eat and drink, head to the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park this Friday for "Blueprint". Co-presented by the Mingei and San Diego Writers, Ink, and hosted by Grant Barrett ("A Way With Words"), the evening will feature live readings of short stories and poetry inspired by all things blue (taking a cue from the Mingei's current exhibition, "True Blue," which celebrates blue objects in its collection, from jewelry to textiles to glass). If you're feeling crafty, there will be a hands-on bookmaking project led by artist Lisa Alvarez. Chef Martin San Roman from Candelas will provide the bites and SoleMar will provide the jazz fusion soundtrack.

The 31st annual Adams Avenue Street Fair returns Saturday and Sunday and features over 90 bands — from rock to jazz and country to bluegrass — performing on seven stages along Adams Avenue in University Heights, Normal Heights and Kensington. This year's headliners include Strawberry Alarm Clock (the '60s psychedelic band known for its classic hit "Incense and Peppermints"), Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper (playing together for the first time in 23 years), The Paladins, Gilbert Castellanos, Sara Petite and Cuckoo Chaos, among many, many others. In between sets, sample an array of food vendors and local breweries. You'll be walking and standing a lot so it's OK to indulge a little.