Escondido Grand Avenue Festival returns after two years

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. — After a two year hiatus, the Escondido Grand Avenue Festival returned with hundreds of local vendors.

Business owners set up shop in the street Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., blocking off Escondido Blvd to Ivy Street.

“It’s a good chance for businesses to get their name back out,” Escondido resident Freddy Cardona said. “I’m pretty happy with the turnout. I’m just excited to get my aloha pineapple dole whip.”

Small business owners got a chance to showcase their items such as hot sauces, ceramics, clothing and succulent designs.

Vendors said street fairs helped their sales after they faced months of pandemic closures.

“We’ve been cut off for almost two years and so this is the third street fair I’ve been in since COVID hit and they have all been fantastic,” said Janice Schmaltz, owner of ‘Succulents Don’t Suck.’ 

James Rowten, Greater Escondido Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, said after two back-to-back cancellations, this year’s event is a great way to bring the community together again.

“There’s been such pent up demand,” Rowten said. “People are really, really looking forward to getting out here and as you can see just by the turnout, it’s been terrific.”

The festival had something for everyone, featuring live entertainment, kids’ rides and a new beer and wine garden. 

“Escondido is a great place to do business, a great place to live and we want more people to consider Escondido a place to do both of those things,” Rowten said. 

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