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OCEAN BEACH, Calif. – The traditional Fourth of July marshmallow war in Ocean Beach may become a thing of the past.
A “Mallow Out” campaign has been launched by the Ocean Beach Town Council, asking OB residents to pledge not to take part in this year’s marshmallow fight.

The council is also looking for volunteers to be peace patrol officers. They will be in charge of looking out and confiscating marshmallows they see leading up to the fireworks show.

The marshmallow war began 25 years ago as a fun, family affair on the beach. In recent years, the crowds have grown and so have aggressive behaviors, making many OB residents concerned for their safety.

“Some people freeze marshmallows. They’ll light them on fire. There’s marshmallow guns and you can fire them at high speeds,” said Steve Grosch, a member of the Ocean Beach Town Council.

“Last couple of years, I’ve seen people throw the marshmallows at police officers and people,” said OB resident, Gilbert Cruz.

Grosch was born and raised in Ocean Beach and took part in many marshmallow wars in years past.

“I’ve seen it from the beginning and it’s been a lot of fun for a lot of years… And there’s people that want to hold on to the tradition and I understand that, but the tradition has turned from what it started,” Grosch said.

Grosch also mentioned OB residents were in an uproar after the Independence Day celebrations in 2013. They were upset because a child and elderly person was hurt. They were also upset at the 2,000 pounds of trash left behind.

“Gooey mess left by the marshmallows is impossible to clean on the sidewalk. You can’t steam clean it. It breaks down all the power washers. The machines can’t take it… Residents of Ocean Beach and volunteers coming down on their hands and knees and scraping marshmallow goo off of the sidewalk,” Grosch said.

Cruz said people who come solely for the marshmallow war are likely not from Ocean Beach.

“They don’t live here. They’re tourists. They’re from … wherever they come from east of the I-5. The go home wherever they go and they don’t deal with the marshmallows or the mess,” Cruz said.

The OB Town Council is scheduled to meet June 25 to continue their “Mallow Out” campaign.

To pledge to “Mallow Out,” click here.