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Story by Shawn Raymundo; Photo by Keaton Larson and Shawn Raymundo

There was a whole lot of face-melting in Downtown San Clemente this past Sunday, Aug. 14.

It wasn’t just because of the sweltering summer heat in South Orange County though. Rather it was the powerhouse of rock, alternative, country, punk and reggae bands that all rocked the stages along Avenida Del Mar for the return of the Fiesta Music Festival.

Thousands of local residents and visitors turned out to downtown for the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce’s 67th annual event—the first since 2019, following a pandemic-related hiatus.

“It was wonderful to see our community members gather downtown post-pandemic—catching up with friends and neighbors, making memories and ‘just having fun’ in a place that we all love,” Chamber of Commerce CEO Susie Lantz said in an email on Monday, Aug. 15.

Lantz said the Chamber was thankful to the community for supporting this year’s event, which, she also highlighted, included a new Bike Corral to encourage visitors to utilize alternative modes of transportation.

“Thank you to all who participated responsibly,” Lantz said in the email. “The bike corral was a huge success, and we look forward to working alongside the city to creatively support San Clemente’s bicycle boom.”

Throughout the hot summer day, festivalgoers got to enjoy some brews and food, engage in activities and games, and, of course, jam out to live music by nearly two dozen bands that performed on three stages.

“Events such as the Fiesta Music Festival support our hardworking local businesses and nonprofit organizations that make San Clemente a better place for everyone,” Lantz said in the email.

This year’s headlining acts at the Center Stage of Avenida Del Mar included Swami John Reis, Pounded by the Surf and Common Sense, along with Tunnel Vision, which closed out the festivities.

Left Coast Brewing supplied the day’s beer offering while various nonprofit organizations served up eats such as tri-tip sandwiches, tacos and burritos, and Italian sausages. Some hungry individuals also competed in a pizza eating contest that Gibroni’s Pizza hosted.

“While continuing to deliver terrific live music performances,” Lantz wrote, “we look forward to further developing the family-friendly aspects of the event.”

SR_1Shawn Raymundo
Shawn Raymundo is the managing editor for Picket Fence Media. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.

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