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Chris Aitken

By Chris Aitken and Julie Heinze

It was wonderful to see our community come together at our 25th annual San Clemente Car Show this month. Avenida Del Mar was lined with a crowd-pleasing display of cars—classic, hot rods, surf vans and woodies.

Julie Heinze

To start the day, the San Clemente Downtown Business Association was honored to welcome the U.S. Marine Color Guard from Camp Pendleton, who presented the flag while Sydney Noelle, of COA, and Coy Wilson performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” to a rapt audience.

A heartfelt thank you to our sponsors who made this day a reality, especially our top-tier partners Ford Motor Company, Capo VW/Mazda, Nissan of SJC, Capo Valley Toyota, Tuttle-Click Capistrano Ford, TrafFix Devices, Porsche Irvine, Avila’s El Ranchito, and especially The Folded Flag Foundation, a nonprofit supporting loved ones of soldiers who have perished. 

Restaurant decks were packed as The Hot Rod Trio, a rockabilly band, performed live from a stage across from H.H. Cotton’s, as visitors enjoyed the cars, open shops and restaurants, slot car races, and picnic area on the library lawn.

The crowd loved the San Diego Police Museum display of an actual NY Port Authority car from the World Trade Center on 9/11, and the half-Police/half-Taxicab, delivering a warning about the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

Our Orange County Sheriff’s Department kept us all safe, and we are grateful for their involvement. All in all, a “classic” day was had by all.

Mark your calendars, as the SCDBA is excited to bring you several additional upcoming events over the next several months:

  • Calling all ghouls and goblins for fun and festive trick-or-treating at shops and businesses along Del Mar in our annual “Treat Street” event held on Oct. 23, from 4-7 p.m.
  • “Shop Small Saturday,” to support our downtown businesses, will be held Nov. 27.
  • And “Puttin’ on the Glitz,” the beloved annual holiday event on Del Mar, will be held the evening of Dec. 4. 

If you are a merchant wanting to join the fun or a business wanting to sponsor these cherished events, please visit us at  

Finally, don’t forget to visit the San Clemente Village Art Faire, which is held on the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Art Faire, in its new location on the lawns of the SC Library and Community Center, brings local artists in various trades displaying their handcrafted work to our local community. For more information, visit us at  

On behalf of the DBA, we wish you and your families the very best for 2021. San Clemente, we continue to ask for you to “shop and dine local” and look forward to seeing you Downtown.

Julie Heinze has been a resident of San Clemente for 26 years. She is director of the SCDBA and owner of Julie Heinze Design, an advertising and graphic design shop. Chris Aitken is the Chairman of the Board of the San Clemente Downtown Business Association. Chris is also involved with two businesses in the downtown area, including being the co-owner of H.H. Cotton’s restaurant and a partner of the personal injury law firm Aitken Aitken Cohn.

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