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Julie Heinze

By Julie Heinze

Van Morrison’s lyrics perfectly describe the mood around town as summer hints at its arrival: “Feel the sea and smell the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.”

Summer is when our Spanish Village by the Sea really sparkles—shining sun, crashing waves, shops and restaurants overflowing with locals popping into their favorites, and visitors discovering San Clemente’s magic for the very first time.

We, at the San Clemente Downtown Business Association (SCDBA), are buzzing as we work to create opportunities for businesses and nonprofits to get noticed and grow.

The first SCDBA San Clemente Shamrock Run 5K/10K in March was a great success as runners navigated our scenic beach trails and pier, serenaded by bagpipers in the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs Pipe Band. Sponsors reported a great day engaging with potential new customers.

Cheers rang out as racers crossed the finish line—among them San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan and our generous Emerald Sponsor Jennifer Elliott of San Clemente Estate Law. Post-race scavenger hunters visited downtown shops and restaurants in search of prizes and a $500 Pot O’ Gold!

The SCDBA’s recent mixer was a “Yappy Hour” hosted by Three Dog Bakery. Pups could enjoy “yappetizers” as local business and nonprofit leaders met and networked. SCDBA members Nancy at Gus’ Jerky, Christina at FAM, and Kelly LeClair of Pacific Sotheby’s were our lucky raffle winners of prizes donated by Mikii’s On Del Mar and Three Dog Bakery.

Mark your calendar for SCDBA’s next mixer on Aug. 11. All are welcome!

With warmer weather on tap, we love seeing the SC Trolley rolling through downtown—on weekends until May 27, when daily service begins. Shopping and an outdoor bite at one of our restaurants’ newly built decks is just a few easy-breezy minutes away when you arrive by free trolley.

We applaud the city’s thoughtful and aesthetically-aware guidelines—with valuable input from retailers and residents—to bring back, by popular demand, the outdoor dining experience. Expanded trolley service is funded, in part, by fees paid by restaurants choosing to stretch their dining space, creating a win-win for our community.

SCDBA Members Pronto Italian Deli, J’Adore Café, and HH Cotton’s are among the first to offer deliciousness under the sun and stars, taking advantage of San Clemente’s “Best Climate in the World.”

Just over the sunny horizon, two popular San Clemente events are already in the works: The San Clemente Annual Car Show on Sept. 10, and Puttin’ on the Glitz on Dec. 3, in partnership with the City’s Santa’s Village by the Sea.

The SCDBA was thrilled to win Gold and Silver People’s Choice Ole Awards from San Clemente Times readers for “Best Local Annual Event” for these two long-standing downtown celebrations.

For a fun way to engage with community happenings, consider volunteering at a downtown event or lending your expertise as a car show judge. We’d love to hear from you at

SCDBA’s downtown events are designed to bring us together, showcase our town’s uniqueness, and most importantly, shine a very bright light on local shops, restaurants, services, and nonprofits. With thousands in attendance, the high-value marketing exposure our event sponsors receive is a big bang for their marketing buck.

Email us at to inquire about marketing partnerships or browse sponsorship opportunities at Stay in the downtown loop by following us on Facebook or Instagram @sanclementedowntown, or visit us online at

The SCDBA wishes a sparkling summer ahead to our San Clemente community. Feel the sea and smell the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly—sounds like a plan to us!

Julie Heinze is Director of the SCDBA and owner of Julie Heinze Design.

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