By Jacqueline DeMarco
Second Saturday Art Fairs in San Juan Capistrano are coming to an end after a successful seven-year run, due to a lack of downtown parking and venue space.
The monthly art fairs first began in 2008, after a committee – drawn from the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano Mission and the City of San Juan Capistrano – was formed to find a way to bring attention to the downtown area. Randi Peshkin, Second Saturday Art Fair coordinator, recently announced the closure in a press release.
“The Art Fair’s intent was to place artists in locations that show off our beautiful downtown and encourage visitors to return to shop, dine, explore, and help our historic district grow,” Peshkin said. “The Second Saturday Art Fair, designed to help draw attention to the town, has done its job so well, it’s become a victim of its own success. New stores and restaurants now fill the empty spaces where artists used to be. Visitors are plentiful and downtown parking is now a serious issue.”
Parking spaces are now in high demand on the weekends, and the art fair is no longer able to use the parking lots and spaces on the east side of Camino Capistrano. But the committee, Peshkin said, has accomplished what they originally created the fair for.
“Today we live in a city with a historic downtown we are all proud of,” Peshkin said. “Great restaurants and intriguing independent shops line our streets and plazas. Lively day and night, our downtown is the beautiful gathering spot we all envisioned seven years ago. Sadly sometimes, with growth comes change.”
The last two art fairs will be held in Los Rios Park on Nov. 8 and Dec 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.sjcartfair.org/.