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Monday, June 10, 2013


Courtesy North Park News
Editor’s Note: The 15th annual Old House Fair is set for Sat. June 15, 2013 at 30th and Beech Sts., South Park, 10 am to 4 pm.  The following article is from North Park News’ coverage of the event in the July, 1999 edition.  North Park News was the only media partner at the first Old House Fair 1999 fair.

HUGE CROWD—The inaugural outdoor San Diego Old House Fair on June 12, turned out to be an unqualified success.  By modest estimates, attendance hit 6,000, easily doubling the sponsors’ hopes.  More than 50 vendors expressed glee at the success of the Old House Fair, especially those who traveled from Pasadena and Orange County.

“There’s little doubt that a solid marketplace exists for us in San Diego,” said Richard Perris of Pasadena-based Crown City Hardware.  “We’re definitely going to explore this niche.”

Looking South on 30th Street toward Ash Street

The fair demonstrated that there is a high level of homeowner interest in upgrading the very large inventory of older homes and Craftsman style bungalows surrounding San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park.

The crush of attendees kept vendors so busy that they barely had a chance to run to nearby Santo’s Coffee Shop for an iced latte (temperature was in the high 70s all day under blue skies).  Neighborhood kids set up impromptu lemonade stands, while the sanctioned food court was busily serving customers all day.  Music, balloons and plenty of free parking added to the enjoyment of the fair.

Chilling at the 1999 Old House Fair where Santos Coffee Shop used
to be before it moved to 32nd & Thorn.  Now, Bouna Forchetta a hot new
Italian style restaurant,  has taken over the 30th & Beech location
“I was so pleased to arrive an see everything in place,” said Kim Itkonen, a North Park potter/vendor,” My set-up and take-down time was cut by two hours because the organizing group was so efficient.  Itkonen said she liked the fact for the $75 vendor fee she had an overhead tent, a 10x10 space, two folding chairs and a large folding table—plus the excellent pre-event publicity efforts by the sponsoring South Park Action Council.

Keynote Speaker Wayne Carlson
Editor,  SD Home/Garden
Keynote speaker Wayne Carlson, editor of San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine said, “Everyone should be proud of taking a good idea and turning it into an excellent event. I pledge to support this event next year and beyond.” [Note: the magazine remains as a media partner for the 2013 event].

Elizabeth Scalise of
Salvage: first 

year vendor
Participation in the free garden and home tour overwhelmed the sponsors.  “At 10 am, we had 200 attendees ready to go,” said event chair Gail MacLeod.  “We’re going to offer more home choices and more tours next year.”

Jeff Balazs of Heart of Oak Workshop said the large crowd took him by surprise as well. “Within an hour, we were completely out of our brochures.  We’re delighted with how many people came by and asked about our products.  This fair has a real neighborhood feel.”

Randy Brower of Antique Restoration and Sales of Fallbrook took two vendor spaces.  “For a one-day event sales were very, very good,” he said, “We’ll be back.”

Brower and other vendors said many fair-goers were not prepared to haul away newly purchased furniture.  The public wasn’t expecting to see such quality furnishings.  “Everything we sold, we had to deliver,” said Brower.

Peter Jensen, a leading home and gardens writer and an ex-Sunset Magazine editor, was pleasantly surprised by the Old House Fair, “It is always pleasing to see something this nice happen in our own backyard.”
Walking West on Beech toward Date Street.
Jensen and others were pleased to see how much quality furniture was being offered and noted that “all the vendors were old house oriented.   Not one slice and dice utensil booth made the fair.

Plans for next year’s Old House Fair are already underway, according to Gail MacLeod, one of the main organizers, “we can already see we might have to have a cut off point in the number of vendor spaces sooner than we expected.”

Looking West along Vendor stations along Beech Street

Photos and article reprinted with permission from the July, 1999 edition of North Park News.

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