Coast Street Festival, Santa Monica, California

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141 years after the coastal city of Santa Monica, California was founded,  it finally held it’s first open street festival, aptly named COAST. Two miles of car-free streets were set aside to celebrate the opening of the new Metro rail which connects Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

Scott and I got to the festival by riding our electric Vectrix scooter. The festival was divided into 6 zones; Colorado Esplanade (the Metro), Culture Zone (Ocean Avenue), City Zone (City Hall), Sustainability Zone (Tongva Park), Mobility Zone (North end of Main Street), Main Street & Norman Place (South end of Main Street). The common thread of all zones was the unique people watching! Here’s a sample:

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Teamwork
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Senior Skater
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One too many cameras?
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Furry Rider
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Best hair style

The local performers (professional and not) were also out in droves. The musicians ran the gammet from jazz to bluegrass to indie. There were also musicians just for the children.

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Stilt Walker
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Stilt Walkers
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Costumes in the crowd
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Musicians serenade the diners

The stores and restaurants along Main Street were offering discounts during the festival. One of the most unique boutiques I explored was Ten Women because it’s an art and gift gallery that features unique and hand-crafted items made by local women artists. One of the craftsmen featured in the gallery is Margot Strong. She specializes in hand-made fingerless gloves, hand-dyed scarves, and lace clothing accessories.

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Margot Strong, artist featured at Ten Women Gallery

While strolling through the festival, I got a kick out of the various signs and interesting marketing techniques being used.

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“SPLASH,” art by Kenton Nelson at the California Heritage Museum

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Beach BarCycle

A Sunday in Santa Monica wouldn’t be complete without a stop into the local farmer’s market on Main Street. The organic berries tasted divine.

Plenty of folks were giving the Metro a try and buying their new TAP cards. The festival was a good way to kick off the summer season….now we just need some summer weather!

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The new Metro
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Colorado Avenue Esplanade
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COAST Festival

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