Q: What is it?
A: It’s an all volunteer run, locally-focused street festival featuring a restaurant chili cook-off; huge craft beer & beverage garden; local handmade vendors, a food truck court, live music on three stages and a kid’s fest!
Q: When is it?
A: It’s Sunday December 5th, 2021 from 11am to 5pm at the intersection of 32nd & Thorn Streets in North Park, San Diego. It’s always the first Sunday in December.
Q: Do I need a ticket?
A: The event is FREE to attend. But, if you want to taste the chili, there are 3 options:
Option 1: Purchase a handmade ceramic bowl and tasting pass from San Diego Ceramic Connection at 32nd & Thorn for $25. You can purchase from San Diego Ceramic Connection on Friday 12/3 from 6-9p ; Saturday 12/4 from 12-5p; or Sunday 12/5 from 10:30am until supplies run out (supplies are limited, so get them early!)
Option 2: Skip the line and buy tickets online before the event. You can buy a SoNo logo mug and tasting pass for $25 or a Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) Tasting ticket for $20. NOTE: You cannot buy a handmade ceramic bowl online, they are only available from San Diego Ceramic Connection (see option 1).
Option 3: You’re a procrastinator? Good on ya, get your tickets the day of SoNo at the main sales booth at 32nd & Thorn streets – SoNo logo mug for $25 or a Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) Tasting ticket for $20.
Q: What if I don’t like chili?
A: Frankly, that sounds like a personal problem, but never fear! There are plenty of other food options at SoNo Fest – Buona Forchetta is slingin’ pizza in the Booze Garden, and check out the T-32 businesses including Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado, DeLucas Pizza, Santos Coffee, Parkside Market and Holiday Market. There are also food trucks and tents, featuring Communal Coffee, Eat Your Heart Out and more. You will not go hungry!
Q: What if I don’t eat meat? Doesn’t all chili have meat?
A: Don’t worry, cows, pigs, chicken and sheep everywhere thank you. And no, all chili doesn’t have meat. You can still enjoy SoNo Fest as a vegetarian, as there are plenty of vegetarian and even vegan chili options!
Q: I Can’t get enough chili – how can I get MORE chili?
A: We do sometimes run out of chili during the event (usually by 3pm) – if you want choices, get there EARLY. If you really want MORE CHILI, you can purchase an additional tasting pass for $20.
Q: Can I bring the kids?
A: Totally! There’s a whole block of kid’s activities including carnival games, bounce houses, kid’s music and performances and more!
Q: Where should I park?
A: There’s plenty of street parking in the general vicinity of the festival. Please be courteous of our neighbors when you park. Or, take the city bus Route 2 (and get off at 30th & Thorn), ride-sharing, ride your bike or scooter, or come on foot!
Q: What if I am too busy doing holiday shopping to attend?
A: That’s not an excuse. You can do ALL your holiday shopping at SoNo Fest with 30 local handmade vendors showcasing their fabulous products. And you can feel good about supporting locals and shopping small.
Q: What do you do with the money you make at SoNo Fest?
A: That’s the best part – 100% of the proceeds go to the McKinley School Foundation to support the arts, dance, and gardening programs at McKinley Elementary School in North Park, and the international baccalaureate program. Our kids (and parents and teachers) thank you for your support. All you have to do is eat chili, drink beer, and have fun – and you’re doing something good for the world.