SAN CLEMENTE : 50,000 Expected at Annual Fiesta

For one day, the city’s population will almost double as downtown streets swell with visitors celebrating the seventh annual San Clemente Fiesta Sunday.

More than 50,000 people are expected to pack two downtown blocks on Avenida del Mar to enjoy special events such as a 5K run and the annual Salsa Challenge.

For those with competitive spirits and big appetites, separate contests will be held to determine who can eat the most pickles, pies and watermelon. Other competitions will be held to discover who is the best at Hula-Hoop and tortilla tossing.

Called the Fiesta 5000 Run/Stride/Walk, the 5K run will start at 8 a.m., although day-of-event sign-up will begin two hours earlier. Leisurely competitors and serious runners alike will run through the scenic hills and streets of San Clemente. Most contestants are expected to be finished by 10 a.m., and an awards ceremony will take place at that time at Avenida del Mar and El Camino Real.


The street fair will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with live bands and shows.

Past featured performers have included Rita Coolidge and the Coasters. This year’s main act will be the Fabulous Jetsons Rocket-Roll show.

Food and game booths will line Avenida del Mar, many of them staffed by community groups that use the proceeds for charity work.

For salsa lovers, tasting for the competition will start at 11 a.m. Visitors can take a free shuttle that will leave from San Clemente High School.


Several streets will be closed starting at 6 a.m., including El Camino Real from Avenida Valencia to El Portal; West Portal and side streets bordering Max Berg Plaza Park. Avenida del Mar will be closed between El Camino Real and Calle Seville.