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Two events to supplant Taste of Bird Rock

Two smaller, lower-key events, a September concert in Bird Rock Park and a fall Oktoberfest, will supplant Taste of Bird Rock, which has been suspended for a year.

That was the good and bad news delivered by Joe Parker, president of Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC), at the advisory group’s March 2 meeting.

“I wouldn’t call them replacements,” Parker said of the two new community activities, which he said are both in the preliminary planning stages and are an outgrowth of previously successful Bird Rock events.

“We’ve always had an outdoor, barbecue-type community picnic in the summer, and last year, Beaumont’s Restaurant had an Oktoberfest party with an Oom-Pah-Pah band that was really fun,” Parker said. “We thought we might combine them.”

Parker noted that the September concert in the park would be a substitute fundraiser for Bird Rock Elementary School, which received approximately $75,000 in proceeds from Taste of Bird Rock between 2005 and 2009.

“For a long time, we’ve thought about doing something in the summer months closer to the school year,” said Parker of the Bird Rock Community Park concert concept. “You have the potential to have some local entertainment and the opportunity to have a fundraiser that would help support the local school.”

The formal dedication of Waverly Gate, completed at the end of last year improving access to Bird Rock Community Park and making it ADA disabled-access compliant, could also be coupled with the summer concert, Parker added.

The Oktoberfest, on the other hand, Parker said, would be a community get-together, not a fundraiser. Plans call for it to be held on La Jolla Boulevard like Taste of Bird Rock was.

A victim of its own success, the increasing popularity of Taste of Bird Rock, a July block party offering restaurant food tastings and live bands and entertainment, led to logistical problems with organization, traffic control, parking and public alcohol consumption. Those factors, rising costs and security demands ultimately doomed the event in its previous form.

Push on for Calumet stairway

Bird Rock resident Claudia Anderson, a mother and surfer, implored the Bird Rock Community Council and the community to launch a drive to raise funds to build a stairway at Calumet Park to improve beach access.

“We’re a community that has this great natural resource — our backyard tide pools,” she said, adding that the only way to get from Calumet Park to the beach now is a dirt path.

Anderson said Calumet could become an outdoor classroom “if we had stair access to the beach.”

Another local resident at the BRCC meeting suggested that constructing steps to the beach at Calumet might also afford an opportunity to use interpretive signage for educational purposes, discussing the park’s history and/or tide pool life.

Those wishing to comment on building stairs at Calumet Park can do so at brcc@san.rr.com.