Posted by lemonjelly on:
This will be my last post about the Fishmas Bizarre because:
1. I've already done two posts about the event.
2. The event took place last weekend.
3. but I reserve the right to do another post because City2 gives me a voice to do so, and because I might come upon more photos worthy of posting.
Fishmas was great! The Fishbon crew pulled off their biggest event ever, involving performances of dancing, plays, fire arts, aerial arts, live music, live painting. And on the flip side, there was a street of artisanal vendors, local crafts, and the fire-shooting Pyro Bar artcar serving up libations for a weekend long fundraiser.
Friday night kicked off with the traditional SantaCon. While we are no New York City or Los Angeles or San Francisco, there was a plethora of Santas and festively costumed revelers that gathered at the Helena block party site who took over the Chase Palm Park vintage carousel. The carousel had to run three sessions for everyone to get a ride, so that's maybe 150-200 people, I mean, Santas. There was a surprise visit to the carousel from some folks of our well-known fruit juice and smoothie hotspot, the Spearmint Rhino, and lucky for them, the carousel has lots of poles. I have no photos of this, sorry guys!
Saturday was the start of the official Fishmas Bizarre, and it brought in visitors of all ages, both seasoned subculture types and many many curious newbies, thanks to some great write-ups by the SBNP, the Indy, Facebook event, and of course, the awesome weather that got people flocking to the beach. Fishbon sold Christmas trees, artists sold their art (for the first time, this Santa Barbara native bought a picture of the Mission), and people got involved with henna, facepainting, feather hair extensions and an awesome craft workshop where people made their own leather wallets.
At night the party erupted with the metal band Necrogoblicon which had the best head-banging keytar solos I have ever seen (note: these are the only head-banging keytar solos I have ever seen). Then, more fire toys than one can shake a stick at, including the fire sticks. The Pyro Bar also did its magic, sending up flames that drew people in from blocks around.
My favorite art installation of the night was one that may have escaped the attention of most. Everyone there saw the giant video projection of the spinning New York skyline up on the building wall, but it took a close look to realize this was not a digital loop. I followed the source of the light until I found it in a little corner on the ground: a normal sized snowglobe slowly turning, with a simple restaurant candle nearby for light. It was this snowglobe of dancing glitter, set by a small camera, that was being projected onto the wall. Seriously, I want one now.
One thing I really liked about the party was that it was a mix of mainstream types and Burning Man types. If this was the first time a mainstreamer got a snippet of the alternative artistic experience - and they liked it - then I think Fishbon accomplished what they set out to do. Oh, and the Mayor was there, looking cool wearing her sunglasses at night. And some gorillas. Bonus!
Sunday was a new scene, with local Etsy vendors joining in and more Christmas trees to sell. There was synergy between the event and the Cabrillo artwalk. And the weather was amazing again. Dusk came too quickly and the event wound down to a close, just as Santa Barbara moved en masse to the beach to watch the Parade of Lights at the harbor.
Throughout the event, there was some great food carts. The Mobile Café was there Saturday, selling burgers made with organic grass-fed beef for an amazing $4, and oozy delicious grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches on 9-grain bread for just $3. La Colmena took over at night, with a menu of $2 tacos - tortillas made onsite, fresh to order. On Sunday, I was introduced to the awesomeness that is Daniel's Mexican Food truck, serving up burritos, tortas, nachos for about $5. Tacos and sopes were less. Loved their creamy tahini-based salsa.
I was a volunteer for the event, involved with sanding and priming trees, helping vendors, and lending my moral (and occasional immoral) support. It was a lot of work and it was a blast.