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Bayfront party celebrates 50 years Robert Moreno | Sat, Sep 21 2013 12:00 PM

The inaugural HarborFest is coming to the city of Chula Vista.

The one-day event, formerly known as Harbor Day, is set to highlight Chula Vista’s bayfront on Saturday, Sept. 21.

“What they are really looking to do is showcase how great the Chula Vista bayfront is,” said Alysia Pope, event manager for McFarlane Promotions Inc.

San Diego-based McFarlane Promotions is the event production company behind HarborFest.

Among the slew of activities, HarborFest will feature live musical entertainment, a craft beer garden, a seafood festival and a youth zone where BMX bike riders and skateboarders will dazzle the crowd with their tricks.

Although HarborFest is free to attend, the seafood fest has an admission fee of $20, and $6 per glass for beer and rum tasting.

Anne Steinberger, Chula Vista’s marketing and communications manager, said the festival is celebrating the Port of San Diego’s 50th anniversary.

“Because of the Port’s 50th anniversary, we kind of changed focus a little bit and we’re really celebrating the Port and the sea, and the harbor,” she said.

The Port contributed $50,000 to sponsor the day of festivities, Steinberger said.

Steinberger said the name change from Harbor Days to HarborFest was made to identify more with the event.

“This certainly has a festival atmosphere, it seemed more indicative of the kinds of activities we were going to be having this year,” she said. “This is really a new and improved HarborFest, with the variety of activities for everybody to enjoy.”

Steinberger said this year’s event has more entertainment and activities than Harbor Day.

Steinberger said the city of Chula Vista  is expecting about 5,000 people to attend the first ever HarborFest.

The Living Coast Discovery Center will provide animals for children to view and the South Bay YMCA will have arts and crafts for children.

Children also will have the opportunity to bungee jump 30 feet in the air.

Steinberger said with the beer garden and childrens activities,  this year’s event is catered toward everyone.

“There really are a host of activities from the youth to the teens to the adults with our beer and wine festival,” she said. “So there will be something for everybody at HarborFest this year.”

Harbor activities include stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, wooden boat and car displays.

San Diego musical group The B-Side Players are the headline musical act.

HarborFest is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Chula Vista’s Bayside Park.

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