Time to get boozy and groovy in Downtown Chula Vista

Dominic Li Mandri

There’s no better way to kiss the summer goodbye than by celebrating the sunny days in your favorite South Bay neighborhood. In Downtown Chula Vista, the party is just getting started so it’s time to get amped up for what’s to come!

Since 1960, Standlee’s has been a staple in the community, with a mission to provide good food and quality ingredients that are accessible and affordable. Now, after years of being in business, Standlee’s has recently celebrated the remodeling of the entire store, creating a fresh look for the old standing building. Whether you’re in the market for baking supplies or want to support local businesses in the South Bay neighborhood, stop by the newly refurbished store and check out the upgraded layout!

The end of summer calls for a big celebration! Downtown Chula Vista is bringing the energy with the return of the Annual Amps & Ales celebration happening on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. The beer festivities this year are back and bigger than ever before as beer enthusiasts and community members come together to revel in the special extravaganza.

This year’s Amps & Ales is going to be an unforgettable experience, featuring an impressive lineup of 30 breweries, distilleries and wineries ready to showcase their libations to the community. As attendees walk through the iconic Memorial Park, food vendors will be lined up ready to serve local bites. In addition to the tasty ales and delicious delights, attendees will be serenaded with live music from local musicians such as The Sleepwalkers, Sandollar, and Sure Fire Soul Ensemble.

Known to have a growing beer scene, Downtown Chula Vista breweries are also making an appearance by joining the lineup for the local and visiting community to enjoy. Some of those breweries include Chula Vista Brewery, Groundswell Brew Co., and Thr3e Punk Ales.
Ready to secure your spot? Tickets for Amps & Ales are available now. General Admission tickets are priced at $35, granting you access to the festivities from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. But for those who seek an extra special experience, VIP tickets priced at $45 offer entry an hour earlier, starting from Noon and continuing until 4:00 pm. With a head start on sampling and mingling, VIP ticket holders can maximize their time at this highly anticipated event.

October is next on the calendar which means it’s time to prepare for Dia De los Muertos! Join the Downtown Chula Vista Association on Saturday October 28th from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm as the neighborhood will undergo a magnificent transformation into a cempacuchil filled celebration for the 3rd Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration! This free event is more than just a fun experience for the entire family; it’s a cherished tradition that brings the entire community together to pay homage to the departed loved ones while embracing the joy that life brings.

The heart of the celebration lies in the community altar, an important symbol of remembrance and love. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this heartwarming tradition by bringing copies of photos to honor those who have passed. The altar will be a collection of memories, a living testimony to the cherished souls who have left an indelible mark on our lives.

In addition to the community altar, there will also be an altar building contest where the community will be able to participate in some friendly competition for cash prizes. Attendees will also need to start digging for their best Dia De los Muertos costumes as there will be a Catrin/Catrina Ensemble Contest where the best dress in different categories will win a cash prize. More information will come soon.

Fun activities will be set up for families such as a kid’s craft station, treats, delicious food, vendors, themed photo opportunities throughout the neighborhood and a special screening of Guillermo del Toro’s Book of Life in the Memorial Bowl starting at 7:00pm!
Summer has been a blast for family, friends, and community members in Downtown Chula Vista but there is still lots to come for the end of the year so keep an eye out!
For the latest updates on Downtown Chula Vista, please visit us at DowntownChulaVista.com or follow us on Instagram @DowntownChulaVista, TikTok @DowntownChulaVista, Facebook @DowntownChulaVista, and Twitter @DowntownChula.

Dominic Li Mandri is District Manager of Downtown Chula Vista Association.