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New festival Aug. 7 focuses on all things motor

Start your engines… to enjoy a day of fun with wheels, and more. A new festival is planned for Fallbrook and it will debut in a big way on Saturday, August 7.

The Fallbrook Motor Fest, hosted by the Historic Downtown Merchants Association (HDMA) is designed to provide “brews, bikes, wine and eats” with a backdrop of live music from at least four different bands from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day. Main Avenue will be closed from Elder to Alvarado to allow for a street festival atmosphere and provide two music venues – one at the Village Square and the other at the Elder House (home of the Village News).

The one-day event has been designed to take place during the currently-running Wheels of Desire 3 motorcycle show at the Fallbrook Art Center, and it was the show that sparked the idea for the one-day event.

“This is the third year for the [motorcycle art] show and it has always been met with great anticipation and success,” explained Michael Calvanese, owner of Café des Artistes, located inside the art center. “I thought, why not expand it and make it a street festival where people can enjoy music, beverages, food and more? It seemed a good way to get more people to visit Fallbrook.”

The motorcycle art show kicked off July 10 with a crowd of about 150 in attendance and will continue through Aug. 15. Those that have already visited the show say they chatted with others about the unique, one-of-a-kind and award-winning motors and designs.

The curator of the show, Greg MacDonald, personally selected each of the 39 bikes accepted into the exhibition. He said the collection is valued at “around $1.5 million,” which means plenty of amazing wheels on view for enthusiasts.

“[Organizers] gave me free reign in selecting bikes and I’ve always had an interest in all sorts of motorcycles, so I just went crazy,” admitted MacDonald. While he said “it’s hard to pick a

favorite” in the show, he said he really admires a 1917 Harley Davidson Board Tracker.

Variety is the spice of this show, MacDonald said. It’s not everyday you can see a Vespa with an attached picnic basket in one spot and glance over at a 1973 Harley Davidson Shovelhead Chopper.

“You’ll never see a greater variety anywhere… they’re rolling pieces of art. Anyone who enjoys art will enjoy this show,” said MacDonald. For the August 7 event, two ticket choices will be available. A $5 admission ticket will allow an individual access to each of the two live music areas (Village Square and Elder House). Bands playing the day of the event will include Andre J (rock and roll), Gin Pistons (Classic Rock), Given Life (metal, rock, progressive), and Indica Roots (reggae, dub, rock).

The Village Square will serve as the wine garden and the Elder House as the beer garden area. A VIP pass, which will sell for $30, allows access to both entertainment areas, admission to the motorcycle art show, a souvenir tee-shirt (designed by local artist Brett Stokes), and significant discount coupons to participating downtown restaurants such as La Caseta Mexican Restaurant, Le Bistro, Café des Artistes, and Dominick’s Delicatessen & Italian Restaurant. “I like to promote our local merchants whenever we can,” said Calvanese.

Calvanese said there will be plenty of automotive eye candy for festival-goers to enjoy. “We know we have people from various car clubs bringing their vehicles in – such as those from Flawless Rides, the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club, and California Porsche.” There will also be drift cars and offroad vehicles on display at the event.

With a festival theme that does not depend on Fallbrook’s famous fruit to draw people in, Calvanese said he thinks the new idea will be well-received, and if it is, it could become an annual event.

“When people think of Fallbrook, they always think of avocados, and we are so much more diverse than that,” said Calvanese. “For instance, we have the most well-known Porsche restoration company in the United States right here in our community. Cars are shipped here from all over the nation to be restored.”

Tickets for the Aug. 7 Motor Fest can be purchased in advance at the Village News, Café des Artistes, Jewelry Connection, and JJ’s Beach & Board Shop.

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