Speaker 1: (00:00)
The December 9 celebration takes place at Bell Park this weekend. But just like last year, the event will be a car driving experience with food vendors and entertainment. it seems like a smart move that the likes of december night events start tomorrow. And that goes on until Sunday at the inspiration point, car parks near the Belle boa park. And join me the City of San Diego Special Events and Filming Department, Executive Director Natasha Collura and Natasha. Welcome. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (00:39)
Speaker 1: (00:40)
Can you explain how this drive version of December nights will work?
Speaker 2: (00:44)
Absoutely. People will enter via the inspiration point on the boulevard du parc. They will drive, they will get their map, which has a list of all the vendors and their menu items. So we will have the opportunity to take a look and see where they want to stop and what they would like to eat. And they can go through the different providers and decide if they want to try a different provider. There is a transient light in our main lot. They can jump into that passing lane and then head to the supplier they want to order from. So there is a little something for, for everyone.
Speaker 1: (01:16)
And do people stay in their cars to order the
Speaker 2: (01:18)
Food? Yes, people will be staying in their vehicles, uh, for everyone’s safety and hopefully to keep everyone moving throughout the event and to get to as many places as possible. But it’s a drive-thru. There is an option, however, a very limited option for those who do not have access to a vehicle. Um, we have electric carts going by and people can line up and wait for a cart. We will have about three to four available. Again, this is a limited opportunity, but we wanted to provide an option for those who don’t have a vehicle. What
Speaker 1: (01:50)
Are other types of security measures in place?
Speaker 2: (01:53)
Drive-thru is designed to keep everyone safe and, uh, say, eliminate crowds and interactions between all individuals. As you know, our traditional December nights are 350,000 people over two days. And this is something that, again, is designed to keep people safe and then their vehicles safe and allow them to move around, uh, in the safety of their cars.
Speaker 1: (02:14)
No, I checked the Taste of December Nights website and you certainly have plenty of food. Can you give us an idea of ââthe range of tastes that are available?
Speaker 2: (02:23)
Absoutely. So we have an incredible fade. We have Kenyan food, we have Cajun food again, food, you know, for the little ones, maybe we have the corn dogs. We have, uh, Blasian food. There really is something for everyone. And we also have the Bebo Park International Cottages which offer homemade pastries from around the world.
Speaker 1: (02:45)
Now there is also the entertainment. How it works?
Speaker 2: (02:48)
We have a state in the middle and there is a list of the entertainment schedule for when it will appear during the event. It’s on the website, San diego.gov/tastes of December Nights. And so you can check the schedule and you will be able to hear some entertainment as you drive through
Speaker 1: (03:05)
And who are some of the artists?
Speaker 2: (03:07)
So we have a variety of performers. We have dancers, we have singers, we have a whole list of artists that you can find on our website that you can check out and see, uh, hope you can see them while you drive.
Speaker 1: (03:20)
This is the second year for the drive-in taste of December nights at Bell Boa Park. How popular was it the last time around?
Speaker 2: (03:27)
It was very successful. Last year we had over 4,000 cars over the three day period, but we redesigned the format to get even more vehicles through faster and to be able to discover more of the food vendors and the variety we have available.
Speaker 1: (03:42)
And what are you waiting for this weekend?
Speaker 2: (03:44)
We expect this to be another successful event. Um, the first 500 cars per day will receive a goodie bag with fun items, like a bicycle light from SANDAG, a reusable straw from think Ballou. And everyone gets a bag. We’ll get a free ice cream coupon from Handfuls of Homemade Ice Cream in Pacific Beach. So we are expecting to be a big event and we hope to see everyone out there are you concerned?
Speaker 1: (04:07)
I learned at all that the worry over the new variant will drive people away.
Speaker 2: (04:12)
We’ve actually been in contact with county public health, and again, uh, you know, the same precautions that were put in place for COVID are still in place. Um, so we encourage everyone to be safe. We are saved thanks to this drive through event. So we think it’s actually a great opportunity for those who are concerned, who want to stay, uh, cautious, that it’s an alternative to maybe other events, uh, because it keeps them safe. in their vehicles and offers them an opportunity to go out and celebrate the holidays.
Speaker 1: (04:43)
Now, people can also give back and support charities during the Taste of December Nights. Tell us about fundraising campaigns.
Speaker 2: (04:50)
We are very happy to have the elements of charitable giving included this year. So one of the items is a change opportunity for change so that if you have spare change we want you to donate as we try to raise a thousand pounds of change to help homeless youth San Diego, through the support of the YMCA Service Delivery community. We’re also asking for food donations for the San Diego Food Bank, and we’d like people to bring these car wash soaps. We’ll thank you with a free Magic joke car wash card while supplies last. So please bring those cans. And finally, we have a socks and underwear drive that, uh, we’d like people to bring new socks and underwear to donate to Father Joe’s villages for the homeless.
Speaker 1: (05:34)
Now, December nights have been a tradition in Balboa Park for over 40 years. And of course, the taste of December nights has been adapted to carry on this tradition. How do you see the future of the December Nights event? Did the city learn something new by changing it? Because of COVID.
Speaker 2: (05:51)
We hope to be able to return to our traditional December nights in 2022. And of course, we are ready to adapt as needed depending on conditions next year. Um, but we hope we can come back to our events, but we will continue to be aware of all the opportunities, protocols and ways to mitigate any kind of health risks. And we are ready to handle it. If this happens, we are looking at ways for the whole community to come on December evenings and look at access options for those who may not have a vehicle to get off and want to cycle or take the rides. public transport. So we definitely want to expand our access and mobility options for next year as well. So that’s something that came out of this pandemic, it’s how can we do more for this particular event in the future?
Speaker 1: (06:41)
The nights of December 1 take place from Friday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the inspiration point, car parks near the Bel boa park. And I spoke with Natasha Collara, Executive Director of the City of San Diego, Department of Special Events and Filming. Natasha. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (06:59)
Thank you so much.