Vibrancy Committee to develop ‘pop-up’ events to boost sense of Rancho Santa Fe Village community

The Rancho Santa Fe Association’s newly named Village Revitalization Task Force is studying long-term solution ways to activate the center of town. In the short term, the task force’s Village Vibrance Committee is developing a series of fun community events to bring people out to the village.

Heading up the committee’s “Village Vibe” events are resident Sarah Neal, Realtor Janet Lawless Christ, and Stacey Pennington, an urban planner who helped with the downtown San Diego reinvention.

“The intent and purpose is to work with the community and existing merchants to truly create energy within the village and give people another reason to visit the village and provide a forum to have conversations with the community that will inform long-term planning efforts,” Pennington said.

The committee plans to hold casual, bi-weekly events on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to coincide with the Secret Car Club’s weekend car show in the village. The “pop-up events” will feature tables and chairs set up on the village park’s lawns with different activities and engagement stations. The events are set to begin on Sept. 26.

In addition to the bi-weekly events, the committee will also host seasonal destination events in collaboration with The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. First up is an Oktoberfest on Sept. 27, with family-friendly activities, music, food and vendors.

On Oct. 29, the committee plans to team up with The Inn as it hosts its Haunted House, transforming the lawn into a pumpkin patch with activities such as pumpkin carving and games. Pennington said they hope to continue the activity into town with trick or treating at the village merchants.

Village Vibe will again pair with The Inn’s holiday ice rink for a Holiday Celebration on Dec. 5 with a pop-up vendors’ market, hot chocolate stations, caroling and other festive activities.

At the Sept. 3 board meeting, RSF Association President Ann Boon said the Village Revitalization Task Force plans to meet for the next six months to develop a plan for issues such as parking, retail opportunities and maintaining a market, enhanced parks and gathering spaces, and improved pedestrian access. The task force will report its recommendations to the Association board.

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