By Gary Mussell, AANR-West President
Each year, the coastal town of Carpinteria near Santa Barbara hosts the largest free festival in California to celebrate the harvest at its nearby avocado farms. Held the first weekend of October, the Avocado Festival regularly draws around 100,000 visitors during its 3-days of fun. Music, and guacamole in every kind of food dish imaginable. They have avocado beer, avocado ice cream, avocado and shrimp cocktail, avocado tri-tip BBQ sandwiches, you name it. The culinary creativity is amazing, and the crowds endure long lines at the booths to taste it.
There are only 400 booths available as the city shuts down its main street, Linden Avenue, for the event and that is all that will fit. Since there is also a clothing-optional beach about two miles from Carpinteria. What better way to promote the beach and social nudism in general than to have an information booth at the Avocado festival?
Brochures and discount coupons for local AANR clubs was available on the table, as was information about the beach.
We decided to have a spinning wheel to draw the attention of passersby with inexpensive prizes given out, based upon the wheel spin. Writing pens, keyring flashlights, lip balm, and beach balls proved the most popular items. After 3 days, we had given out 3,400 prizes. Each had the AANR-West name and web site imprinted on them. After the show, we saw a spike in visitors to our website, so obviously people were curious from seeing the web location on each of the giveaway items.
We also bought some nice beach towels for a raffle twice a day, with a grand prize of a 3-day / 2-night stay at a local clothing-optional bed & breakfast. On the raffle form were a couple of survey questions about the nude beach (“should the radiance be changed?” “do you feel women should have the right to be top free wherever men are allowed to do so?”).
The results from our survey:
___ I agree that Santa Barbara County should designate a section of beach for clothing-optional recreation.
The beach should have proper signage to let people know it is there, so they can decide where to go or not.
___ I do not agree.
The poll shows an overwhelming number of people in favor of our clothing-optional beach. The Carpinteria ZIP code results were: Agree: 69%, Disagree: 11% No Opinion: 13%
This year we added a second question in light of the recent decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals:
"I agree women should have the right to be top free wherever men can, under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution."
48.6% agreed with this statement (53% in Carpinteria). And it wasn’t all just men, we observed many women under age 30 were very enthusiastic supporters.
The support for the nude beach tracks closely with what we saw in previous years. The results of this survey was sent to members of the local city council, the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce and the County Board of Supervisors. It is important we keep confirming that the existence of a nearby nude beach remains popular among their constituents!
Thanks to all the club volunteers who helps staff the booth.
The American Association for Nude Recreation - Western Region
The American Association for Nude Recreation
23679 Calabasas Road, Suite 966
Calabasas, CA 91302
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