How to Experience the South O Walkabout
Have you heard? Oceanside’s newest growing monthly event the South O Walkabout is gaining steam and building followers! Thanks to the unique combination of South O’s tightly packed business district and the willingness of local businesses to collaborate, the South O Walkabout has become a fun community driven evening every second Wednesday of the month, from 5-8pm, that offers opportunity for socializing, fun activities, exploration of South O’s unique small business offerings, and an overall welcoming vibe that makes any attendee feel like a local.
We recently caught up with Cyan of Reap and Sow to tell us more about the South O Walkabout
Cyan has been a resident of South O for 18 years, and is passionate about many things including shopping local and sustainability. These passions drove her to start the first official South O Walkabout in December of 2016.
When asked what made the area special and unique to her, Cyan talked about “the rural beach culture and relaxed vibe… In Oceanside it’s not unusual to have neighbors who live in the house their parents built in the 1950’s. Oceanside has roots. Families are generational. Oceanside is local.”
As Cyan explains it, the name South O Walkabout began with a suggestion from Josie Druid of Boom Boom Brazil. She went on to say, “I like the urban dictionary ‘Walkabout’ definition: “a spontaneous journey through the wilderness of one’s choosing in an effort to satisfy ones’ itchy feet, a need to be elsewhere, the craving for the open road, the space over the horizon.[…] Something “you can’t quite touch but you have to go find it because you know it’s there. Or, maybe it just feels good to go.” This, she believes, falls in line with the feel and personality of the event. “Personally, I hope calling our evening a walkabout communicates the opportunity to discover new things in the neighborhood, be social and meet new and old friends in a friendly place, and make conscious choices to find the things we need locally.
What happens during the walkabout? What can be experienced?
In its current iteration, Cyan explained that the South O Walkabout is driven by the businesses that participate. During the walkabout the majority of the businesses within its footprint, which covers approximately 0.8 miles from Urge Gastropub on Vista Way to The Privateer on Whaley St. (both sides of the street included), stay open after normal business hours and each participating business plans their own special events and offerings for the walkabout guests. Cyan told us “this could be live music, a VW van photo booth, kid focused events, tastings, food, drinks, specials, sales, etc. It is what each business makes it…. We are figuring it out and tweaking things each month to make the event grow into something very current and enjoyable.” She went on to say that each month is different, and there are plans to do “passports, have additional entertainment, have more kid friendly activities” and more in the future.
For somebody that is new to the area and a newcomer to the South O Walkabout, Cyan advised first and foremost to park where you can and begin your “‘walking about’ from wherever [you] are!”. There are three main components to the walkabout: Central, North, and South. Central is the most active area currently says Cyan, containing some 20 participating businesses including local favorites like the Wrench & The Rodent, Captains Helm and Captains Grounds, PCH Bar & Grill, and more. Walkabout North holds The Privateer Marketplace & Wine Bar, The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza, Peonies Waxing & Skin Care, and Ariels Dance Studio. Finally, Walkabout South is currently home to 8 more participating businesses, including Urge Gastropub, South O Surf Shop, and more. South O continues to grow, and with new restaurants and businesses arriving in the area Cyan hopes all businesses in the area will participate in this unique event.
What is your favorite moment from a past Walkabout?
“[When] Local filmmaker Russell Spencer created an impromptu video for the Captains Grounds Coffee last month.”
Why do you think the South O Walkabout works? What components of South O do you believe help make this monthly event possible and a growing success?
“I think the South O Walkabout works because a lot of businesses are locally owned and they garner a lot of community support. Also, I think residents and visitors in South O have been wanting a walking friendly neighborhood where they can eat, drink, shop & walk with family and friends. Additionally, I think South O lends itself to become a localvore-centric hub for unique, independent businesses and makers.
The restaurants on both ends of the Walkabout, as well as the well established Captains Helm & Captains Grounds Coffee are key components to the walkabout. Additionally, the grouping of stores along the walkabout route encourage walking to the next destination.”
What inspired you to create the South O Walkabout? What does the future hold?
“I think that people talk about the walking communities of the future. I believe, with a little effort and minor updates, our communities are walk-able now. Residents and visitors, collectively, are the walkers. I live and own a business in South Oceanside so I’m driven and inspired to make South O vibrant and alive at night because that’s what I enjoy and think others might enjoy also… I wanted to create an evening event that provided an opportunity for everyone to enjoy South O while discovering all the small businesses that are creating such a special place for us to live.”
The interactive and intimate shopping experience that is the South O Walkabout takes place every second Wednesday of the month from 5-8pm until the end of 2017. Be sure to always check our Event Calendar for updates on the walkabouts, and all other events in and around Oceanside.