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The aroma of freshly made funnel cake and euphony of live music will mingle with salty ocean air this weekend as the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair returns to the community for its 46th year. 

The free event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7 in the area of Live Oak Park, Dorsey Field and the Joslyn Center.

The festivities will include a musical battle between four local youth bands, more than 200 diverse arts and crafts vendors and a literal smorgasbord of culinary options, from tri-tip to the renowned pepper-bellies (customized Frito bag concoctions involving chili and cheese.)  

Community talent will be highlighted in an amateur art display as well as a performance showcase featuring creatives ranging from poets to dancers.

The Manhattan Beach Historical Society will also display a history of the city through pictures, books and other information.

A host of free and paid classic carnival games alongside a Kid Country area will keep attendees of all ages entertained with pony rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses and educational shows.

Bea Zimbalist, the president of the volunteer group organizing the fair, said the mixture between free and paid options is a crucial aspect of the event, which continues to operate without sponsorship this year thanks to support from the city.

"By coming to the fair, you're not only having a good time, you are helping so many local charities raise money," Zimbalist said. "Your pocketbook doesn't have to bleed, but if it does, it's going to a good cause." 

Beer and wine gardens will offer adult visitors a chance to kick up their heels and indulge to a backdrop of live music while supporting area charities such as the Neptunian Woman’s Club, Leadership Manhattan Beach and Mira Costa High School Booster clubs.

Tickets for these areas are sold until 5 p.m. each day of the fair. Beers will be $7 each and wine will range from $5 to $15 per glass. 

Beyond the festivities, the fair will also facilitate community connections in a civic corner, where locals will have an opportunity to engage with city officials, such as those from the police and fire departments.

"It's important because it allows our community to see what the city does for them," Zimbalist noted. "It's a weekend where you can meet those folks."  

Zimbalist said the free speech area is another unique element of the fair where South Bay nonprofit organizations and political groups can disseminate information about their causes.

"It's nice for them to get able to get their message out," she said. 

While there is nothing particularly new coming to the Hometown Fair this year, Zimbalist explained that the familiarity and continuity is what makes the event special.

"The one constant people know is that the fair will be the same and that is appreciated by a lot of folks," she said. "We try to stick to the homemade feel." 

For more information about the fair schedule or attractions, visit mbfair.org.

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