The entirely volunteer-led 46th annual Hometown Fair drew thousands to Manhattan Beach over the weekend.
Fair-goers could be seen purchasing hand-crafted goods from one of hundreds of vendors, checking out vintage cars, petting cuddly critters and playing carnival games.
Others munched on fair eats and danced to tunes supplied by young musicians as part of the fair's Battle of the Bands.
South Bay-based four-piece group XYZPDQ delivered a rocking performance Sunday at Dorsey Field main stage that earned the band first place, a $500 cash prize and 30 minutes of stage time for a victory set.
“It’s feels great. We’re really happy,” said 12-year-old lead guitarist Salem Meade, who wowed the audience with several shredding solos. “It’s really fun to play.”
XYZPDQ, which Meade explained stands for “examine your zipper pretty darn quick,” was the youngest of four finalist groups who performed in the battle, which also included bands Pier Pressure, Emerald Street and Late Ship.
“What I love about Battle of the Bands is these kids all have purpose and substance,” said Mark Lipps, Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce president and Hometown Fair board member. “It’s a chance for people to have real life skills. You’re competing. This isn’t everyone gets a trophy.”
Lipps said 14 bands originally competed for the four finalist spots and noted all of the groups demonstrated talent.
“It’s just cool to see them have this passion and drive,” he said. “These guys work on this and they do this week in and week out.”
Of their experience performing at the Hometown Fair, XYZPDQ members each echoed the same sentiment about their hometown.
“We love Manhattan Beach,” said lead vocalist Nicolette Obuljen, 13.
It won’t be the last Manhattan Beach will hear from XYZPDQ, which has been together for more than a year, as the band has several upcoming shows planned.
“We have Halloween parties and birthday parties. Stuff like that,” said drummer Dax Corcoran, 14.
For more information on the band, visit https://www.facebook.com/xyzpdqband/