San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts will serve as honorary chair of the unique 11-day San Diego International Fringe Festival this summer.

Supervisor Dave Roberts
Supervisor Dave Roberts

The goal of the festival — now in its third year — is to bring “the beautiful, the bizarre, and the unexpected” in performing arts to San Diego.

“San Diego is fast becoming a Mecca for attracting emerging arts and culture,” said Roberts. “I am so excited to welcome such talent, from so many diverse backgrounds, to our region for 11 straight days of captivating performances.”

The San Diego festival is scheduled from July 22 to August 2 at multiple venues around the city, and some across the border in Tijuana as well.

The concept began in 1947 when eight groups appeared uninvited at the first Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland and performed “on the fringe” of the main festival — in church basements, storefronts, streets and alleys. While the main festival still exists, The Edinburgh Fringe is now the largest performing arts festival in the world.

Aspiring performers can apply to showcase their original work in a professional San Diego theater through the Emerging Fringe Program, which is open to students in grades 7-12. Applications for the program close April 15.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.