Kid-friendly music, vendors come to Heritage Museum

Kid-friendly music, vendors come to Heritage Museum
Steve Denyes, guitar and vocals for the kids folk group Hullabaloo, performs at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum on a Monday morning. His show was part of the new Hullabaloo Family Market at the museum monthly on the first Monday. Photo by Kelli Kyle

ENCINITAS — On a bright, crisp Monday morning, nearly 300 people filed through the San Dieguito Heritage Museum.

This was an unusually large amount of visitors for that time of day — it was all thanks to the Hullabaloo Family Market, an artisan market and live music show for kids.

The museum’s mock historic storefronts and 19th century artifacts were accompanied by 30 vendors’ booths, folk guitar and more than 100 pairs of tiny feet, jumping and dancing.

“There’s something magical of this combination of a marketplace, kids and music,” Steve Denyes, who does lead guitar and vocals for kids folk band Hullabaloo, explained.  

Denyes had performed events at the Heritage Museum before, drawing crowds of parents and their children. They were happy to help when he approached them with his vision.

“I feel so lucky to be able to be partnered with them,” Denyes said. “They just have such great enthusiasm and such an amazing space.”

The market proved helpful for museum exposure too. According to Event Coordinator Cathryn Beeks, the museum typically sees about 20 visitors per week when there are no special events. The Hullabaloo Family Market was a helpful way to get people in the door — and hopefully get them to return.  

“We always try to pay expenses and get a little money for the museum, and these events help us stay going,” Beeks said. “It’s a way for us to reach these moms and young families that might not know about us.”

Several families in attendance said they had never visited museum before, and would come back. That was the case for Leucadia resident Lauren Funk and her 15-month-old daughter Leila. They had been to the Botanical Gardens across the street, but never the Heritage Museum.

“I knew it was here because I took a wrong turn,” Funk laughed. “I’m excited to come back here and check it out more.”

There was another piece of the Hullabaloo Family Market that stood out to Funk and the other visitors — all of the vendors were women who owned their own businesses.

“I’m so empowered by it, because I want to start my own business too,” Funk said. “It’s really cool to see other women do it.”  

Kimberly Castillo is a full-time mom, and one of the vendors at the market. Her sewing hobby became a business called Patsycake Baby, where she sells handmade bags, bibs, diapers and other baby necessities. She and another vendor dropped their kids off at school, then drove up that day from El Cajon for the event. Castillo said this area is especially lucrative for the full-time mom market.

“I almost don’t have to go out of San Diego in order to run my business,” Castillo said. “I can do it online with local customers and at events like this.”

Visitor Emma Shaw purchased a small cloth bag from Castillo’s booth for her daughter, Alyssa. The two drove up from South County to see Hullabaloo perform. As a supporter of local business, Shaw was also excited to shop around.  

“When I read that it was women entrepreneurs and locals, I said, yes we had to go,” Shaw said. “It’s 30 minutes to get here but it’s worth it.”

The Hullabaloo Family Market will take place on the first Monday of each month in 2019. The Heritage Museum and Hullabaloo have plans to add a Farmers Market within the year, pending approval from the city. For Denyes, this would complete the vision.  

“Not only could you come on a Monday morning and have some music and some art and shop with local entrepreneurs, but you could go home with fresh produce that’s healthy and farm fresh,” Denyes said. “It would be everything I dreamed about for the event.”

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