Repainting the Normal Heights sign began Monday morning, August 22. The neon sign, suspended over the intersection of Adams Avenue and Felton Street, was last repainted and the neon rehabbed in 1995 by the Adams Avenue Business Association. This year, the three-day project will cost approximately "$8000 for paint, permits, and traffic control," according to Scott Kessler, interim executive director of AABA.
The original sign (neglected for years) was first rehabbed and repainted in 1982 by Joe Jackson and his crew of Jackson Electric. Using a scissor-lift and closing one lane of Adams Avenue, they finished the job without incident. To cover the cost of repairing and repainting the sign, the Normal Heights Community Association, the Normal Heights Community Development Corporation, and AABA held a community-wide garage sale and a huge pancake breakfast to raise $700 needed for the repairs.
The refurbished sign then welcomed San Diegans to the first Normal Heights Day in 1982. Eventually, the one-day event that covered four blocks from 33rd Street to Hawley Boulevard became the Adams Avenue Street Fair and doubled in size. Stretching seven blocks from 35th Street to Bancroft, the fair is now a traditional end-of-September event; this year it will be held September 24 and 25.