Ocean Beach’s decades-old Fourth of July tradition of a “marshmallow war” following the fireworks display has been taken to excess in recent years.
So, this week, on September 26, the O.B. Town Council decided to work closely with the San Diego Police Department next year to curtail what has become an out-of-control situation.
O.B. Town Council media rep Dave Cieslak said that although they will be working closely with the police to put an end to the annual melées, the town council will leave enforcement decisions up to the authorities.
Police have offered to step up the amount of street patrols. They can cite people for littering and throwing marshmallows against buildings and other private property.
Cieslak said after hearing stories — such as the disabled person who was pelted with marshmallows, the pregnant woman who said she didn't feel safe coming down to the beach on the Fourth, and the young child who had bruising around his eye after being hit with a puffy projectile — the town council decided that enough was enough.
Next year, the council plans a heavy media campaign to prevent people from clogging the town's streets and sewers. Local business owners and others have volunteered their services to design and make signs to put up all over town in advance of the holiday. All merchants have been advised not to sell marshmallows and marshmallow guns.
Cieslak also admitted that it will take several years for the tradition to die altogether.