The eighth annual Santa Monica Main Street Summer SOULstice is returning to the area with live bands, pony rides and a scavenger hunt from 11 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Sunday, June 22nd on Main Street between Pico Boulevard and Marine Street, Santa Monica.

Produced by the Main Street Business Improvement Association, the event began as a way to extend the farmers market.

“This started eight years ago, in 2001 before Sept. 11, when (the Business Association) decided we wanted to keep the people who showed up to the farmers market on the street for the rest of the day,” says Gary Gordon, executive director of the Business Association and event organizer.

“By doing it every year and improving it every year it got to be an event in its own right, with people coming from all over the county for it.”

The event features a day of activities, with various tribute bands, sidewalk sales, a scavenger hunt, a petting farm, pony rides for children, face painting and balloon twisting by Rockie the Clown.

“I don’t know of anywhere else where this many tribute bands and show bands have been gathered in a single afternoon,” Gordon says.

Among the 16 bands will be tributes to Bob Dylan, Madonna, Prince, Steely Dan, Heart, Cars, Allman Brothers, Tom Petty, Grateful Dead, and the Police.

Activities will be held in parking lots, courtyards and on select side streets. Several Main Street stores will also be hosting activities throughout the day.

For a full schedule, a scavenger hunt clue sheet, and more information, see