The British are coming to Grover Beach.
Ska band, The English Beat, will headline the annual Stone Soup Music Festival and Street Faire in Grover Beach on Saturday, as part of this year's 25th anniversary of the festival. The festival is free again this year.
"This is, by far, the biggest band we've ever had headline," said festival chairperson Anthony Salas. "It's super awesome because they are an awesome group. We've had people tell us they will be getting there first thing Saturday morning to stake out a spot."
The English Beat — known as The Beat in the United Kingdom— is a seven-member ska revival band popular in the United Kingdom and North America in the early '80s. They will perform from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30.
The band is one of several "international-themed groups" that will make an appearance at this year's festival, Salas said. Other bands include Celtic rock group, Swagger; Calypso group, Steel the Band; national award winning flamenco artists Jimmy & Enrique; "gypsy jazz" group, Hot Club of SLO; African drum band, Central Coast Afro Rhythm & Dance; country-western performer Monte Mills; Japanese group Ichimi Daiko; Mexican pop artists Grupo Arias; and Latin group, Samba Loca.
"It's going to be exciting, dancing music," Salas said. "We don't book laid-back, chill bands. We want everyone to get up and dance."
Local Dixieland band, The Mudskippers, will also lead dressed up dogs and their owners in a Mardi Paws parade at noon on Sunday.
The festival is more than just music, however.
The popular Dune Run-Run — a 5K and 10K race —will take place Saturday morning, and an activity area featuring bounce houses has been set up at Ramona Park for both days.
Salas said this year's street faire features more local vendors than ever before — something he attributed to the popularity of the headlining band — and will also feature a wider array of food than in years past.
"For food, we've got stuff from all across the world: Chinese, Greek, and of course traditional American stuff," Salas said. "And for the vendors — you name it, we have people selling it."
The event is put on with the Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds from the event go to hold next year's festival and faire.