Pacific Beach’s firefighters to be honored at 42nd annual PAESAN on Sept. 28

Pacific Beach resident Bert Hudgins (at the podium) thanked the crew of Fire Station No. 21 for saving his life.
During the 2019 PAESAN, Pacific Beach resident Bert Hudgins (at the podium) thanked the crew of Fire Station No. 21 for saving his life.
(Steven Mihailovich)

Members of the Pacific Beach community are being encouraged to show their support for their firefighters and other first responders by attending the 42nd annual Police and Emergency Services Appreciation Night.

Commonly known as PAESAN, the community barbecue and awards ceremony is returning to Crown Point Shores from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. It will be held at the North Crown Point Shores Rotary Club Pavilion, 3700 Corona Oriente Road.

PAESAN is hosted each year by the Pacific Beach Town Council. It serves as an opportunity for community members, family and friends to celebrate the four public safety departments that serve PB: police, fire, lifeguards and the park rangers of Mission Bay Park.

The founders of PAESAN were Anne Evans of Evans Hotels, Annie McDaniel and Mary Wilding. According to organizers, the trio wanted to pay respect and commemorate the many individuals who keep Pacific Beach safe. Today, their legacy continues, with three generations of the founders’ families still heavily involved in putting on the event.

Want to attend?

42nd annual PAESAN

When: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Where: North Crown Point Shores Rotary Club Pavilion, 3700 Corona Oriente Road.

Tickets: $5 online in advance at or $10 at the event.

Through donors and sponsors, the PB Town Council focuses on one of the four agencies each year to give financial support. Event proceeds and sponsorships go towards granting the selected agency’s wish list, a group of items needed but not funded by the City of San Diego’s budget.

In 2019, PAESAN honored and fulfilled the wish list of the park rangers and park maintenance staff at Pacific Beach’s parks. Even though an in-person event could not be held in 2020 due to the pandemic, that year San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division was commemorated. At last year’s event San Diego lifeguards were celebrated.

Organizers have declared 2022 “Year of the Fire Fighters” and they will highlight San Diego’s Fire Station No. 21.

PB Town Council Treasurer Denise Friedman said new recliners, a renovated station lobby, new pots and pans and a redesigned front yard are all on Station No. 21’s wish list.

It is hoped that the front yard, one of the station’s larger wishes, can become a place where the station’s legacy is represented, she said.

“Right now, the area in front of Station 21 has one memorial, and that is for 9/11,” Friedman said. “We are hoping to improve all of that and make it into a hero’s garden, recognizing acts of heroism here in San Diego.”

The hero’s garden would represent specific acts of service. Friedman explained one of the station’s honorable moments that could be included.

“(The hero’s garden) could honor a specific event that was so amazing, like this last year, they rescued a little girl who had gone through a plate glass window,” Friedman said.

In addition to providing items from the fire station’s wish list, awards will be presented to individuals chosen by their department heads. Awards go to those who have displayed superior service to their community.

All members of the community are welcome to attend PAESAN. According to Friedman, the event draws hundreds of attendees each year.

Friedman said it is a special time to give back to those working hard to ensure the community’s safety, one of the driving factors behind the council’s commitment to keeping PAESAN happening.

Those who would like to attend PAESAN can purchase tickets in advance for $5 at or at the event for $10.

Those interested in becoming PAESAN 2022 sponsors can do so at any level they feel comfortable. The “commodore” level is $5,000 or more, the “seahorse” is $3,000 to $4,999, the “porpoise” is $1,000 to $2,999, the “octopus” is $500 to $999, the “starfish” is $100 to $499 and the “sand dollar” is up to $99. Details on how to make a sponsor donation are also on the event’s website,