By Daniel Ritz

The 16th annual Doheny Surf & Art festival, a two-day celebration of the California surfing lifestyle, returns to Doheny State Beach this Saturday, June 23, and Sunday, June 24.

This free event is a collaborative event held by the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) and the Doheny Longboard Surfing Association (DLSA).

This year marks the first time that art has officially been recognized as a segment of the event. Mario Cuevas, Doheny Surf and Art Festival Coordinator said this year they have added an additional 30-35 artists who will all have independent booths at the show.

Surfing events include the classic DLSA Doheny Longboard Surfing Association Menehune Surfing Contest which will begin at approximately 8 a.m. on both days of the event, as well as a 1960s surf competition where competitors will be judged on original longboard “hot-dog” tricks.

At 12 p.m. on Saturday, a live tandem surfing exhibition will take place

Other attractions include live music, Polynesian dance groups, a beer garden, a longboard exhibit by the California Longboard Club, and a woodie classic car show by the Southern California Woodie Club.

Ed Neely, a former DSBIA and DLSA president, thought that the wide range of activities at the festival showed the diversity of interests within the surf community.

“We’re seeing more and more people coming from further and further away,” said Steve Stirret, also an ex-president of the DSBIA and DLSA. “There really isn’t another festival like this. Anywhere.”

“It a celebration of all the threads of California surf culture,” Neely continued. “And it all comes back to surfing. It’s been a lot of work, but an awful lot of fun, putting on what anyone could call a really fun day at the beach.”

This event is put on completely free (with the exception of standard State Park parking fees) thanks to DSBIA and DLSA volunteers. The proceeds of this event go towards the two clubs. DLSA fundraises for the Ronald McDonald House as well as funding various Doheny State Beach activities. The DSBIA’s mission is promote educational and interpretive activities as well as assisting with the preservation and restoration of its interpretive facilities.

Neely mentioned that there will be an event at Hobie Surf Shop Dana Point after 5 p.m. on Friday, June 25, for those looking to sign-up last minute for the various competitions and events. More details can be seen on www.dohenystatebeach.org/doheny-surf-festival.

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