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By Jake Howard

This week marks the official start of summer, and few places in California embody that warm, golden dream more than Doheny State Beach. With its long, rolling waves and expansive beach and picnic area, for three quarters of a century it’s been a stronghold for stoke. This weekend the annual Doheny Surf Festival hits the sand and surf, and judging by the lineup, the tradition of good times continues.

Because a function at the junction is only as good as the swell in the water, it’s looking like this year the Doheny Surf Festival is going to enjoy amble swell. Current surf forecast models are calling for playful, waist to shoulder-high surf on both Saturday and Sunday. The weather’s expected to be nice with morning fog eventually giving way to blue skies.

With surf enroute, what kind of good times are on tap at Doho? For starters, the event is based around a youth, or “menehune,” surf competition. Generations have been learning to surf at Doheny, and thanks to this fun contest, tomorrow’s little rippers get a chance to throw on a jersey, surf against their friends and win some loot in the process.

Of course, you can’t know your future if you don’t know your history, and that’s where a host of other activities at the surf fest come into play. Perhaps the most eye-catching is the crowd-favorite woody car show. Early surf culture of the 1960s put a premium on tricking out their beach mobiles, and today the tradition continues with this procession of classic beauties.

Not to be outdone by a bunch of old cars, but there’s more. Healthy living demonstrations will be going on to help you learn how to keep the fire burning. There will exhibits of surf-themed art and collectables, as well as plenty of food to grind on. Providing sonic entertainment, there will be a sound stage with bands jamming live tunes all day long. There will also be a beer garden onsite for attendees, sponsored by Kona Brewing, which is bound to be bustling.

The Doheny Surf Festival runs all day June 24-24.

For live coverage of the surf competitions and the rest of the festival’s events, go to the Dana Point Times’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for updates throughout the weekend. Follow the discussion with the hashtags #DPTimes and #DohenySurfFest.

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