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Celebration of annual California gray whale migration kicked off Saturday in grand fashion

By Andrea Papagianis

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The 42nd Dana Point Festival of Whales opened up this weekend in celebration of the annual 5,000-mile migration of California gray whales from Alaska to Mexico. Crowds lined Pacific Coast Highway to cheer on local participants as the parade snaked down its route from Selva Road to Golden Lantern, Saturday morning.

Long-time little league baseball announcer Gene Burrus voiced the procession featuring classic cars, large balloons, marching bands, Marines, city leaders, cheerleaders, veterans and more, emphasizing Southern Orange County’s diverse community. Festivities continued throughout the day with whale watching excursions leaving from the Dana Point Harbor and the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce’s Street Fare at La Plaza Park, highlighting the local music scene, restaurants and businesses.

The celebration continues next weekend with a performance by the Dana Point Symphony Orchestra, the 10K and 5K Grunion Runs, the 5th annual Mickey Munoz Mongoose Cup—a stand-up paddle board event—and a Whale of a Beach Cleanup of Doheny State Beach. Check out for more information on the Festival of Whales and for a full calendar of next week’s events.


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