DANA POINT, CA — An annual celebration by the people and for the whales is returning to Dana Point this March, after Dana Point Harbor announced the return of the 52nd Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales on March 4 through March 5.
The festival, now being held in partnership with the city’s Chamber of Commerce, celebrates the annual migration of California gray whales through Dana Point.
“The Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to work in partnership with Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching and Dana Point Harbor Partners to carry on a tradition that is so treasured by the community,” Vickie McMurchie, Executive Director of Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “This beloved annual celebration brings locals and visitors together to highlight the prevalence of environmentalism, art and community in Dana Point and we’re honored to be more involved this year.”
This year, the festival will launch with the Welcoming of the Whales Ceremony at the Ocean Institute on Friday, March 3. The sunset ceremony and reception will include free, non-alcoholic beverages and food-truck cuisine available for purchase.
The Welcoming of the Whales Ceremony starts at 4:45 p.m. at the Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr.
The following day, residents can join on as weekend events are kicked off with the Festival of Whales Magical Migration Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 4. The parade will travel from the island, over the bridge and into the village of Dana Point Harbor.
This year, the parade will feature a concert on Saturday night at the Laguna Cliff Marriott featuring artists Sheena Easton and Taylor Dayne.
On Sunday, the fun continues with events including whale excursions, the Whales Tales & Ales street fair, a Dinghy Dash and the Diamond Dig Treasure Hunt.
In addition, residents can enjoy a Concert on the Water to be held on Baby Beach at noon. The concert will feature three live bands performing on top of a floating stage, barbecue specialities for purchase and a Spirit Garden for those 21 and older.
For more information and a full list of events, visit festivalofwhales.com and DanaPointHarbor.com.