San Clemente Ocean Festival
Summer is here, and the San Clemente Ocean Festival is ramping up for its 41st year — celebrating ocean and beach activities, lifeguarding, entertainment and events for everyone to enjoy at the San Clemente Pier on July 15th and 16th.
Come hungry and have a hot-off-the-griddle pancake breakfast prepared by our very own San Clemente lifeguards from 7 to 11 a.m. on both days. Fisherman’s Restaurant will offer delicious fare, from corn on the cob and turkey legs, to strawberry shortcake, shaved ice and more near the Pier.
Stop by the Ocean Art Show in Parque Del Mar, overlooking the Festival, to find that something special. Car enthusiasts can walk onto San Clemente Pier to check out the 25th Annual Woody Car Exhibit, displaying 15 different cars each day of the event. There will also be a Fishing Clinic and Derby on Saturday at the end of the Pier for all ages.
Saturday hosts an action-packed day of lifeguard competitions that include the ever-popular National Doryman Association’s 2-man lifeguard boat races, Rescue Relays, International and American Ironman competitions, and Stand-Up Paddleboard contest. Love to run? Join the 5k Beach Run on Sunday, or if you prefer swimming, check out the 1-mile ocean swim. The “Groms Rule” Surf Contest also takes place on Sunday for boys and girls (14 and under) and includes a new push-in division. For a description of all athletic events, course maps and rules, please visit OceanFestival.org. Don’t miss the surf lifesaving competitors from the Sunshine Coast of Australia, Santa Barbara Swim Club, and local S.C.A.T. members, joining many other athletes competing at the event.
Looking for family activities? Head south of the Pier to the Youth Pavilion, packed with crafts, face painting and games, as well as demonstrations and performances for all ages to enjoy. Saturday’s events include a Dolphin Dash kid’s beach run for ages 12 and under (all participants will receive an Ocean Festival medallion!) and Body Surfing clinics just south of the Youth Pavilion where kids can learn about rip currents and the how-to’s of body surfing.
As the sun sets Saturday evening, drop your towel on the sand, grab some grub, and enjoy a free concert on the beach, featuring Soul to Soul, a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band. On Sunday, head south of the Pier for the sand sculpting competition. The weekend’s finale will be the always anticipated and never duplicated Great Rubber Duck race. For a mere $5, you can “sponsor” a duck and cheer it on as the entire flock is released and heads back to shore to win a prize!
The San Clemente Ocean Festival is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, working in partnership with the City of Clemente, that has become a “tradition” for many within the community, the inland empire, and as far reaching as the East Coast, Hawaii, and Australia. Funds are raised through product sales, and the generosity and support from sponsors. Net proceeds from the Festival provide support for worthy local organizations such as San Clemente Lifeguards, Ocean Institute Adopt-A-Class program, Summer Beach Concerts, and scholarships for local students.
Entry is free. Avoid parking hassles and take the Metrolink. If you’re diving to the event, take advantage of the complimentary parking and shuttle service to and from The Outlets at San Clemente from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Visit OceanFestival.org for schedules, athletic event registration and for information on how to volunteer or become a sponsor.