Events

All events are weather permitting

EVERDAY OF THE FESTIVAL

Whale Watching 

The incredible 5000-mile migration of the majestic California Gray Whale from Alaska to Mexico begins in December and continues through March. During this peak season, 40 – 50 whales pass by Dana Point each day, using the Dana Point Headland’s 200-foot cliffs near the harbor as a landmark to check their migration path. Dana Point offers the BEST whale watching along the California Coast – don’t miss it! There’s a whale watching excursion for everyone. If you’re interested in getting a glimpse of these majestic leviathans from land, be sure to visit the Headlands Conservation Park. The Park includes a public trail system, over three miles in length, and links all the parks and open space areas of the Headlands. The system includes pedestrian trails, coastal and beach access, scenic overlooks and the Nature Interpretive Center. The parks and trails can be reached either off of Green Lantern or at Dana Strand Rd., limited parking is available along these streets or at the Nature Interpretive Center parking lot. The trails are open from 7 AM to sunset daily. The Nature Interpretive Center is located adjacent to the Headlands Conservation Park, at the terminus of Street of the Green Lantern. Center Hours: 10 AM – 4 PM. From Dana Point Harbor visitors may take the FREE shuttle to the Ocean Institute and then proceed up Cove Road to the Park. It’s a good work out for those looking for a little adventure and some spectacular views! Click here for whale watching excursions

 

clean-greenHelp Us Keep the Festival of Whales Clean and Green

The Dana Point Festival of Whales is an ocean-friendly event with many of our booths, displays and exhibits being very close to water’s edge. We ask that all our sponsors and exhibitors keep this ocean location top-of-mind and refrain from using balloons, stickers, tattoos, flyers, single-serving water bottles or other materials that might find their way to the receiving waters of the Pacific Ocean. We also ask all of our guests to keep these practices in mind as they spend a glorious day or weekend taking in the beauty of this special location. Drinking fountains are plentiful for the refilling of water bottles and South Coast Water District will have their Water Trailer on hand to quench your thirst with handy spigots for refills. Please don’t forget to BYO (bring your own) and refill throughout the day. Please help us keep the Festival of Whales clean and green for generations to come. Click here to learn more

 

2015 Festival of Whales Merchandise

T-shirts (long and short sleeve) and hooded sweatshirts will be on sale throughout the Harbor during both weekends of the Festival. All clothing items available for online purchase beginning in January Festival of Whales Online Store

 

FREE Shuttle Service

Available every day of the Festival from 10 AM to 4 PM (extended service hours the morning of the parade (March 7) and the afternoon of the Whale of a Concert (March 15). Please visit our online map for shuttle stops, routes, parking lot and event locations. Park and ride free all day long and migrate with the whales! http://festivalofwhales.com/assets/files/map.pdf  Doheny State Park will be offering all day parking at a special discounted rate – more info to follow on this in subsequent Calendar releases.

 

Water Taxi – Back by popular demand!

Daily service during the Festival will be offered between Dana Wharf and the Ocean Institute from 10 AM to 4 PM. Round trip tickets are $5 per person. Present your Metrolink ticket, OCTA bus pass or 91 Express Lanes transponder and ride the water taxi for only $3 round trip per person. Park and ride and take in all the great sights from the water! Your captain will share interesting facts and features about the Dana Point area and it’s fascinating history.

 

Clean, fresh, plastic-free water – fill up your refillable water bottle, save water and reduce waste!

In addition to the many drinking fountains along the Harbor walkway (please reference event map), South Coast Water District will be providing water via it’s Emergency Water Trailer. Visit the trailer, fill up and learn how you can reduce water usage during the prolonged drought. Trailer location for each day of the Festival will be included on the event map. Tips on water savings and California friendly landscaping that reduces water usage will also be available from South Coast Water District staff on site.

 

ARTS AND CULTURE

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Art in the Park  10 AM – 4 PM  Local artists along with students from Dana Hills High School will be displaying a variety of works, utilizing unique mediums on the grassy areas at the corner of Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive. Live entertainment throughout the day! The Festival’s FREE shuttle has a stop immediately in front of “Herb” the topiary whale, immediately adjacent to the display areas.

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Dana Point Fine Arts Association Show & Sale The Dana Point Fine Arts Association, a nonprofit organization, will host an art show and sale from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. The art will be on display at the Harbor Boardwalk along the boat docks in Mariner’s Village on the east side of the Coffee Importers Espresso Bar and Harpoon Henry’s restaurant. Watercolor, oil, acrylic, colored pencil and photography by many award-winning local artists will be available for purchase. Dana Point Fine Arts annually donates a portion of the proceeds from the show to Dana Hills High School Art Department. For more info on this exhibit, contact http://danapointfinearts.org.

March 7, 8

Dana Point Historical Society Walking Tour of Town Center  At 2 PM meet the guide at 34091 Pacific Coast Hwy (corner of Blue Lantern and PCH) for the historic town center Walking Tour. See and hear the stories of commercial buildings, private homes and landmarks c. 1924 to 1939, that represent the city’s early development. A free Walking Tour brochure of Dana Point is included. For more information, call 949-248-8121 or museum@danapointhistorical.org. FREE – donations gladly accepted.

Should groups of three or more be interested in a tour the second weekend of the Festival, either March 14 or 15, the Historical Society will take advance reservations. To make a reservation please call the Dana Point Historical Society 949-248-8121 or email museum@danapointhistorical.org. Reservations must be made a minimum of three days in advance of the tour.

March 7

Polynesian Connection The Hula Connection (Leinani Hula Hui’ana) presents a day of
Polynesian culture, live entertainment, music, dance, food, drink and hands-on educational experiences for participants of all ages! This exciting event will be offered from 10AM to 4PM at Baby Beach, to span the entire grassy area. Activities include cultural demonstrations, Polynesian displays, fun-filled activities for children and adults such as lei-making, ‘fire’ knife and hula/Tahitian dancing, poi-ball twirling, air-brush tattoos and unique face-painting and coconut husking, to name a few! A ‘kau kau’ (food) area offers a taste of Polynesian local favorites – - Spam Musubi, Hawaiian plate lunch, shave ice and more!!

In the evening, enjoy an authentic luau at the OC Sailing and Events Center from 5:30 – 9 PM. Experience or relive the unforgettable sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of beautiful Polynesia! Cost for the luau will be advised in a subsequent Calendar release. FREE shuttle service is available to both locations. Proceeds will benefit DANCE for AUTISM. Come join us to live ALOHA!

 

CLASSIC CARS and VINTAGE BOAT DISPLAYS 

March 7, 8, 14, 15
Exact schedule of displays to be released in subsequent Calendar release. Please check back for specific line up – this is a must-see display of one-of-a-kind cars and boats! FREE shuttle service available at Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive for easy access to the Harbor walkway area.

March 7, 8

So Cal Woodies The best of the best will be on display from 10 AM to 4 PM from the official Southern California Chapter of the National Woodie Club. Stroll along the Harbor walkway and enjoy this one-of-a-kind display! The Club’s goal is to promote the wooden car, and the role it has played throughout automotive history, especially in the California surf culture. For more information visit www.socalwoodies.com.

March 7, 8

The Antique & Classic Boat Society – Southern California Chapter  Classic vessels will be on display along the Harbor walkway from 10 AM to 4 PM. The Antique & Classic Boat Society is the largest society in the world dedicated to preservation and enjoyment of historic, antique and classic boats of all types.

March 14, 15

Whale of a Classic Car Display  The Southern California Classics Car Club will display a variety of classics and hot rods from 10 AM to 3 PM. This year the club will feature the renowned Batmobile – back by popular demand! Stroll along the Harbor walkway and take in a bit of yesteryear. Many of these cars have been featured, and on the cover, of several automotive magazines, and have received awards from the Grand National Roadster Show, L.A Roadster Show, La Verne Cool Cruise, Dr. George Charity Car Show in Palm Springs and many other car shows.

Porsche 356 Club Southern California Founded in 1985, the 356 Club is the largest regional 356 club in the world, currently with over 1,000 members and growing. While the Club is Southern California based, the Club has attracted members from throughout the US, Canada and countries around the world. These magnificent automobiles will be on display along the Harbor Walkway from 10 AM to 4 PM.

 

DANA WHARF WHALE WATCHING AND MORE

(800) 979-3370 or (800) 590-9994 | www.danawharf.com

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Simply the best – from the originators of whale watching in Orange County and voted #1 five years in a row by Dana Point Times!

Expert captains and certified naturalists narrate each excursion, detailing the whales’ movements through their natural migration path. As the originator of Whale Watching in Orange County, Dana Wharf remains family owned and operated and is exclusively endorsed by world-renowned marine life artist Wyland. Every trip is a new and different adventure, all showcasing the beauty of the Pacific Ocean underwater world right here, off the coast of Dana Point. Kids rock at Dana Wharf and often get to meet the Captain! Marine Mammal “rain checks” ensure you see a good show of whales or dolphin or your next trip is FREE! Excursions depart every hour, on the hour, from 8 AM to 4 PM during the Festival weekends and every trip is approx. 2 hours. Prices: Adults $45, Senior and Military $35, Children 3-12 years $25, Children 2 and under are always FREE.

Want a WHALE OF A DEAL? $15 per person on all 8am trips! Hurry, the best deal in town sells out fast. Regular price is $45 – huge savings!

Also take advantage of the wonderful sunsets in Dana Point on our specially priced SUNSET WHALE WATCH trip. Sip cocktails or your favorite wine or beer from our on board bar as you take in the fabulous sunset. All tickets on this 4-6 PM trip are just $25 compared to our usual $45 rate! Check out our schedule and purchase online at http://www.zerve.com/DanaWharf/OceanAdv

March 8, 15

Kids Free Fishing Clinic and Free Fishing Trip  Dana Wharf Sportfishing invites all children to come to their dock side fishing clinic and learn hands on techniques on fishing from the experts. Prizes will be raffled off at the end of the clinic – 12:00 – 12:30 pm. After the clinic Dana Wharf will be running a fishing trip from 12:45 – 5:45, adults are $39 plus license and equipment, children 12 and under fish for FREE. Extra bonus is the chance of spotting whales, dolphins and other marine life! This trip includes equipment! More information and reservations call Dana Wharf 949-496-5794.

March 8

Kids Adventure Expo Located in the parking lot immediately in front of entrance to Dana Wharf on the right from 10 AM to 4 PM. A whale of an adventure for kids ages 5 – 12. Dana Wharf will host a state-of-the art Extreme Game Truck, climbing wall, big slide, unique petting zoo, hands-on fishing casting pod, boating for kids with emphasis on why life jackets are cool, face painting and a host of other adventures that will entertain, educate and delight!

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Marine Mammal Lecture Series  10-11 AM at Harpoon Henry’s Marine mammals are among the most beloved icons of the California coast and yet much of their life history and biology remains a mystery to us. Nonetheless, local researchers are making fantastic discoveries about marine mammals every day. During Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching’s special marine mammal lecture series you are invited to come learn some of the latest breaking news. Enjoy a continental breakfast at Harpoon Henry’s as marine biologists and special guests present recent findings on local whales, dolphins and other marine mammals. The presentations will include photos, videos, and underwater recordings. Following the lecture, join us for a whale watching trip aboard the OCean Adventures Catamaran for those that want to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. Space is limited. The lecture is free with purchase of the whale watching cruise aboard the OCean Adventures Catamaran and includes a continental breakfast. To attend the lecture only, $5 per person will be collected at the door (and also includes the continental breakfast). To purchase visit www.danawharf.com or call (949) 496-5794. Speaker line up to be advised in subsequent Calendar release.

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Wyland Whale Watching Art Lessons in the Wild 10-10:45AM Details coming soon.

 

DIAMOND DIG

March 8

Diamond Dig 11:30 AM – 1PM on Baby Beach, in the Dana Point Harbor. Come to Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club’s 4th Annual Diamond Dig at Baby Beach!! For one hour, starting at noon sharp, you and your child have a whale of an opportunity to become rich by digging for treasure & prizes. Dress as a pirate and get a head start looking for the buried treasure! Kids and adults are encouraged to arrive early at Baby Beach starting at 11:30 AM, pay $10 for your special Diamond Dig shovel and get ready to dig for treasure at noon sharp! Remember last year – toys, bicycles and a diamond necklace were among the booty found! Sponsored by the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club – all proceeds benefit local children’s charities. For more information call: Alan Wickstrom 949-842-0594 or go online:  MonarchBeachRotary.com.

 

DOHENY STATE BEACH

March 15

Doheny State Beach’s Mobile Marine Mammal Museum 11am – 3pm Meets at Doheny State Beach’s Visitor Center. There will be a variety of genuine marine mammal artifacts for visitors to actively learn and gain an appreciation of these magnificent creatures of the sea. Please alert entrance station staff upon arrival so they can direct visitors to appropriate parking location. Please Note: Free vehicle parking at Doheny State Beach for Doheny State Beach’s Mobile Marine Mammal Museum is limited to one hour only. Rain cancels. 949-496-2704 or www.dohenystatebeach.org. FREE

March 7

Whale of a Beach Cleanup – Festival of Whales Toast to the Coast!  9 AM – Noon  Bring your work gloves and a recyclable bag or bucket and help clean up Doheny State Beach. Meet Ranger Vicki at the Lifeguard Headquarters and learn more about how you can help maintain our precious coastal resources. FREE shuttle service to Doheny from most Harbor parking lots.

 

DOLPHIN SAFARI WHALE WATCHING AND MORE

(949) 488-2828dolphinsafari.com

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Join the Dana Point whale watching trip rated #1 on TripAdvisor, Google+ and Yelp. Dolphin and whale watching with Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods that let you feel what it’s like to swim with dolphins and whales underwater without getting wet. Our high-tech catamarans provide excellent viewing of gray whales, fin whales, minke whales, and more, plus five species of wild dolphins that can number in herds of up to 10,000 for an educational and incredibly exciting whale watching experience. Our boats are never crowded with a maximum of 49 passengers. Hear dolphins below the surface with our hydrophone and explore the artifacts in our whale and dolphin micro-museum. And Mrs. Capt. Dave’s yummy triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat. Exclusively aboard our catamaran sailboat MANUTE’A you can be one of the pod in our Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Capt. Dave’s original sailing catamaran DOLPHIN SAFARI is so close to the water that it’s like viewing dolphins and whales from a kayak. Both catamaran sailboats feature our Eye-Spy Dolphin Nets to give you a really up close encounter! LILY, our power catamaran, offers luxury whale watching with features that include cushioned bow seating, full galley, beautifully appointed interior, and state-of-the-art whale research equipment. ORCA, our luxury motor yacht, is available for intimate whale watching charters for up to 6 guests. Mention this listing for $10 discount; good during Festival of Whales only; discount not applicable on private charters.

March 8

Lily, a Gray Whale Tribute with Special Presentation by Capt. Dave 8:30 to 9:30 AM FREE tour/lecture/book signing on Captain Dave’s 62-foot luxury power catamaran, a state-of-the-art whale research, rescue, and whale watching vessel named Lily. Named after a gray whale horrifically wrapped in gill net that made national headlines when Capt. Dave and rescue team members disentangled her, Lily is a high tech whale rescue vessel that is also used for whale watching and research. Capt. Dave has made headlines with his whale rescue work including a visit on the Ellen Show. He will be discussing ongoing whale rescue and research that will be taking place on Lily. You’ll also have hands-on fun with research and rescue equipment. Purchase signed copies of Capt. Dave’s book, “Lily, A Gray Whale’s Odyssey”, which won nine awards in 2013. Whale watching trips are available aboard Lily during the Festival! 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, next to Baby Beach. Info: 949-488-2828 or www.dolphinsafari.com

March 14

Captain Dave’s Carnival 12 to 2 PM Come one, come all, to Captain Dave’s Carnival, and have a ball. Step right up, and have some fun, drop by our Dolphin Deck for games and sun. FREE fun for the whole “pod,” especially kids 4-10, will enjoy games, crafts, bounce houses, and prizes with a special appearance by “Patches” the Dolphin. Face painting will also be available for a small fee. Play with clay. You will receive hands on instruction on wheel throwing. For a small fee this pottery class offers a unique way of creating your own pot. No experience required for this fun class. Info: 949-488-2828 or www.dolphinsafari.com

March 14

Capt. Dave Presents Drones Over Whales & Dolphins 2 – 4 PM Have you ever wondered how we could use drones for not only whale watching, but also whale research and rescue? Join Captain Dave Anderson at the OC Sailing & Events Center for a presentation with never before seen footage of dolphins and whales, along with an up-close view of the equipment used during the making of that footage. Discover how this innovative technology is helping us to learn more about dolphins and whales by providing views we could never see from a boat and how it’s used for whale rescues in the future. Nearly 1,000 dolphins and whales die every day worldwide in fishing gear entanglement. Throughout the weekend join Capt. Dave for dolphin and whale watching aboard Lily, his 62-foot luxury power catamaran and state-of-the-art whale research, rescue, and whale watching vessel. There is no charge for the drone presentation. Safari is $65 per person for 2. 5 hours. Mention Capt. Dave’s drone when booking to receive a $10 discount; cannot be combined with any other discounts. 34451 Ensenada Place (near Baby Beach). Info: 949-488-2828 or www.dolphinsafari.com

March 14

Free Award Winning Movie Viewing 11 AM to 3 PM New this year: watch for FREE Capt. Dave’s breathtaking video “Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales”. Enjoyed by over 9.1 million online viewers, Capt. Dave’s film contains some of the most beautiful, jaw-dropping, footage ever taken with a drone from the air of a huge mega-pod of thousands of common dolphins stampeding, three gray whales migrating, and heartwarming close-ups hovering over a newborn humpback whale calf snuggling and playing with its mom. We’ll also be showing Captain Dave’s award winning documentary “Wild Dolphins and Whales of Southern California” and you can purchase a signed copy of the DVD documentary. Screenings held every hour at our Dolphin Deck at 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive (near Baby Beach). Throughout the day relax and enjoy our Dolphin Deck with the best view in the harbor. Sandwiches, snacks, ice cream and refreshments are available for purchase. Info: 949-488-2828 or www.dolphinsafari.com

 

FUN FOOD

March 7

Polynesian Connection Luau  Enjoy an authentic luau at the OC Sailing and Events Center from
5:30 – 9 PM. Experience or relive the unforgettable sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of beautiful Polynesia! Cost for the luau will be advised in a subsequent Calendar release. FREE shuttle service is available. Proceeds will benefit DANCE for AUTISM. Come join us to live ALOHA!

March 14

4th Annual Whale of a Clam Chowder Cook Off  Sample a variety of tasty chowders from local restaurants and organizations and then vote for your favorite from 10 AM to 2 PM at Baby Beach grassy area. Tasting packets will include taste sampling tickets, tasting cups and spoons – only $10 to taste every sample – makes a great lunch! Prizes will be awarded for the People’s Choice Best Chowder, Best Booth Design and Mayor’s Choice as well as an all new Perpetual Trophy that will be presented at 3 PM. This year enjoy a Beer & Wine Garden for adults over 21 with a valid driver’s license. Kids and adults will both have a chance to win fun gifts when participating at our game booths! All proceeds will benefit Fish for Life, offering programs designed to provide love and inspiration to a multitude of special needs people while teaching fishing skills and ministering to the value of life. http://www.fishforlife.org/

March 8

Whale of a BBQ  Delicious BBQ specialties at affordable prices will be served up from 11:30 AM to 4 PM adjacent to Baby Beach during Ocean Awareness Day.

March 15

Whale of a Concert BBQ Scrumptious BBQ specialties will be available from Noon to 5 PM at the OC Sailing & Event Center adjacent to Baby Beach, including a Spirits Garden for those over 21 years old with a valid driver’s license.

March 8

Whale of a Pancake Breakfast & Raffle with Entertainment  Hosted by the Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9934 and Ladies Auxiliary 9934 at the OC Sailing & Event Center’s Dana Cove Room from 8 AM – 11 AM. Start your day with delicious, fluffy pancakes with strawberry topping and whipped cream served hot off the griddle!! Traditional maple syrup is also available. Combine these luscious pancakes with tasty sausage, juice, milk or coffee and you’ll have a breakfast you won’t forget soon! Over 20 great gifts will be raffled. And the fun doesn’t stop here – - we will have a variety of great entertainment that covers all ages. All proceeds will benefit veterans, Mag 39 active Marines and their families as well as active wounded warriors and veteran wounded warriors. All of our funds are committed to meeting the needs of our military and their families, and please remember that the VFW is totally volunteer driven, so ALL proceeds are used solely for our military. Share in the fun and tradition and join us for a delicious breakfast, win a great prize and let us entertain you! Following breakfast join us for Ocean Awareness Day, Diamond Dig, Sand Sculpting and Rubber Ducky Race – just steps away at Baby Beach. Pancake Breakfast: Adults – $6, Children under 12 – $3. For more information call (949) 248-1419.

 

GRUNION RUN

March 15

The 7th Annual Festival of Whales Grunion Run 10K & 5K Run/Walk and Kids’ 1K Run will take place in Doheny State Beach. This is a fast and flat scenic run / walk along the coast and through beautiful Doheny State Beach.

EVENT TIMES
6:45am     Registration
7:45am     10K and 5K Run/Walk Start
9:00am     Kids’ 1K Run
9:15am     Awards

REGISTRATION and PACKET PICK UP
FEES
$40 10K Run/Walk
$35 5K Run/Walk
$15 Kids’ 1K Run
Late (after 3/12/15) and On-site registrations add $5.00

You can also register for this event at packet pick-up (see details below) or on race day from 6:45 AM until the start of the race. Late and on site registrations add $5.00. We cannot guarantee t-shirts for on-site registrations.

Packet pick up will be Saturday, March 14th from 10 AM – 3 PM at Road Runner Sports in Laguna Hills. Click here for directions.

You can have someone else pick up your packet with a signed acknowledgement and a copy of your driver’s license.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
This will be a chip timed event. Timing services provided by RaceWire. You can also sign up to receive text message alerts.
T-shirts and goodie bags provided for all pre-registered participants.
Overall Male & Female awards and Age Group medals (three deep.) Ribbons for all kids’ fun run participants (12 and under). The kids’ run is and untimed event.
Event will be held rain or shine. No rollerblades or pets allowed. Strollers will only be allowed behind all other runners. Registration fees are non-refundable and bibs are non-transferable.

Click here for a map of the routePlease note the 10K course is two loops.

PARKING:
Parking is available within the State Park on a first come basis at $8.00 before 7 AM. After 7 AM the road into the State Park will be closed to traffic. Please note that the $8.00 fee is an ALL day parking rate that enables you to enjoy the rest of the Festival throughout the day. Just hop on the FREE shuttle and take in all the events in the Harbor!

Proceeds of the event benefit the DSBIA (Doheny State Beach Interpretive Assocation) and will be used to support interpretive events in the park as well as the Visitor’s Center, Orange County’s largest public aquarium.

After the Run enjoy all of the other Festival of Whales events in the Harbor including whale watching, Art in the Park, great classic car and boat displays and the grand finale Concert on the Water, BBQ and Spirits Garden on the sand at Baby Beach. Stay and play all day!

 

MOVIE IN THE PARK

March 7

Join us for “Free Willy Escape from Pirate’s Cove” (PG), starring Bindy Irwin and Beau Bridges. The movie is presented by the City of Dana Point Community Services & Parks Department. FREE popcorn, hot beverages and snacks will be available. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and picnic dinners for an evening of entertainment under the stars. Movie will begin at 6:30 pm and is located at Lantern Bay Park, 25111 Park Lantern, Dana Point. For more information call 949-248-3530.

 

MUSIC

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Harbor Music Series Presented by the Dana Point Harbor Association in the Dana Wharf Courtyard and Harpoon Henry Grassy Area near Mariner’s Village 12 Noon – 3 PM. Enjoy a variety of musical styles and sounds. 949-923-2255 or danapointharbor.com

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Art in the Park Schedule of performances to be advised in subsequent Calendar release.

March 15

In honor of the whales migrating by Dana Point Headlands “singing their song” the Festival of Whales festivities will include a FREE outdoor concert at Baby Beach with bands performing on the water on a specially designed stage. Concert will begin at noon with “The PettyBreakers,” (Tom Petty Tribute Band) performing from 12 – 1 PM, followed by “Mobility” United States Air Force Rock Band from 1:30 – 3 PM and concluding with “The Tijuana Dogs,” (Pop & Rock) from 3:30 – 5 PM. Bring your beach chairs and blankets and enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment. Scrumptious BBQ specialties will also be available, including a Spirits Garden for 21 years & older with a valid driver’s license. Vineyard Vines will be back again this year by popular demand with great games and prizes! Baby Beach is located adjacent to the OC Sailing & Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point. For more information call 949-248-3530.

 

OCEAN AWARENESS DAY

March 8

Ocean Awareness Day Presented by the Dana Point Harbor Association, featuring interactive displays, demonstrations and entertainment showcasing ocean and environmental programs and issues related to our ocean. The event is located at Baby Beach at the OC Sailing & Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Place, 11 AM – 4 PM. The event and parking is FREE and there is also FREE shuttle service from most Harbor parking lots. 949-923-2255 or danapointharbor.com

 

OCEAN INSTITUTE

 
March 7, 8, 14, 15
Ocean Institute-Ocean Education Center

During the festival weekends, a hands-on journey into the mysterious and captivating world of whales will allow visitors to explore a variety of fascinating phenomena unique to these magnificent animals. Guests follow the migration of the grey whale as they move through the facility, starting in Baja, moving on to the California Coast, and ending up in Alaska.

Along the way there will be opportunities to investigate how whales communicate and eat, to see how changes to the marine environment affects them, and to learn about ongoing research. Guests can even participate in our Whale of a Tale educational craft activity room for a suggested minimal fee.

Additional activities include hands-on dissections, animal feedings, ROV driving, and touch tanks in which guests touch live sea stars and other tidepool animals. You might even get a glimpse of our new and improved lobby and courtyard coming in Spring 2015!

March 14th& 15th include a mermaid exhibit and story time in which guests can learn about the value of recycling from a ‘real mermaid.’ Guests can take pictures with our friend from the sea and learn about human impact on whales.
Public hours are extended from 10am to 4pm.

Non-member Admission: $6.50 adults, $4.50 children 12 & under. Member Admission: $4.50 adults, $2 children 12 & under.
Children 2 and under are free.

*Admission includes entrance to the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, Barn, and on Sundays only, tours onboard Pilgrim.

 
March 7, 8, 14, 15
Whale of a Tale Craft in the Ocean Institute

Join us in a room filled with stories and fantasy as guests make a variety of up-cycled whale crafts and learn about the values of recycling. Guests can come to a story reading and then make their own coordinating whale, or simply wander in and make what they choose.

    Craft choices include:

  • Egg Carton Whale-Recycle used egg cartons as you make this adorable ‘mini’ whale spouting water.
  • Clothespin Whale- Participants learn how different whales eat different foods based on their teeth and species as they create their own whale puppet. Your whale’s mouth opens and closes, revealing its tasty dinner inside.
  • Paper Plate Whale-Guests can make an adorable whale out of a paper plate and review whale anatomy as they assemble its body.
  • Paper Bag Whale-Turn paper lunch bags into cute paper bag whales and fill them with recycled newspaper. Learn about the difference between fish tails and mammal tails as you build your paper bag whale.

Explore the rest of the Ocean Institute or read an educational children’s book while you wait for your craft to dry!

$2 suggested donation for craft expenses and to support Ocean Institute educational programs. Story times are at 11AM, 12PM, 1PM, 2PM, and 3PM, but guests can make crafts from 10AM until 4PM as they choose.

 
March 7, 8, 14, 15
Ocean Institute-Maddie James Seaside Learning Center

Discover the Citizen Science that actively happens at the Ocean Institute as you learn about the effects humans have on local watersheds. Join in Plate Watch and help us count invasive species in local fouling communities. Tour times TBA.

From 10AM-12PM enjoy our new wharf and experience life as a sailor onboard a whaling vessel with whaling artifacts and trying your hand at hauling on a line. Sing a sea chantey and perform a sailor jig to help pass the time.

 
March 7, 8, 14, 15
Ocean Institute-Pilgrim and Barn Activities

Enter our barn and step into a different world: the challenging life of a sailor. Experience existence onboard a square-rig brig as you try your hand at climbing on our practice yard and pass the time with knots and rope-work. Make your own scrimshaw medallion for a minimal additional fee TBA.

Saturdays watch crew members demonstrate how to climb aloft at 11AM. On Sundays guests can participate in tours onboard the Pilgrim, going below decks and learning about various parts of the ship and its history. Tour times TBA.

* Included with general admission to the Ocean Education Center:
Non-member Admission: $6.50 adults, $4.50 children 12 & under. Member Admission: $4.50 adults, $2 children 12 & under.
Children 2 and under are free.

 
March 8
Ocean Institute-Transparentsea Screening

Join us as we “dive with the whales” and learn about their migration along the California coast as we watch Dave Rastovich lead Surfers for Cetaceans on an aquatic journey mirroring this migratory path. The Transparentsea Voyage begins in Santa Barbara and traces the southern migration of the California Grey and Blue Whale. The film offers a “behind the music” look at the journey, with a focus on activism. The film stars various celebrities and musicians, including Angus Stone and Band of Frequencies.

In honor of Ocean Awareness Day, the film addresses how humans are currently affecting whale populations and inspires viewers to change their behavior and make a difference for our marine friends.

Explore our labs and view animals you might encounter as a whale. Labs open for viewing at 4PM and the screening begins at 4:30PM.

A $5 donation for admission is recommended.

 

Ocean Institute Whale’s Tale Tallship Sailing Adventure

March 7, 8, 14, 15

March 7
Whale’s Tale Tallship Sailing Adventure
From “Devil Fish” to “Friendliest Whale,” explore how time and discovery have shaped man’s perception of the magnificent Gray Whale. Join us for an exciting tallship sailing adventure as you gain new insights into man’s evolving relationship with the ocean and the giants that roam our California Coast. Join us for a pre-sail whaling talk in the boathouse at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).

 
March 8
Facts & ‘Fin’tasea Sailing Adventure
How are humans impacting our friends in the sea? Find out when a ‘real mermaid’ shares facts about her friends and ways you can help protect not only the whales, but all of the animals in the ocean. During your sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point, guests will learn about man’s ever changing connection with the sea and its mysterious creatures. Join our mermaid for a pre-sail talk at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).

 
March 14
LiteraSea Sailing Adventure: Moby Dick & The Essex
If you enjoyed reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick or look forward to seeing Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, then this is the sail for you. Re-enact life onboard the Essex, an 1820s whaling ship that inspired Moby Dick. Watch literature and history come to life as you sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point. Join us for a pre-sail whaling talk in the boathouse at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).

 
March 15
Two Years Before the Mast: A Tallship Sailing Adventure
You have watched students reenact life as a sailor onboard the Pilgrim, you have heard about Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s book, Two Years Before the Mast, and now it is your turn to experience life as a sailor in the 1830s. Come relive the adventure and learn about Dana Point’s history in a hands-on and interactive way as you haul lines and sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point. Will you survive for two hours before the mast? Join us for a pre-sail history talk in the boathouse at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).

 

PARADE AND STREET FAIR

March 7

The Festival of Whales Parade begins promptly at 10 AM with a route along Pacific Coast Highway beginning at Selva Road and ending at Golden Lantern in Dana Point. FREE shuttle service to and from Harbor parking lots will be available beginning one hour (9 AM) from the parade start time. Arrive early, enjoy breakfast harborside, board the free shuttle and then spend the day visiting all the great events located throughout the Harbor. Parade entrants are encouraged to embrace the Festival’s theme of Magical Migration when designing parade floats and costumes. Awards will be given to the Best Display of Parade Theme, Best Musical Unit, Best Youth Group, Best Group Spirit and Best Local Entry. For inquiries about giant balloon sponsorships and other parade questions, please contact Sherry Murphy, Recreation Manager at the City of Dana Point (949) 248-3533 or smurphy@danapoint.org. Click here to download the 2015 Parade Entry Application. Parade entry applications are due no later than end of business day February 23, 2015.

In conjunction with the Festival of Whales, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend the Annual Street Fair for an unforgettable day of food, entertainment and fun for the whole family. The Street Fair will take place immediately following the Festival of Whales Parade. Arrive early and browse the many wonderful vendors from the Dana Point Farmers Market, grab breakfast and get a spot to watch the parade! FREE shuttle service will be available to and from the Harbor and La Plaza Park between 9 AM and 3 PM.

There are many ways to participate in the Street Fair experience. Applications are now available for vendors & non-profits, as well as food vendors.

For more information on any of these options please call the Dana Point Chamber office at 949.496.1555 or contact them via email at FOW@danapointchamber.com.

 

RUBBER DUCKY DERBY 

March 8

Whale of a Rubber Ducky Derby  Hosted by the Dana Point Women’s Club, this fun spin on a traditional “Rubber Ducky Race” will be held from 11AM – 2PM at Baby Beach. Duckies may be purchased in advance by contacting Joan Marie Kerr at 949-859-5706 or Freda D’Souza at 949-374-4944 or the day of the event at the DPWC station at Baby Beach. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. $6 per Rubber Duck or 2 for $10. You do not need to be present to win. Funds raised through this event will be donated to the Dana Point Library’s Children’s Summer Reading Program. www.danapointwomensclub.org.

 

SAND SCULPTING FUN

March 8

Whale of a Sand Sculpting Competition 8 AM to 2:30 PM on Baby Beach Presented by OC Parks, this is a great event for teams of every kind – from families and friends to hard core sand sculpting enthusiasts – join us! Sculpting creation areas limited to 20 plots of 15’ x 15’ each – first come, first serve! Choose one of four categories: Castles, Whales and Ocean Creatures, Pirates and Ships or Woodies and Surfboards. Contestants start at 8 am, judging begins at 2:30 with awards to follow. Bring your own buckets and tools, dyes and stabilizers not allowed – all natural. Sand provided free! Bring a team of family and friends and join the fun!

 

SAILING AND PADDLING

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Saling Rides Take a sailing ride and learn how to steer and sail a Capri 14! Ages 5 and up, 10 AM – 4 PM. $15 per boat, three people maximum (half-hour session). Weather and conditions dependent. Lifejackets provided. Find our booth at the OC Sailing & Event Center. Contact Westwind Sailing for details: (949) 492-3035. All proceeds are donated to the Dana Point Aquatic Foundation for educational boating scholarships benefiting At-Risk Youth and Adaptive Boating programs.

Stand-Up Paddling Clinics Join the SUP craze and learn first hand why it’s the fastest growing water sport today! 45 min on the water clinics held each hour on the hour – weather and conditions dependent. Ages 12 and up, (12 – 14 yr old must be accompanied by an adult) 10 AM – 3 PM. $10 per person. Lifejackets provided. Find our booth at the OC Sailing & Event Center. Contact Westwind Sailing for details: (949) 492-3035. All proceeds are donated to the Dana Point Aquatic Foundation for educational boating scholarships benefiting At-Risk Youth and Adaptive Boating programs.