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Welcome to the Dana Point Festival of Whales

Mark your calendars! Come back and see us on March 4th and 5th, 2023 in the dolphin & whale watching capital of the world (R) for the 52nd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales!

Mike Gapes sitting in a harborThis year’s Festival is dedicated in memory of our founder Don Hansen, (1934-2022).

The Festival will proceed as an in-person two-day festival.  With COVID restrictions eased, most of the Festival’s traditional events and attractions are returning to the schedule. A few virtual events will remain on the calendar as well.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the beautiful Dana Point Harbor to celebrate the annual return of the California gray whales as they grace our coast during their annual, awe-inspiring migration.

This year the Welcoming of the Whales Ceremony (Friday, March 4 at dusk, on the beach behind the Ocean Institute) will be open to the public and followed by a kickoff party at the Ocean Institute. The kickoff event will include speakers, food trucks/refreshments, and hands-on educational activities. Stay tuned for more on that.

Whale watching excursions operating out of Dana Point will be offered on a special Festival schedule. Keep an eye on the event schedule as new additions will be added continually.

For Harbor information visit DanaPointHarbor.com or call 949.388.3663.

Mark your calendars now! Come back and see us on March 4th and 5th, 2023 in the dolphin & whale watching capital of the world (R) for the 52nd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales!

We look forward to hosting you in beautiful Dana Point Harbor to celebrate the annual return of the California gray whales as they grace our coast during their annual, awe-inspiring migration.

In the meantime, there are several incredible Whale watching excursions operating out of Dana Point all year round!  For more information visit DanaPointHarbor.com 

2022 Festival of Whales Logo Designed by:

MATT REINHART

The 2022 Festival Foundation Board has named San Clemente resident Matt Rinehart as the logo artist for the 51st annual Festival of Whales.

Rinehart’s design was chosen from among Board favorites of past years’ design contest entries. Rinehart was runner-up in the 2021 Festival of Whales logo design contest.

Rinehart said he’s lived by the ocean his entire life and had the desire to do something for his community, which, in turn, inspired his decision to submit the logo design last year for the yearly South Orange County festival…

click here to read more…

Check out last year's 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DANA POINT FESTIVAL OF WHALES Video!

If you like this video, make sure you share it too! Vimeo is filled with lots of amazing content! See more at https://vimeo.com.

THE VOTES HAVE BEEN COUNTED

AND THE WINNER IS…
LYNLEA MICHAELS OF IRVINE

From among just over 70 entries and 3,055 votes cast by the public, this year’s beautiful logo by Lynlea Michaels emerged as the official logo for the 50th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales.

“For this design I wanted to capture the energy of the ocean and the thrill of seeing such amazing animals playing and enjoying the California sun,” Lynlea said. “The groovy text and mid-century colors give a nod to Dana Point’s history as a thriving surf community and the city’s eclectic vibes. I hope you love it!”

And love it we did! Lynlea’s design came in at the top of the public voting and the Festival Foundation logo design committee’s vote. The retro feel hearkens back to 1970/1971 when the Dana Point Harbor and its whale watching tradition was just getting started, yet still manages to have a fresh and modern vibe. We can’t wait to offer it for sale on the Festival’s golden anniversary commemorative merchandise.

About the artist:

Lynlea Michaels is a local designer and artist specializing in costume design and fashion illustration. A SoCal native, Lynlea studied fashion and media in New York City before embarking on several years of world travel and exploration. She is now back in Southern California and will be pursuing an advanced degree in Costume Design from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2021. 

Website: LynleaMichaels.com

The logo design contest runners-up were:
2nd place Matt Rinehart
3rd place Gabriella Kohr
4th place Michael O’Connell

Congratulations to all of the finalists and thanks to all who entered.