DANA POINT — The 44th annual Dana Point Festival of Whales will help celebrate the return of gray whales to local waters with festival events scheduled for March 14 to 15.
Whales pass Dana Point each day this time of year during their annual migration north. Hundreds of the whales will splash through the city on their way to the Baja. The 35-ton leviathans can be seen by boaters cruising offshore – as well as passengers aboard whale-watching charter boats.
This year’s festival kicked off the weekend of March 7 to 8. On the last weekend of the festival, guests can take a free shuttle from the parking lots to the harbor w where plenty of fun activities await. Enjoy a ride on the water taxi that is offered between Dana Wharf and the Ocean Institute. Cost is $3 round trip. Dana Wharf will offer whale watching trips every hour on the hour from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On land, Art in the Park will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where local artists will be displaying their work, along with a classic car display by the Porsche 356 Club Southern California and the Southern California Classics Car Club.
The 7th annual Grunion Run 10k and 5k will be held on March 15, along with the Kids’ 1k on Doheny State Beach. Register online for the run or walk.
Enjoy clam chowder during the 4th annual Whale of a Clam Chowder Cook Off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 14 where local restaurants and organizations will vie for the People’s Choice Best Chowder Award. The Whale of a Concert BBQ will be available from noon to 5 p.m. on March 15.
Live music is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. in the Dana Wharf Courtyard and Harpoon Henry Grassy Area near Mariner’s Village. A special concert on the water in honor of the whale migration will take place on the water a Baby Beach with various bands taking the (floating) stage throughout the day from noon to 5 p.m.
For details, visit festivalofwhales.com or call (888) 440-4309.