'Beatlemania,' Fabulous Thunderbirds Headline Morro Bay Harbor Fest, Oct. 4-5

The 33rd Annual Morro Bay Harbor Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 4-5, on Morro Bay’s Embarcadero, once again filling the waterfront with thousands of visitors enjoying live music, seafood, beer and wine, and a weekend of family fun by the bay.

The Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds

The 33rd Annual Morro Bay Harbor Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 4-5, on Morro Bay’s Embarcadero, once again filling the waterfront with thousands of visitors enjoying live music, seafood, beer and wine, and a weekend of family fun by the bay.

Headlining the Festival’s musical lineup will be Beatlemania, one of the most popular “fab four” bands in the country, performing Saturday at 1:30 p.m., and legendary  blues-rockers, the Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson, who take the Dan Reddell Stage Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Top local bands in the weekend spotlight include Meet the Foppers (Billy and Charlie Foppiano), Burnin’ James & the Funky Flames and Captain Nasty on Saturday, and Vodu Lounge, R. Buckle Road and the Zongo All-Stars on Sunday.

The Festival will also again feature popular events like the oyster-eating contest, as well as shopping at art and crafts booths, the kids cove, and a wide variety of food treats including famous Morro Bay barbecued albacore kabobs, local wine and beer.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at a discount on the Festival’s website for $10 per adult, $5 for children ages 6-12, free for children 5 and under. Tickets purchased at the gate during the Festival will cost an additional $2 per ticket.

Sponsors, food vendors, vendors of art and crafts, memorabilia and maritime-themed gifts can participate this year by contacting the Festival office at (805) 772-1155 or by email: info@mbhf.com.

Festival proceeds benefit more than 30 nonprofit organizations throughout San Luis Obispo County who contribute volunteers to crew the event.

For more information visit the Harbor Festival website: www.mbhf.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/morrobayharborfestival; and
Twitter: @MBHarborFest.

Dozens of Oysters Swallowed Whole at Harbor Fest Contest

mbhf-oyster
2013 Giovanni’s Fish Market Oyster Eating Contest

The October 5-6 weekend of the Morro Bay Harbor Festival opened Saturday morning to the funky hip-hop grooves of The Monroe and closed Sunday at sunset to the rock anthems of Queen Nation. The music was loud enough to rock the town from the ocean to the highlands.

In between, thousands of visitors to Morro Bay flocked to its popular waterfront on a classic sun-drenched, late-summer weekend to enjoy two days of good music, seafood, beverage and ocean air at one of the Central Coast’s biggest annual attractions.

One of the highlights of Saturday afternoon’s action was the “Down-the-Hatch Oyster-Eating Contest” sponsored by Giovanni’s Fish Market. Twelve contestants paid $10 each to eat as many raw Grassy Bar oysters as they could in 90 seconds. For oyster lovers cheered on by family and friends it was a win-win no matter who won.

The competition was colorfully MC’d by event sponsor Giovanni DeGarimore, owner of Giovanni’s Fish Market and STAX Wine Bar & Bistro, who counted the empty shells to determine the winner. This year’s winner was five-time champ Mark Russo, who downed 37 slippery critters to claim the $100 first-place gift certificate and a flurry of other free treats.

Morro Bay Harbor Festival Brings Back Queen Nation

The 32nd Annual Morro Bay Harbor Festival will once again turn the north end of the Embarcadero into four solid blocks of great dining, drinking, fun and entertainment on Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6.

As they’ve done for many years, thousands of locals and tourists will flock to Morro Bay’s sun-drenched waterfront for the weekend to experience a taste of the sea Morro Bay style. Morro Bay’s Commercial Fishermen’s Association will be grilling fresh albacore kabobs, and a wide array of fine restaurants, microbreweries, wineries, food and arts & crafts vendors, special wine-tasting events and contests like Giovanni’s “Down the Hatch Oyster Eating Contest” will be enjoyed to the beat of top-notch musical talent.

Headlining the music lineup for Saturday, October 5, are: electro-dance music champs TROPO; Celtic rock ’n’ rollers the Young Dubliners; house r&b masters the Mother Hips; and blues rockers Danielle LoPresti & the Masses.

Headlining Sunday, October 6, are indie-pop band Lakes; Queen cover band Queen Nation; progressive bluegrass band Hot Buttered Rum; and ’80s cover band Fast Times.

Advanced tickets, available online through Sept. 20, are $8 for adults. Tickets purchases after Sept. 20 and at the gate are $10. Tickets for children ages 5-12 are $5 and under 5 are free. Two-day tickets are $15. Ticket prices vary for special events.

The Morro Bay Harbor Festival Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 community-benefit organization and helps fund a wide selection of San Luis Obispo County nonprofit organizations which provide hundreds of volunteers to staff the festival. The Festival Volunteer Program has awarded nearly $500,000 to participating nonprofit groups over the past 25 years.

For more information about the Harbor Festival and ticket/hotel packages visit: http://www.mbhf.com.

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Balmy Harbor Festival 2012 Draws Throngs to Morro Bay, C.O.A.S.T Protest

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Buoyed by spectacular summer weekend weather in the fall, the annual Morro Bay Harbor Festival staged one of its most successful events ever on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, as thousands of tourists and residents flocked to the annual extravaganza on the Embarcadero to enjoy a friendly tsunami of fun, food, drink and entertainment by the bay.

Headlining the festival’s music lineup were Queen revival band, Queen Nation, who thrilled the crowd with their spot-on, rousing rock renditions of all-time hits such as “Somebody to Love” and “Under Pressure,” and Steve Miller Band singer-guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis & the Barflyz, whose sophisticated blend of Bay Area rock covers and originals took flight with “The Joker” and Steely Dan’s “Do It Again.” A stream of polished talent kept the music playing on two large stages while band music also poured from the Dockside II Restaurant. Street performance artists Marionetta and Columbina, the Discovering Science for Kids tent and park rides captured the attention of the very young ones.

On Saturday afternoon, just as Queen Nation was about to take the main stage, the C.O.A.S.T Alliance’s “Goin’ C.O.A.S.Tal” land and sea rally (See SEISMIC SUCCESS) against seismic testing started. C.O.A.S.T members and supporters in brightly colored t-shirts with “Stop Ocean Blasting” on the front walked single file past the festival site on the way to their Coleman Beach rally point, as a C.O.A.S.T flotilla of boats and kayaks filled the bay to protest PG&E’s impending seismic test off Morro Bay.

The combined crowd excitement of the festival and land-sea protest provided festival-goers with an unforgettable eyeful and earful. They learned a lot about the seismic test, and the C.O.A.S.T protest only added to the waterfront atmospherics to make this year’s Harbor Festival one of the most memorable and dramatic in years.

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Queen Nation and Kenny Lee Lewis & The Barflyz to Rock Morro Bay Harbor Festival '12

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Morro Bay Harbor Festival

This year’s Morro Bay Harbor Festival isn’t simply on a mission with a goal to entertain audiences like never before – it’s out to surprise, delight and amaze them.

The 31st Morro Bay Harbor Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days, offers a fresh burst of “new-to-the-Central Coast” entertainment, including Queen Nation, one of the most celebrated classic rock revival bands touring today, as well as top local and regional bands, and some highly original entertainment right on the street.

Says Steve Buffalo, Executive Director of the Harbor Festival: “We hope to offer something extra special to help bring back the regulars who love to attend as well as those who have never been to the Festival. That’s why we’re offering such a diverse lineup of entertainment.”

That diversity of entertainment goes beyond music and is designed to turn the harbor area into a street fair. New at this year’s festival are four street entertainers who will “surprise and delight visitors with never-before-seen performances on the Central Coast,” according to the press release. These entertainers are: Marionetta, a 12-foot creature with a full marionette puppet show in her skirts, who comes to life when you see her up close, where her stunning handmade puppets prove to be replicas of a unique stage show; Columbina, a witty clown who uses her brains and beauty as a tool of entertainment and delight; The Living Statues; and The Living Floral Tree, who surprises audiences when she comes to life.

“This year, Festival visitors should be prepared to be surprised and amazed by these strolling entertainers,” Mr. Buffalo alerts The ROCK. “As they make their way through the event, most people won’t believe their eyes. They’re that unique.”

This year’s Harbor Festival will offer two stages of live bands including the two headliner bands. Queen Nation – a band that has received rave reviews for capturing the look and sound of Freddie Mercury & Queen — will perform on the Embarcadero Stage at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, October 6. On Sunday, October 7, Kenny Lee Lewis, lead guitarist of the Steve Miller Band and his local band The Barflyz, will rock the Embarcadero Stage, also at 2:30 p.m.

Anchoring this year’s great Morro Bay waterfront dining experience is the popular Seafood and Wine Pavilion, offering a variety of top area wines and freshly prepared seafood. Also featured in the Pavilion is wine tasting from over 20 wineries, as well as beer tasting courtesy of micro-brewery “Rock-tober.” Other top taste stops include the local fisherman’s barbecue, the People’s Choice Clam Chowder Tasting Contest, and the “Down the Hatch” Oyster-Eating Contest. There are also a wide variety of art & crafts, shopping, and free interactive programs and activities for children.

Other local entertainers and live bands scheduled to perform on both stages include:

Embarcadero Stage (October 6)
10:30 a.m. – Pacific Dance
12:00 p.m. – Burning James & the Funky Flames
1:45 p.m. – Hawaiian Shirt Contest
2:30 p.m. – Queen Nation
4:00 p.m. – Zumba by Sally
4:30 p.m. – Triple Threat

Abalone Stage (October 6)
10:00 a.m. – Tim Jackson
12:00 p.m. – The Shival Experience
2:00 p.m. – The Red Skunk Jipzee Swing Band
4:00 p.m. – Trouble Hoof

Embarcadero Stage (October 7)
10:00 a.m. – Cuesta College Jazz Ensemble
12:00 p.m. – The Stratones
1:45 p.m. – “Down the Hatch” Oyster-Eating Contest
2:30 p.m. – The Barflyz
4:30 p.m. – The Versatones

Abalone Stage (October 7)
10:00 a.m. – Mud on the Tires
12:00 p.m. – The Jammies
2:00 p.m. – Jill Knight
4:00 p.m. – The Mighty Croon Dogs

Other highlights include: Discovering Science for Kids, Benet Serat Belly Dancing Troupe, the Incredible Sand Sculptures by the Sand Masters (as seen on the Travel Channel), among others.

For shoppers, there will be more than 100 different booths offering handmade crafts and maritime-themed gifts as well as original food treats from all over the Central Coast.

Each year, many festival volunteers generously donate their time on behalf of nonprofit groups they represent. Says Buffalo, “The cool part is that the hours they put in as a volunteer is calculated and added up.  Then, in return, from the profits we make at the event, we donate the value of those hours back to the nonprofits who have volunteers participating at the Festival.”

The Morro Bay Harbor Festival is sponsored by many local businesses including Morro Bay Furniture, Albertsons, Smart and Final, Casa De Flores, Morro Dunes, Morro Bay Power Plant, Tap It Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Embarcadero Inn, Rabobank, Sage Eco Landscapes, Estero Bay Graphics, Chevron, Coldwell Banker Liberty Realty, Morro Bay Tourism Bureau, the Cayucos Tavern, Giovanni’s Fish Market, and the San Luis Obispo Blues Society.

Media Sponsors of the Harbor Festival include KSBY-TV, New Times, The Cambrian, The Tribune, Bay News, SLO City News, Coast 101.3, KVEC, New Rock 107.3, Sunny Country 102.5 and 96.1, KPIG, 94.9 The Beach 95.3 and two Fresno radio stations, Classic Rock the Fox 95.7 and KJewel, 99.3.

Entrance tickets to the Morro Bay Harbor Festival are $10 adults, $5 for children ages 5-12, and children under 5 are free. Discount pre-sale admission tickets are available online at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival website: http://www.mbhf.com or starting September 24 can be purchased at Albertson’s in Morro Bay.

For more details about the 31st Annual Morro Bay Harbor Festival contact the Morro Bay Harbor Festival Office at (805) 772-1155 or by email at info@mbhf.com. Or contact Anna Scott at ScottMediaPartners@gmail.com or by phone at (805) 710-0713.