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Pier 360 Beach Festival Kicks Off Summer This Weekend


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By Lookout Staff

June 27, 2024 -- Legendary volleyball players, Polynesian dancers and 1950s teenage surfing icon “Gidget” will help the Santa Monica Pier kick off the summer this weekend.

The free Pier 360 Beach Festival -- which takes place Saturday and Sunday -- "promises a weekend packed with thrilling sports competitions, live entertainment and family-friendly activities," Pier officials said.

The festival will showcase beach volleyball with "an impressive lineup of legendary players and exciting matches" featuring Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos, "icons of the sport known for their spectacular performances."

Also competing will be mentor and trailblazer Jim Menges and Dane Selznick, who is "celebrated for his legendary defense skills."

The lineups include volleyball stars Kathy Gregory, Nancy Cohen-Fredgant, Misty May-Treanor, Butch May, Eileen Clancy-McClintock, Liane Sato, Ernie Suwara, Tom Chamales and Bob “Vogue” Vogelsang.

This year's “Spirit of Santa Monica” awards -- presented to those who have helped define southern California and the Pier 360 Beach Festival -- are Jeff Ho and Kathy Kohner Zuckerman.

Zuckerman's life as a surfing teenage girl in the 1950s inspired the novel, movies and television series sharing her nickname "Gidget."

Ho is an iconic surfboard shaper and founder/coach of the Zephyr Surf Team and Zephyr Skate Team, aka “The Z-Boys.”

In addition to the awards and competitions, the festival offers live music and cultural dance performances, as well as gourmet snacks and refreshing drinks.

There also will be interactive activities that include a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course and Pop Sk8’s roller skating rink, as well as brand samplings of products and services.

Tru Earth will be handing out Eco-Strips® and encouraging festival goers to join the Plastic-Free July Challenge for a chance to win $10,000 or a year of free laundry.

Meanwhile, the Pop-Up Museum of Beach Culture showcases "the rich history of beach sports and Santa Monica’s deeply historical roots with paddleboarding, beach volleyball and skateboarding."

The museum also will focus on "the worldwide influence of the legendary Santa Monica Lifeguard Service."

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