Seafest brings beach community together

In Features

The crisp blue water glistened under the popular San Clemente pier as the city’s Chamber of Commerce hosted Seafest, a community event equipped with a good ol’ fashion Clam Chowder cook-off. Swarms of the town’s residents and visitors came together to partake in the beach festivities.

Local businesses such as Fisherman’s Restaurant, OC Tavern, Humphrey’s Sandwich Shop and the San Clemente Elk’s club were just a few that competed for the title of best chowder in town. Each business displayed their finest homemade chowder in decorated booths lined along the historic pier. For $6, visitors could sample five tastes of their favorite chowder.

“I think Fisherman’s won by far. They’re seasoned pros and had the most flavorful creamy and chunky chowder. It’s almost like I was in New England,” said Tani Bravender, 25.

First place went to Beach Garden Café, second place went to Fisherman’s Restaurant, third place went to RJ’s Café, and fourth place went to Courtside Restaurant for the chowder cook-off.

Down in the water, children and adults signed up for the first annual surf contest that commenced throughout the day to raise awareness for eco-friendly surf products. The event was hosted by T. Patterson Surf Shop and featured local amateur paddle boarders who competed for trophies and prizes provided by Billabong, Oakley, Volcom, O’Neill and others.

“It’s for a great cause. It was so much fun to watch and meet surfers in the area. I hope they have it again next year,” said Cassandra Jensen, 19.

A business exposition took place on the lawn above the pier for businesses to market themselves to potential new customers in the area. Fitness Elite, Artistic Creations, Century 21 Beachside and Cookie Lee Jewelry were among the few that came out to meet the public and offer their services.

An Arts and Crafts Exhibit caught the eye of many art patrons. It displayed handcrafted items from creative individuals and small businesses such as 2nd Chance Glass, E-Z Airbrush Tattoo, Fabrice Spies, Loretta Pressley, Lost Horizons Arts, Roger Strasner and True Colors.

People walked with family members along the pier and browsed different vendor booths while others grabbed food and sat at the benched places by the water to watch the surf competition.

“I love Seafest, I come every year with my family. It’s the best way to end the summer,” said local Sara Ludlum, 26.

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