FESTIVALS & EVENTS : Sea Feast at This Weekend’s SeaFest

Rick VanderKnyff is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to The Times Orange County Edition.

The Newport SeaFest moves into its second and final weekend with its biggest event, the Taste of Newport, expected to draw as many as 40,000 people to Fashion Island.

For a $6 admission price Friday through Sunday, food lovers will get the chance to buy samples from a lineup of 40 well-known Newport area restaurants. Seventeen wineries will be on hand to complement the food offerings.

Among the offerings: coconut shrimp with tangerine mustard sauce from Barbacoa, shawarma (a Moroccan steak sandwich) from Hassan’s, vegetable somosas from Gandhi Indian Cuisine, Italian sausages from the Lido Shipyard Sausage Co.

Small portions of these and other dishes can be purchased at restaurant booths with tickets that cost $1 apiece (most items cost between two and four tickets). Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the weekend.


Sand sculptors will be converging on Corona del Mar State Beach for Sunday’s Sandcastle Contest, the 30th annual. The American Field Service Club of Corona del Mar High School will be on hand to defend its first-place finish in last year’s competition.

Also on deck for SeaFest is a kite flying festival Saturday and Sunday at Balboa Park, near the base of the Balboa Pier. Professional and amateur competitive stunt kite flyers will be putting on demonstrations, and there will be contests, prize giveaways and free lessons.

Other events: An electric boat race in Newport Harbor and a volunteer cleanup of Upper Newport Bay. Details below.

SeaFest Events:


* Taste of Newport. Food, wine and beer are offered by 40 area restaurants in this third annual event, expected to draw some 30,000 visitors. With live entertainment. When: Friday, Sept. 20, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 21, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 22, noon to 6 p.m. Where: Fashion Island, Newport Center, Newport Beach. Wherewithal: $6. Where to call: (714) 644-8211.

* Clean Harbor Day II. Several hundred volunteers will assist in removing trash from the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to noon. Where: Meet at Newport Dunes Aquatic Park, 1131 Back Bay Drive. Where to call: (714) 644-8211.

* Electric boat race. Boat owners must answer questions about Newport Harbor history in order to take part in the rally-style Duffield Marines fifth annual Great Electric Boat Race. When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: Starts at the Balboa Bay Club, 1221 W. Coast Highway. Wherewithal: $75 entry fee (including lunch for four). Spectators free. Where to call: (714) 557-5100.

* Kite festival. Includes demonstrations by professional kite-flying teams and a contest open to the public. When: Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22, 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Where: Balboa Park, Main Street and Balboa Boulevard. Wherewithal: Most contests free. Where to call: (714) 673-0450.

* Sandcastle contest. More than 50 sand sculptures will be created by amateurs and professionals. When: Sunday, Sept. 22, noon to 3 p.m. Where: Corona del Mar State Beach. Wherewithal: Free admission. Where to call: (714) 644-8211.

* Newport Harbor Nautical Museum open house. The museum has a new exhibit marking the 100th year of the Newport Beach dory fishermen. When: Daily, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: 1714 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach. Wherewithal: Free. Where to call: (714) 673-3377.