While Laguna Beach has its Annual Patriot’s Day Parade on the morning of Saturday, March 7th, neighboring Dana Point has its own parade – the 49th Annual Festival of Whales Parade – same day, same timeframe – which is just the beginning of a two-weekend festival of jam-packed events in the Dana Point Harbor.

This is one seriously large parade. Happily, the city provides free shuttle service to and from Dana Point Harbor parking lots one hour before parade time, with shuttles resuming after the last parade marcher has crossed the finish line. The parade embraces the Festival’s theme of Magical Migration with parade floats and entries decorating in an ocean/whale theme and costumes. Giant helium parade balloons of a Blue Whale, Orca and many other sea life creatures fill the air over head during the parade.

New Route, Less Traffic Snarls – HOORAY!

The parade promptly begins at 10 AM with a NEW ROUTE that remains entirely in the Dana Point Harbor. It begins at Dana Drive on the island side of Island Way and then proceeds over the Island Way bridge, then right on Dana Point Harbor Drive and ending in the giant parking lot where El Torito and the Brig are located, Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive.

Come early and enjoy breakfast in the harbor before catching a shuttle to the parade viewing area. If you are interested in having an entry in the parade, please contact Sherry Murphy, Recreation Manager at the City of Dana Point (949) 248-3533 or smurphy@danapoint.org. Deadline for entries is Monday, Feb 19

It’s like a year of various city festivals smushed into two weekends (March 5 & 6 and March 12 & 13). Check out the many, many events at the official Festival of Whales website.

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