OCEAN PARK - Once upon a time there was a lonely little festival in Ocean Park.
It was the third and final festival of the summer. As the Rod Run, (to which it had been connected to) had grown larger and given its own car show weekend, the little Labor Day Weekend festival was withering: What to do? It changed and became the Ocean Park Heritage Festival for the whole Long Beach Peninsula.
"That was last year and it was really fun," said organizer Andrea Weir. "Now we have a second year fast approaching and this year's festival is filled with many of the same things and better. A scene filled with tents sporting all kinds of things to see and buy and food to eat. All kinds of music to listen to, from the gentle sounds of Wilho Saari's kantila to the raucous foot stomping tunes of the Brownsmead Flats, the exciting drumming of the Black Dog Clan to the fine German harmonies of Andrea Patton and the Mack Sisters. Then there is the happy folk sounds of Dan Driscoll and his 'surprise guest.' Monday wakes up to the Tres Bon Du Temps Jazz Band, The Undecided Tapers and the Noisy Neighbors."
And wait, there's more! This year the festival will include more museums with their special displays in the Heritage Tent. There are more storytellers of all kinds. "Our list of demonstrators has grown to include more crafts, spinning, rug-hooking, hardanger, woodcarving, and more," Weir said. "We have Sandra Brown and her tent filled with children's games and prizes. The Black Dog Clan will have their mountain man encampment across the street. The Ilwaco pumper truck will even come to visit, and who knows who else will be there. Best come and see."
Tickets are now available for a special raffle. One dollar gets you a chance for a brass hurricane Alladdin lamp from Jack's Country Store, a collection of garlic posters from Ocean Park's past, a basket filled with local and best bounty from the sea and land, and a hand-crafted Stucki weather lamp, with winners announced at 3 p.m. at the end of the festival.
So get ready, Peninsula - it's another Labor Day party and you're the guests of honor. Come dressed in your oldest finery and memories for a pleasant down home feel of a community at play. The fun begins at 10 a.m. each day in Roy Sheldon Park.