Whale Festivals

Whale Festivals (Alaska)

Various
Gray whales are native to the northern Pacific Ocean. They spend their summers in the Bering Sea but migrate every year to the waters off the coast of Mexico, where female whales give birth to their young. Since the whales prefer to hug the coast as they make their long journey, they are often visible to those living in seaside towns. Several towns along the migration route have begun to celebrate the whales' yearly appearances by hosting whale festivals. Other whale species also make this yearly migration, and are sometimes seen in coastal waters as well.
In Alaska, the towns of Sitka and Kodiak both hold whale festivals. Kodiak's Whalefest takes place in April, as the whales pass by on their way to their summer feeding grounds. Besides watching the whales—which can be done on land—festivalgoers can attend lectures, films, storytelling and children's events, radio talk shows, crafts workshops, art exhibits, and more.
The Sitka festival takes place in November. Sitka festivalgoers most commonly spot humpback whales, but also catch glimpses of gray whales, orca (killer) whales, dall, and harbor porpoises. Festival organizers coordinate a program of whale-watching tours, special presentations by marine biologists, and performances by Native and Russian dance troupes.
CONTACTS:
Sitka Whale Fest
P.O. Box 6004
Sitka, AK 99835
907-747-7964; fax: 907-747-7194
www.sitkawhalefest.org
Kodiak Whalefest
P.O. Box 1903
Kodiak, AK 99615
907-486-3737

Celebrated in: Alaska


Whale Festivals (California)
March
Several whale festivals take place in the state of California. Gray whales are native to the northern Pacific Ocean. They spend their summers in the Bering Sea but migrate every year to the waters off the coast of Mexico, where female whales give birth to their young. Since the whales prefer to hug the coast as they make their long journey, they are often visible to those living in seaside towns. Several towns along the migration route have begun to celebrate the whales' yearly appearances by hosting whale festivals.
Santa Barbara's festival occurs in March, when gray whales pass by on their way north to Alaska and the Bering Sea. In addition to whale-watching opportunities, the festival also includes a street fair, complete with live music, dance, and other forms of entertainment, lectures, a rubber duck race, storytelling, displays of art and crafts, and information about whales.
Dana Point, California, also holds its Festival of Whales on two consecutive weekends in March. This event features a street fair, musical entertainment, an art show, educational events and presentations, and a parade.
The neighboring northern California towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg hold their whale festivals on consecutive weekends in March. Their celebrations include whale-watching cruises, wine tasting, seafood chowder tasting, nature walks, and visits to the Cabrillo Point lighthouse.
CONTACTS:
Santa Barbara Whale Festival
P.O. Box 40834
Santa Barbara, CA 93140
805-897-3187
Dana Point Festival of Whales
34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
888-440-4309 or 949-472-7888
www.dpfestivalofwhales.com
Fort Bragg-Medocino Coast Chamber of Commerce
332 N. Main St.
P.O. Box 1141
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
800-726-2780 or 707-961-6300; fax: 707-964-2056
www.mendocinocoast.com

Celebrated in: California

References in periodicals archive ?
12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Whale Festivals featuring wine, beer and chowder tasting, whale watching walks, a run/walk, crafts fair and wildlife art displays are planned during the first three weekends of March 2013 on Northern California's ruggedly beautiful Mendocino Coast.
31st Annual Mendocino Whale Festival, March 2 and 3:
Whale of a deal: Stay at two nights during the Little River Whale Festival at any Inn in Little River and get the third night free