By the Bay

Sea glass festival glows and grows in Cayucos

judysalamacha@gmail.comFebruary 24, 2013 

Catherine “Kiki” Kornreich grew up in the San Joaquin Valley determined to attend Cal Poly. After graduation, she established Kornreich Design Associates in San Luis Obispo. Four years ago, the allure of the beach moved her to Cayucos, where she could beach walk with her dog, Izzi.

“I used to consider sea glass trash. Then I found a white heart-shaped piece and started collecting,” Kornreich said. “I’d bump into the same women picking up sea glass, and we’d compare our finds. We were all active Cayucos chamber businesswomen. I Googled ‘sea glass festivals’ and discovered Cayucos was perfect for a West Coast festival, so I called everyone together to brainstorm at the Shoreline Inn. We’re now ready for our third festival, March 8 to 10.”

As festival chairwoman, Kornreich said she couldn’t have handpicked a better team. Each person has unique talents and passion to produce the community festival. Their common goals are to keep it small enough to reflect Cayucos’ welcoming attitude, but large enough to support their cause, the Cayucos Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July celebration. The first year, they had 3,000 people and made $5,000. Abundant success has continued.

“We fix what needs fixing each year, keep what works and offer new activities to bring people back or entice new visitors,” she said.

The 2013 committee of Kornreich, Debbie Black, Carol Kramer, Jennifer Norton, Amanda Fritzsche, Laila Kollmann, Nadine Lilley, Maureen Carlson, Kate Stulberg and Donna Halliday will direct 60 volunteers festival weekend.

The festival kickoff will be Friday evening at the Borradori Garage. Guests will meet sea glass historian Robert LaMotte, president of the North American Sea Glass Association and author of the definitive guide, “Pure Sea Glass.” Cayucos Cellars, Cayucos Beach Ale, nibbles and dessert will accompany LaMotte’s first California visit, presentation and book signing. Call 995-1351 for reservations.

“Robert and Nancy LaMotte have collected 40,000 pieces of sea glass mostly from the Chesapeake Bay. She designs jewelry. He can tell you how old, what the glass originally came from and often what ocean it came from,” Kornreich marveled.

Thirty-six nationally traveled vendors will display and sell sea glass products. Six Cayucos eateries will offer fare in the food pavilion. Mermaids will greet and share “mermaid tears” and festival information with attendees entering the Cayucos Veterans Hall. The first 200 will munch on Cayucos Brown Butter Cookies. And a new Discovery Station sponsored by Santa Cruz Sea Glass will offer tips on the value and history of sea glass.

Entry is $3 with music offered by Grammy-winning Louie Ortega, The Bobby Santa Cruz Band, The Tennessee Jimmy Harrell Trio and Bruce Beck and the Mystery Brothers. Visit www.cayucosseaglass.com.

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.

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