The Morro Bay Harbor Festival was launched 32 years ago to showcase the city’s waterfront.
On the weekend of Oct. 5 and 6, the festival activities will take over the area between Beach Street and Morro Rock. It has become one of the Central Coast’s premier festivals featuring something for the entire family, including music and entertainment, Central Coast wines and cuisine, children’s activities and maritime displays.
Executive Director Don Doubledee expects this to be a banner year.
“We have re-invented everything from the logo to the smallest details and kept what is best while improving where we felt we should,” Doubledee said. “The sand sculpture, oyster eating contest, Hawaiian shirt contest, and Kid’s Cove will still be offered. The bounce house, climbing wall, and a giant slide are back. We moved the seafood, wine and beer court to its original home in front of the Great American Fish Co. restaurant. An open-air covering will house more than 30 wineries and several favorite seafood restaurants. On Sunday, the annual clam chowder cook-off returns.”
In 1995, Dave King, winegrower and co-owner of Paso Robles’ Vista Del Rey Vineyards with Carol DeHart-King, was the first coordinator of the seafood and wine pavilion. He shared how it all began.
“I was recruited to gather enough wineries and restaurants — albeit during harvest time — to make this a successful venue inside the festival. At this time, there were less than 100 wineries residing on the Central Coast. I was successful in bringing in about 12 wineries and seven restaurants. We were literally staffed with a handful of volunteers recruited the day prior to the festival.”
Dave King stayed on for several years as coordinator.
“I got smarter in 1996 with the help of executive director Galen Richard, who helped me acquire a dedicated volunteer group. My goal was make this the best Central Coast wine and food event in the county. And why not, since the Central Coast is recognized for its succulent seafood. Seafood should be accompanied by world-class wines grown in our region,” he said.
King wanted to teach people how to enjoy the wines of the Central Coast.
“Wine and food matching, especially with seafood, can be fun,” he said. “There is no need for mystery or smoke and mirrors. Let the senses of sight, smell and taste guide the match between the flavor characteristics of wine and seafood. And, yes, red wine is a perfect compliment for stronger fishes. Zinfandel with seared ahi tuna comes to mind! The right wine is the wine that tastes best to you.”
For more information about the festival or advance tickets, check out www.mbhf.com.
Judy Salamachas column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-1422.