Sixty-five years ago, Pismo Beach residents celebrated the New Year with clamming, a coronation ball and the crowning of a “clam queen.”
The celebration was called the Winter Carnival. Today, it is known as the Clam Festival and is held in the fall.
This weekend’s celebration starts Friday with a wine walk in downtown Pismo Beach and concludes Sunday with a children’s clam dig, live music and surfing lessons.
There are also traditional events such as a surf contest and a clam chowder cook-off.
The Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce, which plans the annual event, chose the theme, “Clam to the Past,” to honor one of the city’s oldest events. It even predates the chamber, which was formed in 1947, said CEO Peter Candela.
On Saturday, participants and spectators at the Clam Festival parade are invited to dress in 1940s attire to honor the first Winter Carnival in 1946.
The chamber is selling a pass for $40 that allows access to each paid event — a $77 value — including the wine walk, clam chowder cook-off, a food and champagne event Sunday and eight drinks at one of two pub tents.
To learn more about the festival, contact the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce at 773-4382 or visit www.pismobeachclamfestival.com.
Money raised at the event helps support other chamber events, including the July 4 fireworks display.