Sea Glass Festival, set for March 14 and 15, just keeps growing

Judy Salamacha
Judy Salamacha

What’s new at the fifth annual Cayucos Sea Glass Festival this weekend? 

Cayucos businesses have enhanced the festival experience with mermaid art on display, and there’s a new director in training.

Members of the festival committee walked Ocean Avenue in Cayucos on March 1 to see which businesses were displaying mermaid artwork.

“Mermaid tears is another name for sea glass, so for years we’ve talked about having 3-D mermaid artwork displayed around town,” said festival director Catherine “Kiki” Kornreich. “It’s similar to Cambria’s scarecrow displays and Morro Bay’s surfboard art. Several are

already on display, and more pop up every day.”

Informally organized this year, Kornreich said the art would be up through March 31.

Participants include Sea Shanty, Lady Spencer gift shop, On the Beach Bed & Breakfast, Cayucos Motel, Cayucos Sunset Inn, Cayucos Aloha Spa, Schooner’s Wharf restaurant, Shoreline Inn and Happy Go Smile. The Cayucos Art Association is also supporting the theme. The association’s gallery is next to the Cayucos Veterans Memorial Lions Hall on the Cayucos Pier.        

After the event last year, Kornreich told the committee that it was time to give someone else a chance to be director.

“Katie Manley has made my life heaven this year,” Kornreich said.

Manley was contracted to lead the group in 2016, but has assumed several duties as Kornreich mentors her.

“She is young, energetic, and full of ideas she isn’t afraid to run with,” Kornreich said.

The original committee is still producing the festival, including Kornreich, Debbie Black, Carol Kramer, Laila Fiege-Kollmann and Nadine Lilly. Additional members are Jennifer Norton, Amanda Fritzsche, Maureen Carlson, Donna Halliday and Manley. 

According to Kornreich, the committee continues to fine-tune what already works, since the festival was an instant success, attracting international vendors and visitors.

“Our biggest challenge is making sure everyone knows there is more to see than the displays in the Veterans Hall,” she said.

There will be three venue areas and 38 vendors displaying repurposed sea glass. There will also be six local food vendors, music and a new Mermaid Photo Tent. 

“Author Richard LaMotte is back. People bring their sea glass to him and he knows where in the world it originated,” Kornreich said. “Another favorite is the Discovery Booth, where people are encouraged to ask questions about sea glass — its history, how it’s made, which color has the most value.”

The festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5. For a $15 donation, the festival opens early Saturday at

9 a.m. for “preview shopping.” Details are at www.cayucosseaglass.com.