Juno Beach has been a hub of activity in the past few weeks. The short stretch of A1A has hosted Art Fest by the Sea, TurtleFest and Surfers for Autism in what seems like back-to-back succession, but the good times haven’t dried up yet. From April 27-28, OceanFest 2013 will take over A1A from Juno Beach Ocean Park to Loggerhead Park. A nod to the beach life, OceanFest is a two-day, fun-filled event packed with family-friendly activities, works by local artisans and great food—plus a competitive edge that is sure to make for one heck of a show.
A compendium of the arts, sport, family fun and ocean stewardship, OceanFest will have something for everyone. Lining A1A will be booths and tents of artisan works, including fine art, fashion, beauty products and home decor. Then there are the sand artists, who will compete to transform mounds of sand into fleeting sculptures. For the kids, a 90-foot ferris wheel will take root just south of the Juno Pier, making for one of the more picturesque fair rides to roll into town. And what would A1A be without its share of classic whips on display? More than 100 classic and muscle cars are expected to pull in for a show, and each will vie for $500 people’s choice and best in show awards.
On the sporting end of the spectrum, four main events are sure to get the competitive juices flowing:
- OceanFest will kickstart the Eastern SUP Surf Circuit’s Summer SUP Throwdown. The southernmost journey on its five-stop circuit of stand-up paddleboard race and surf competitions located solely in Florida, the OceanFest stop on April 28 will be the first of the 2013 season and include an array of events and competitions, from slalom races to a points-based surf competition. For top SUPers, both men and women, two elite races are in the works: one for 14-foot boards, another for those riding 12.5-foot boards and smaller, which will run a six-mile course (three total laps) from the Juno Pier to Loggerhead Beach. A recreation course for boarders riding 12.5-foot boards and smaller will be set up at the pier and will run a total of three miles (two laps). A SUP surf competition will also be in the works if the swell complies (Magic Seaweed has a waist-high prediction in the books), with competitors going head-to-head in a points-based system. Best wave, best ride and best trick all go into the equation, and don’t be surprised to see some pretty inventive riding; some talented riders are expected to make the journey.
- Anyone who's ever wished to try paddle-boarding can hop on a board in a safe and controlled environment at the paddleboard pool, where instructors will give demonstrations.
- Side out! The best in beach volleyball will be on played at the Just Bring It Volleyball Challenge at Ocean Cay Park. Open to both men and women, the two-man-team beach volleyball tournament will get started early April 27 and offer $1,000 in prize money.
- On April 27 and 28, local and regional skateboarders can test their mettle on an eight-foot vert ramp and street course at the foot of the Juno Pier. The competition is expected to be fierce and a great watch.
- For visitors ages 5-12, there will be a kids fishing contest at the pier from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 27. Prizes will go to the biggest, heaviest and first catch in the respective age groups (5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12). Registration begins at 8 a.m. on April 27 and is free for children of age.
Registration for paddleboard races, volleyball and skateboarding will be held at the OceanFest opening party at Jupiter Pointe Marina Bar & Grill on April 26 at 7 p.m.
- Gates open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12.
- Plenty of food and drink will be on hand from a number of different food trucks and purveyors.
- During events, take a moment to learn about local and regional conservation efforts at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, which will be open for tours, hands-on educational activities and turtle encounters, not to mention an air-conditioned respite.
- For more information, see oceanfestjuno.com.