Sea-sonal Fun: WINTERFEST in Morro Bay

The bliss of the season takes on a briny air in the Central Coast burg.

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Danna Dykstra Coy/WINTERFEST

FISH, FOAM, FESTIVENESS: Do your annual celebrations, the ones that arrive near the close of the year, have a certain sea-salty tanginess to them? Do you serve a shrimp feast on Christmas night, or observe The Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, or do it up with lobster on the final day of December? Do you deck the halls with shells, and is your tree packed with baubles representing mermaids, seahorses, surfboards, boats, and islands? Then you are someone who absolutely likes hefty amount of oceanic magic to your festivities. But that special ocean enchantment isn't just about what's on your plate come Christmas or the tiny seahorse bulbs lining the patio; you can find it by venturing to particular Pacific-close towns as December begins. One such magical place — and that's a year-round designation, of course — is Morro Bay, a Central Coast village known for its funky thrifting, its great water-close eateries, its charming boats, the friendly people, and a certain positively mystic but very real volcanic plug that dominates the water to the west. If you're surmising that the town does it up in December, you'd be correct. There's actually a name for the party, too, and it is called...

WINTERFEST: Picture a dozen days of holiday happenings, and not just a single night, and you're on board with what the burg has planned for 2017. Friday, Dec. 1 is night $1, with a Lighted Boat Cruise, while non-motorized Paddle Parade'll paddle out in the early afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 3. Friday, Dec. 8 brings the ho, ho, ho with a nighttime Santa Crawl, complete with an adult scavenger hunt, while real snow'll drift into town on Sunday, Dec. 10. Caroling with Cops, shopping events, and a gingerbread house showdown are just a few of the other happenings, so eye all of the light-of-heart happenings before paddling for Morro Rock and all of the WINTERFEST whimsy.

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