MarinaFest and Discover Marina del Rey show off the harbor

By Christina Campodonico

Tour a replica historic tall ship during MarinaFest

Whether you yearn to be out on the water or feel more comfortable watching the sails pass you by, this weekend’s joint celebration of MarinaFest and Discover Marina del Rey provide plenty of reason to celebrate L.A.’s Marina with a visit to Burton Chace Park.

MarinaFest, returning to the park on Saturday and Sunday, is both an in-water boat show and a family-friendly party in the park.

“It kind of started as an open house for a number of boats,” says MarinaFest co-organizer Russ Carrington, owner of Action Watersports on Lincoln Boulevard. “Fast-forward nine years, we’ve morphed into a full-on festival and boat show. We try to make it super fun and interactive, with something for everybody.”

Serious boaters and those intrigued by all things nautical should head to the Burton Chace boatslips to explore a diverse array of watercraft from 16-footers on up. Highlights include a 450 Lagoon catamaran that’s likened to a “floating condo” for its roominess, size and comfort, and a 63-foot Sun Country Prestige yacht — one of the biggest boats in this year’s show, notes co-organizer Steve Curran.

Meanwhile, history buffs can visit tall ships parked dockside or take a Hornblower Cruises-sponsored harbor tour guided by a Marina historian, kids can play in bounce houses, and parents can appreciate the fruit of the vine in a beer-and-wine garden hosted by Rustic Kitchen (get discounted drink tickets if you purchase early via rustickitchen.la).

On Sunday, the concurrent celebration of Discover Marina del Rey brings even more action to Burton Chace Park. There’ll be live music, food trucks, arts-and-crafts shopping, free kayaking lessons, a marionette show, a kids activity zone and even participatory jam sessions with groups such as Bollywood Dance (all ages and skill levels, but wear comfortable shoes).

Carrington hopes that Marina Fest and Discover Marina del Rey remind locals and regional visitors alike of the marina’s many options for recreation and play — not just on the water, but around it, too.

“There’s so much to do in Marina del Rey that you wouldn’t know about unless you came,” he says. “It really is the crown jewel of L.A. County.”

Marina Fest happens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (June 22) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday (June 23) at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. Free, but $10 for the in-water boat show dock admission (or $7 advance via Eventbrite). Visit marinafest.org or eventbrite.com.

Discover Marina del Rey, happens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Burton Chace Park. Visit beaches.lacounty.gov or eventbrite.com.

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