For those of you who made it out, you may have enjoyed one or more of the awesome moments happening this past Sunday at the 5th Annual Iron Mike Festival. If you couldn't come, below is a recap of the truly special day and why we believe this year may have been our best yet!
#1. Epic conditions--A Gift from God
The ocean could not have cooperated more for a paddle race AND a grom surf contest. Sheet glass for the paddlers, and racy little sections for the groms who were boosting! The clouds parted when the music began, and there was sun throughout the day coupled with a light, background breeze. We could not have ordered this day to be any more perfect.
#2 "The Why"-Our Inspiration
Vince McKay, Mike's father, is always warm and welcoming to everyone who comes out to support the event. He gives a powerful talk about Mike's memory and awards the current "Rookie of the Year"--Solana Beach Lifeguard, Richard (Richie) O'Reilly). Richie was recognized for his hard work and positive attitude which embodies similar qualities to Iron Mike. For a moment the crowd is silent, caught in emotion. I think many are remembering to slow down, to embrace and enjoy the moment, and to be grateful for what we have. Thank you, Vince and Mike, for everything you bring, and the way you bring it!
#3 Our Generous Vendors and Sponsors
It is easy to say, but truly this event's success happens because of them. A huge thanks to Lost Abbey and Fins Mexican Eatery for keeping everyone happy across the street at the beer garden. A highly successful raffle also took place due to quality items from Firewire Surfboards, True Westsuits, Ukes, Paddle Planet, Bomber Eyewear, Sanuk, Quiksilver, H2O Audio and Kaenon. The event was sponsored by Rushall, Reital & Randall--Certified Public Accountants; Chunky Seahorse--Live Memorably; Club Pilates, Del Mar, Swell Property, and Primo Wind, who displayed their EnergiPlant, a hybrid wind and solar energy generator. A thanks to all of our artists who donated art, especially Wade Koniakowsky and Ross McDowell.
#4 The Beer Garden (Gotta be Honest)
Walking into the Lost Abbey Beer Garden was a treat, full of happy paddlers, neighbors and locals enjoying their time getting to know each other a little better. All smiles and laughs, a truly great vibe. And then, when the clock struck 12, there were plenty of FINS fish tacos to absorb all the fun.
#5 Friends and Family who Keep Showing Up
You know who you are!! To the Danielle, Lisa, Laura, Kim, Sonia, Meggie, Meredy, Mom, Troy, Joel, Ned, Christine, Julie, Greg, Jason, Lou, Bill, Ben, Bruce, Evan and Rob families, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
#6 The Giant Windmill
Primo Wind displayed their EnergiPlant throughout the weekend--providing lighting in the evening and charging cell phones during the day. Capable of camera, video and wifi, this aesthetically pleasing bench is popping up at local universities and cities. And while its awe factor is high, so is its potential for providing remote areas with stand-alone energy.
#7 Rocking Music-High Minded and Limpet took the stage
The day began with Limpet easing us into a day of appreciation and thoughtfulness. Then, Lifeguard Sean Hogan rounded up his High Minded crew to get everyone jammin...from the youngest 2 year olds to their grandmas. Thank you guys so much for getting us moving!
#8 Bill Feeney Getting Dunked!
Why is watching the anticipation of a grown man falling into two feet of water while someone lobs softballs at a nearby target so exciting?
#9. The Raffle
Get your tickets...and that's what people did. Too many stories to tell about the Law of Attraction in effect on Sunday...and so cool watching good people channel the prizes they wanted, when they wanted them. Congrats to all of the lucky winners.
#10. The Planning has Started for Next Year
The unofficial committee is forming, and it is great that so many people want to get and stay involved with this event. If you have made it this far and are still reading, please let us know if you would like to be involved with any of the planning for making year 6 even better!!
Photos by Michael Atwood and Anjola Akinremi.