Grunion Fish-tival: San Pedro Party

Kids'll make shiny grunion hats before saying hello to the wriggly wonders on the beach.

Karen Martin/

Every party ever thrown has likely reflected a specific theme, or honoree, or time of day in terms of the activities, how the guests dress, and the other touches that make up the anatomy of a bash.

With that in mind, if a grunion were to host an evening soiree, what would go into the affair? Lots of salt water? And sand? Would the moon need to be at a certain phase, and would an age-old ritual be at its beachy heart?

Good questions all, but you need not ponder this head-scratcher any longer, for there is actually a grunion-themed festival in existence, and while the small, silvery fish contigent aren't the hosts, they are the gill-sweet guests of honor.

It's the Special Grunion Fish-tival at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, a once-a-year, family-cool to-do that falls around the middle of the San Pedro institution's Meet the Grunion run. 

That run of grunion-focused programs will wrap in July, but you can wear your craftiest grunion foil hat on Saturday, May 27 and show your affinity for the famous, ocean-onto-land fishes.

Ah yes, foil hats are the thing at the party, at least for the younger set, which makes sense, as the grunion are celebrated for their flashy, silver-bright hue.

Other happenings during the night, before all the foil-hatted revelers walk down to the beach to watch the grunion wriggle ashore in the eternal act of spawning?

There shall be crafts, and art, with a grunion bent. Grunion eggs shall be hatched. (Coooool.) Grunion-smart honchos'll be in the aquarium, sharing all of their grunion-good knowledge. 

And you can visit with the other non-grunion residents of the aquarium, including those in the touch pool.

Speaking of touching, note that we're currently in a "no capture" period for the grunion, so the May 27 observation is just that: Guests at the Special Grunion Fish-tival will simply be watching, and marveling at, all the beach action.

If your kids are marine mavens, and good at making anything out of foil, send them to the kitchen table, before May 27, so they may create their most stunning, grunion-tributing chapeau.

A ticket? It's five dollars for adults, $1 for kids.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us