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Green beach fair draws hundreds

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — Despite the unpredictable weather, hundreds of participants descended on Seaside Reef for the annual Cardiff Surf Classic and Green Beach Fair on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3.
The weekend-long event presented by Cardiff 101 MainStreet was packed with vendor booths hawking environmentally sustainable products, wellness services, environmental education opportunities and local food choices.
“There are so many amazing eco-friendly products and solutions out there that are easily accessible to consumers,” said event co-chair Betty Steele. “We want to continue that awareness and help encourage our friends, neighbors and community members to make a greener choice.”
There was enough sun on Saturday for Stellar Solar to power the event regardless of the gloomy cloud cover on Sunday. “I think it shows how we can use technology to benefit the environment and ourselves in the long run,” said Sean Baird, a surfer who admired the giant solar panels.
The goal of the event was to bring the community together in a familiar setting to experience the possibilities of leading a sustainable lifestyle. “Small changes make a big difference,” event co-chair Brenda Dizon said. “Our mission is to bring environmental awareness to our coastal communities,” she said. “The devastation caused by the oil spill in the Gulf has caused us to rethink how we treat our environment. We have to realize that it all starts in our own community.”
In addition to the education side of the event, surfing took center stage. An all-ages surf contest had children as young as 6 years old in the water trying to catch a wave.
This year’s event also featured the King and Queen of the Reef contest. The Cardiff Biz Surf-Off, a contest between local businesses, matched teams against one another for bragging rights. Four-person teams from nine businesses competed Saturday, with the top four going on to the final round Sunday.
Surfing and protecting the environment go hand in hand according to co-chair Betty Steele, whose team from Steele Realty came in fourth place.
Along with eco-conscious businesses and organizations, the event featured local live entertainment, a Fire Department pancake breakfast and numerous activities for kids and families.
“This is a great event that’s not too surf competition oriented and not too trade-show oriented,” said Jason LeSalle, who attended with his wife Leslie and their 2-year-old daughter Estelle. “It’s cool that the atmosphere is very family-friendly without excluding the adults,” he said.