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The Great Lakes Surf Festival returns to Muskegon with surf lessons and beach yoga

MUSKEGON, MI — The annual Great Lakes Surf Festival returns to surfing the waves at Pere Marquette Park this summer.

Festival-goers can learn how to surf, paddle, and participate in beach yoga and water sports at the fourth annual event on Saturday, August 13.

This year, the festival is partnering with Sleeping Bear Surf and Rootdown Yoga to offer yoga practices and board classes for those wanting to learn to surf, paddle or mindfulness.

From 12:30 p.m. until the end of the event at 6:00 p.m., festival-goers can also take part in artificial waist-deep waves in partnership with Hudsonville-based Action Watersports.

“Our surf and paddleboard classes are growing,” said Joe Bidawid, the festival’s founder and director. “People are more interested. We can provide safe and constructive access to water for numerous people.”

Last year about 50 Muskegon companies created art on surfboards provided by the festival. The boards were then auctioned off, said Bidawid.

The entire $1,500 raised went to Pere Marquette Park and the Margaret Drake Park Fund.

At this year’s event, the funds will again be officially handed over to Pere Marquette Park and the Margaret Drake Park Fund.

Bidawid told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle that the festival plans to select a different organization to support each year, courtesy of funds raised through the project.

“We’re proud of what we’ve created with The Surfboard Art Project,” said Bidawid. “We expect to be able to raise even more this year to help local charities.”

The Great Lakes Surf Festival has had roots in Muskegon since its inception in 2018. The non-profit organization is made up of people who enjoy the beach lifestyle and want to support the community by giving back.

The event also features live music, various food vendors, and a raffle with paddleboards, surfboards, and an exclusive trip to Costa Rica as giveaways.

General admission is $10 for the event. Tickets can be bought online or on site. Event-goers who purchase items from a local surf shop receive free entry.

For more details on the festival, visit and its Facebook page.

More about MLive:

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