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Arts Year in Review: Surfing for the high points

December 23, 2013|By Michael Miller
  • Brett Barris' take on the Munster Koach, which was on display at the shoe Kustom Kulture II at the Huntington Beach Art Center in July.
Brett Barris' take on the Munster Koach, which was… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Next year will mark a major centennial in Huntington Beach — 100 years since George Freeth visited the pier for a surfing demonstration and helped brand the city as a beach-culture mecca.

Count on plenty of 1910s reflections in the coming months. In 2013, though, remnants from another decade kept popping up around Surf City. Appropriately enough, it was the decade that provided the Jan and Dean song that later gave Huntington its official nickname.

In July, the Munster Koach — the vehicle from the 1960s sitcom "The Munsters" — cruised down Main Street en route to "Kustom Kulture II," a car-themed exhibit at the Huntington Beach Art Center. The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts performed the Beatles' 1968 self-titled LP, a.k.a. the White Album, in its entirety. And former patrons of the Golden Bear, where '60s legends once played, got a dose of nostalgia when guitarist Peter White returned for a show at the Hyatt. (OK, White actually played at the Golden Bear in the '70s. Close enough.)

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Typical for a city that the Beach Boys name-checked in "Surfin' Safari," Huntington offered plenty of car- and surf-themed entertainment in 2013. But it offered plenty more than that. Here were some highlights on the arts scene this year:

Three's company: Huntington Beach loves its surfers — as evidenced by the Surfers' Hall of Fame and Surfing Walk of Fame that face each other across Main Street at Pacific Coast Highway. This fall, the 36 legends whose names line the pavement on both sides of the street got feted a third time with "Famers," an exhibit at the newly renovated International Surfing Museum.

Boy wonder: Cameron Lew, a senior at Huntington Beach High School, made the lineup for the first All-American High School Film Festival in October with his film "Swung," the tale of a teenage romance interrupted by an accident. The festival took place in New York, but Lew had to miss out on seeing his name in lights — the week of the event, he was busy preparing for the SAT.

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