Costumes And Lively Beach Bars Continue The Surfest Tradition
There are barricades as if officials are expecting crowds to show up like it’s a U2 concert.
There is a police department Command Center as if preparing for a visit from the President.
But you know what – the Manhattan Beach 6-man/Surfest beach volleyball tournament is still a party. And frankly, as someone who has seen and misses the great weekend days and seeing it instead on Hump Day and Thursday (July 31-Aug. 1), I’m impressed.
The teams show up in costumes – Fletch, the Bud Light team, Scottish kilts, the smokin’ hotties in the neon and the Desperate Housewives, among others – and crowd the dive bars.
It just shows the cream of the culture rises to the top despite efforts to keep it down.
People showed up to Shellback Tavern at 9 a.m., and the beachside bar was crowded through sunset. It was fun! Crazy folks doing crazy things like jumping up and down and playing beer pong, but also within the mental confines of maturity.
The other dive bar, Ercoles, has been equally packed. And, because the patrons are high-level beach volleyball players – they are Olympic-type level players, folks – that means athletes letting off steam and they drink their Bud Lights not by the glass, but by the pitcher.
On the beach, there are barricades limiting access with security guards searching backpacks for booze. This is confusing to tourists, who are just trying to get to the beach, by the way.
On The Strand, more barricades force bikers to walk their bicycles through what amounts to a maze. On the rise, overlooking it all, the Manhattan Beach PD has a command center – I’m not making this up – set up to attack anyone with, presumably, a red cup in their possession.
Despite all this, if you were to show up as a first-time visitor and see the 6-man your first impression would be “this is GREAT!”
You see beach volleyball at its hightset and, frankly, most bizarre level. For example, a group of guys in Lakers jerseys and wigs (Team Fletch, from the Chevy Chase movie) playing the athletic equivalent to what the Dodgers are doing in baseball up the freeway.
And then go into Shellback Tavern or Ercoles and WHOA! You would think this is the greatest Hump Day and Thursday party event in America. Well, assuming you have never been to the likes of Austin or New Orleans.
So despite 6-man being on a Wednesday and Thursday rather than the weekend it’s still fun. Because it’s 6-man.