Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach Are Full Of Things Like This Party-First Volleyball Tournament
If ever there were a fun place to live, it has to be the South Bay Beach Cities of Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, a pair of party places within Los Angeles.
For it is here that the young and social go out to bars, fill places for cultural happenings like the weekly Taco Tuesday and create things like Smackfest.
Smackfest is, you see, a silly spinoff of a true Beach Cities sport, beach volleyball. That activity is one of the things that defines this area, and on weeknights and weekends, courts up and down the sand are full of players of all levels. After the matches, people don’t go home and wash off, but rather go to the bars to wash down some beers.
And Smackfest (Saturday, July 23, with a preparty on Thursday the 21st at Sharkeez) is there to celebrate this great combination of beach volleyball and beer.
Put on by locally-owned Smack Sportswear it’s an annual tournament – sponsored by Bud Light, of course – at the Hermosa Beach Pier in which socializing is more important than winning. In fact, teams must have a “theme” and be dressed in costume. If one team gets up too much in a match, they must “equalize” things by taking big drinks. Aces are rewarded not with high-fives but shots.
The highlight is the playing of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” which not only brings the tournament to a halt but has everyone running into a big circle to kneel (get it, Neil Diamond) and then break out into celebration and song.
During the day, players run in and out of the host bar, Sharkeez, for continued libations. When the tournament ends as the sunset approaches, well, that’s when the post-event party begins. Again, at Sharkeez.
It’s like something college students might do while on Spring Break. But in this area, it’s just standard practice for those who live here. The week after Smackfest, there is Surfest, otherwise known as the 6-man. Then there’s the Manhattan Open pro beach volleyball, the Old Hometown Fair (10K followed by a beer garden) and, well, you get the picture.
So if you’re in L.A., and want to party, come to the South Bay. It’s where the fun professionals of Southern California like to play. And the more the merrier, for events like Smackfest are free and open to the public.
Smackfest 2011 Facts: Saturday, July 23. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. North side of the Hermosa Beach Pier. Post-party @ Sharkeez, 52 Pier Ave. Free to the public.