MUSKEGON, MI – This summer, the annual Great Lakes Surfing Festival is hitting the waves again at Pere Marquette Park.

At the fourth annual event on Saturday, August 13, festival-goers can learn to surf, stand-up paddleboard, and practice beach yoga and water sports.

This year, the festival has partnered with Sleeping Bear Surf and Rootdown Yoga to provide yoga practices and board lessons for those interested in learning to surf, paddleboard or practice mindfulness.

From 12:30 to 6 p.m., festival-goers can also take part in waist-high artificial waves in partnership with Hudsonville-based Action Watersports.

“Our surf and paddleboard lessons are growing,” said Joe Bidawid, founder and director of the festival. “People are more interested. We can provide many people with access to water in a safe and constructive way.”

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

All of the $1,500 raised went to the Per Marquette Park and Margaret Drake Park Foundation.

This year, the event will once again officially donate funds to Per Market Park and the Margaret Drake Park Foundation.

Bidavid told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle that each year the festival plans to choose a different organization to support with funds raised through the project.

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

The Great Lakes Surf Festival has been rooted in Muskegon since its inception in 2018. The non-profit organization is made up of people who love the beach lifestyle and are committed to supporting the community by giving back.

The event also features live music, a variety of food vendors and raffles for paddle boards, surf boards and an exclusive trip to Costa Rica as prizes.

General admission to the event is $10. Tickets can be purchased online or at the event. Event attendees who purchase items from a local surf shop receive free admission.

More information about the festival can be found at and his Facebook page.

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