Updates for the 14th Annual Whalefest Monterey

14th Annual Whalefest Monterey to be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, 2024 on and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park

New! Symposium to be held at the nearby Stanton Center on Sunday, April 14th and Interactive Exhibits on Saturday, April 13th on Custom House Plaza

“The Monterey Bay Whale Watching Capital of the World”   


For Immediate Release

Publicity Contact: Wendy Brickman

(831) 594-1500 or [email protected]


14th Annual Whalefest Monterey to be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, 2024 on and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park

New! Symposium to be held at the nearby Stanton Center on Sunday, April 14th and Interactive Exhibits on Saturday, April 13th on Custom House Plaza

“The Monterey Bay Whale Watching Capital of the World”  

February, 2024. Monterey, CA. Save the Date! The 14th Annual Whalefest Monterey is set for April 13 and 14, 2024 at Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park.

A notable change this year includes a marine science-oriented Symposium at the Stanton Center on Sunday, April 14th, and interactive marine-themed exhibits on Custom House Plaza on Saturday, April 13th, among many other engaging activities for all ages.

At a Glance:

What: 14th Annual Whalefest Monterey and Symposium

Where: The 2-day Whalefest Monterey event is held at and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park. GPS to 201 Washington Street in Monterey, CA. Whalefest Monterey features a Symposium with world-renowned marine experts at the Stanton Center, 5 Custom House Plaza, and just steps away from the Wharf. 

When: Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14, 2024, from 10 am – 5 pm

Why: Beyond the family-friendly activities, Whalefest Monterey carries a deeper mission. The event supports local and national marine organizations dedicated to educating, inspiring, and empowering the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)

More Information:

Whalefest Monterey is an "edutaining" free family friendly event that includes fun and educational activities for all ages, musicians, and dozens of fascinating marine-related interactive exhibits by numerous local and national organizations. In addition, there will be several research and rescue boats available for public tours.

The event supports marine organizations dedicated to educating the public about the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).

New this year: The Symposium with marine research and environment conscious experts will move to the Stanton Center on Sunday, April 14th. We welcome Dan Haifley from the Board of Directors for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation and former Director of the Sea Odyssey of Santa Cruz as our MC for the Symposium. Interactive marine-themed exhibits will be available on Saturday, April 13th. Live music and activities like Gyotaku, Scrimshaw, and the “almost famous” Abalone Races will be featured on both April 13th and 14th on Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

According to Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis, Director of Whalefest Monterey, "We are excited to provide attendees with the opportunity to delve into all the exhibits on Saturday and subsequently engage in the Symposium on Sunday this year! This ensures that participants can experience the full spectrum of the event, all while enjoying the exceptional live music by local musicians and participating in special activities on both days."

Whalefest Monterey isn't just an event; it's an immersive experience for families. Dive into a sea of knowledge with educational activities catering to all ages. Enjoy the fun of an array of live music and dance. Explore marine-related interactive exhibits presented by both local and national organizations. Take an up-close look at research and rescue boats, open for public tours, creating an engaging atmosphere for all attendees for both days. Learn cutting-edge information from a variety of marine experts.

Check out the prior Symposium presentations from 2023 and earlier at Whalefest.org and on the Whalefest YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=whalefest+monterey

Interactive Marine-themed Displays (Saturday, April 13th):

Whalefest Monterey will feature many educational and engaging interactive displays from local, regional and national non-profits. Here is a partial list as of January 2024 with more to come:

American Cetacean Society

Bamboo Reef Dive Center - new

Beaver Brigade SLO – new

California Coastal Commission

California Killer Whale Project

California State Parks

Camp SEA Lab

Citizens Climate Lobby Monterey Chapter

Dolphin Project - new

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Girl Scouts CA Central Coast – new

Hi'Ilani O Ke Kei OCC

Marine Life Studies

Marine Mammal Center

MBARI - new

Monterey Bay Eco Tours - new

Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary MBNMS

Monterey Museum of Art - new

Monterey Public Library

Monterey Waterkeeper

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

Paul Watson Foundation - new

Protect Monterey Bay

O'Neill Sea Odyssey

Santa Catalina Middle School

Save Our Shores

Save the Whales

Sea Otter Savvy

Seafloor Science ROV

Surfrider Foundation

U.S. Coast Guard Monterey

Ventana Wildlife Society

Western Flyer Foundation


(Note: Subject to change.)


Search & Research Vessels for Tours


Current’ Sea


Western Flyer


(Subject to change.)


Live Entertainment (More to come.)


Celtic Roads
Hālau Hula Hi’ilani ‘O Ke Kai

David Holodiloff


Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band

Michael Martinez

Monterey High School Jazz Band

Nicholas Fettis and His "Orca"stra

Pacific Pop 'n' Jazz


Stu Heydon





Whalefest Monterey is supported annually by many outstanding sponsors including the Arts Council for Monterey County, thanks to support from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors; Fisherman’s Wharf Association, Monterey State Historic Park, Marine Life Studies,  National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, Save the Whales, and numerous business sponsors including Monterey County Bank,  Monterey County Fair & Event Center,  Monterey Signs, Nicora Law Offices, Pebble Beach Company, Bay Federal Credit Union, Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Wecker Group.

Media sponsors include KSBW TV Action News 8, Central Coast ABC, Estrella TV Costa Central, Foolish Times, KOTR My 11 TV The Otter, Monterey Bay Parent, 90.3 FM KAZU Radio, KMBY Radio 1240 AM and 95.9 FM, Monterey County Weekly, Monterey Herald and the Shagbag Radio Show.


A variety of sponsorships are available to help support the costs of holding this community event.  Please contact Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis at [email protected] for more details.

Whale Watching

Whale watchers come from around the world to view hundreds of whales, orcas, dolphins and pelicans who come to feast on a “krill and anchovy buffet” in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Throughout the year, this Whale Watching Capital of the World offers sightings of 15 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, 2 species of porpoise, 6 species of pinnipeds and 1 species of Fissiped (sea otter). Whale watching trips are available (for a fee), weather permitting, from four whale watching organizations on the Wharf.

About NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Serving as the trustee for 14 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary System encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of protected marine and Great Lakes waters. Few places on the planet can compete with the diversity of the system, which protects America's most iconic natural and cultural marine resources. The system works with diverse partners and stakeholders to promote responsible, sustainable ocean uses that ensure the health of our most valued ocean places. A healthy ocean is the basis for thriving recreation, tourism and commercial activities that drive coastal economies. Backed by one of the nation's strongest pieces of ocean conservation legislation, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, sanctuaries seek to preserve the extraordinary scenic beauty, biodiversity, historical connections. and economic productivity of our most precious underwater parks.

For more information go to www.montereywharf.com or www.whalefest.org or call 831-238-0777 or email [email protected]