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Rally to Support Local Artist Roy Gonzalez
Hundreds Expected to Rally to Support Local Artist Roy Gonzalez at June 7 City Council Meeting Pressure on Ocean Festival and Mayor to Retain Gonzalez' Iconic Work
By: Roy Gonzalez Artz
For the last 45 years, the city of San Clemente has been home to "The Greatest Show on Surf," a weekend-long Ocean Festival that celebrates life at the beach with lifeguard competitions, fun runs, sand castle building, mini-mermaid pageant and more, attracting over 60,000 people each year. On Tuesday, June 7th, the San Clemente City Council is to vote on renewing the city's support of the Ocean Festival, which is operated by an independent, non-profit organization. For the first time in 45 years, the outcome of the vote is unknown because the executive committee is currently under fire by a group opposed to their selection of Gonzalez as the Festival's new artist.. This group has been rallying the city mayor and council members and all event sponsors to force the event committee to hire a new artist or withdraw their support for the Ocean Festival.
On May 26, 2022 in a letter to the editor of the San Clemente Times, San Clemente resident and leader of the group against Gonzalez, Julienne Chene, wrote, "This is wildly offensive to all Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals and more. Mr. Gonzalez's anti-Christian bias does
not represent our San Clemente community, and I would ask the board to reconsider their decision and make a better choice, one that will unite, not divide, our community."
Chene's letter sparked long-time residents of San Clemente to take action; close to a thousand comments have been made on Facebook and Instagram in support of Mr. Gonzalez and hundreds of citizens are expected to attend the council meeting wearing Ocean Festival t-shirts to show their support.
San Clemente City Council meeting will be held June 7th at the Community Center at 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, CA 92672.
Roy Gonzalez Artz