My wife and I arrived at Ocean Beach's Dusty Rhodes Park at about 6 p.m. on July 24. A couple hours earlier, an open-to-the-public, free-of-charge dance party had gotten under way.
A DJ spun energetic house music as about 200 revelers — most in joyfully psychedelic costumes — danced and mingled. Several partygoers juggled, balanced on balls, or spun hula hoops, and some people wore surreal costumes that stood at least ten feet above the ground. Bright sculptures of mushrooms decorated the grounds. Ocean Beach’s Miscellaneous Heathens were at it again.
The informal group's tradition started nearly a decade ago, when 30 or 40 friends partied at a Brighton Avenue apartment complex and then marched through Ocean Beach streets, dancing along the way. This year's event was the ninth annual, and the invite promised a “full day of dancing in the sun,” a “circus extravaganza,” and “O.B.’s largest hokey-pokey.”
At 8 p.m., pretty much the entire group peacefully strolled from Dusty Rhodes Park to the grass near the foot of Newport Avenue, just south of the lifeguard tower. Dozens of spectators joined to smile and cheer under the moonlit sky — and to engage in an enthusiastic round of hokey-pokey with well over 100 participants.
From there, the procession moved to a bonfire near Tower 2. Soon the wooden, elephant-shaped throne that had carried the queen was blazing and the Heathens were hooting and dancing in circles around the fire.
For video of the party, click here.