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The largest beach run

Surfing Madonna mural in Encinitas
Surfing Madonna mural in Encinitas

It began as a sketch in 2005 and was further conceptualized at a mosaic school in Ravenna, Italy, in 2010. The ten-by-ten-foot mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe was completed nine months later. The piece, created by artist Mark Patterson, was installed on a train bridge wall in Encinitas with the help of his friend Bob Nichols while they posed as construction workers on April 22, 2011. It was Good Friday.

Originally, the artist was unknown and the city deemed the art graffiti and ordered the mosaic removed. There was a backlash of support for saving it. Though some Catholics and Latinos found it offensive, a priest asked that a nearby church be able to display it. The state believed that the mosaic could violate the separation between state and church and denied the request to put the mosaic at the entrance of Moonlight Beach State Park.

Encinitas spent $2000 for an art consultant to review how best to remove the mosaic without destroying it. It eventually was placed across the street at what is now known as Surfing Madonna Park, on the corner of Highway 101 and Encinitas Blvd.

Past Event

Moonlight Beach Fest

  • Saturday, October 24, 2015, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Moonlight Beach, 200 B Street, Encinitas
  • Free

This Saturday, the Surfing Madonna Save the Ocean run — the largest beach run in the country — takes place in the low-tide sand at Moonlight Beach, with the first start at 12:30 p.m.

Entry: $25–$130. Spectators free.

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Surfing Madonna mural in Encinitas
Surfing Madonna mural in Encinitas

It began as a sketch in 2005 and was further conceptualized at a mosaic school in Ravenna, Italy, in 2010. The ten-by-ten-foot mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe was completed nine months later. The piece, created by artist Mark Patterson, was installed on a train bridge wall in Encinitas with the help of his friend Bob Nichols while they posed as construction workers on April 22, 2011. It was Good Friday.

Originally, the artist was unknown and the city deemed the art graffiti and ordered the mosaic removed. There was a backlash of support for saving it. Though some Catholics and Latinos found it offensive, a priest asked that a nearby church be able to display it. The state believed that the mosaic could violate the separation between state and church and denied the request to put the mosaic at the entrance of Moonlight Beach State Park.

Encinitas spent $2000 for an art consultant to review how best to remove the mosaic without destroying it. It eventually was placed across the street at what is now known as Surfing Madonna Park, on the corner of Highway 101 and Encinitas Blvd.

Past Event

Moonlight Beach Fest

  • Saturday, October 24, 2015, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Moonlight Beach, 200 B Street, Encinitas
  • Free

This Saturday, the Surfing Madonna Save the Ocean run — the largest beach run in the country — takes place in the low-tide sand at Moonlight Beach, with the first start at 12:30 p.m.

Entry: $25–$130. Spectators free.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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