NEWPORT, RI (WPRI) – Water Brothers’ Sid Abruzzi is a local surf and skate legend who created an annual Surf Fest in Newport that has been gaining groundswell. 2014 Summer’s Surf Fest IV was held at historic Fort Adams Saturday, July 12 and this year’s event drew the largest crowd to date. Festival goers included adults, kids, surfers, skaters, and summer tourists alike.
“This is amazing today, my friends are all here in numbers, the sun is out and everything is perfect”, Surf Fest creator and event chairman Sid Abruzzi spoke of the day early in the afternoon.
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The event, also referred to as a party by organizers, boasted special guests that are celebrities in the surf and skate communities. Sid Abruzzi was joined by Peter Townend, Tony Alva, Greg Loehr, Mike Tabeling, and Jerry Kirby among many others.
Townend was crowned surfing’s first professional world champion in 1976. He came in all the way from his native Queensland, Australia to be a special guest and meet the Surf Fest party-goers. Loehr and Tabeling are east coast shapers and surf stars. Alva is recognized across generations as the Godfather of Modern Skateboarding, and has always had a passion for surfing. Guests met these ‘legends’ and posed for photos against a backdrop of historic Fort Adams Park.
The festival featured what has become known as the largest surf board exhibit in the East curated by Abruzzi himself–showcasing hundreds of surf boards both vintage and new. There was a centerpiece skate ramp open for free skate as well as a contest, built by Kirby Perkins Construction Company. There were dozens of surf and skate vendors and food and drink, including authentic Hawaiian shave ice and a beverage garden provided by Newport, Rhode Island’s microbrewery, Newport Storm Brewing Co.