While organizers of the announced that their surfing competition will go on as scheduled in Long Beach starting Sept. 1, the City of Long Beach said that the festival sideshows have been canceled.
City Manager Charles Theofan told Patch that he and city officials talked with Quiksilver organizers throughout Monday morning, the day after , to work out details surrounding the 15-day event.
“But at present, it looks like that portion of the event that was planned for Quiksilver City — that's on the Foundation Block and the Superblock — is going to be canceled, but the surfing tournament is going to proceed starting Monday, Labor Day,” Theofan said.
Quiksilver did not return phone calls or emails on Monday afternoon, but earlier in the day the company released a statement that it was going forward with the surf competition as planned, including all skateboard, motocross and concert events.
"Surfing events have always required daily flexibility, so while Irene posed a larger than normal challenge, it was still well within the realm of what we prepare for when staging professional surfing events," Luke Watson, a spokesman for Quiksilver, said in the statement.
On Monday, Quiksilver workers were working on the festival site at the Foundation Block, at Broadway and Edwards Boulevard, which together with the staging area for the competition at National beach were in anticipation of the storm. Although workers were not on the beach Monday morning.
Paul Gillespie, chief of Long Beach lifeguards, said Quiksilver must first dig about a foot down in the sand under the boardwalk at the beach entrance on National in order to get their equipment through the beach.
was closed to swimmers on Monday as the city’s beach maintenance workers cleaned up in the wake of the category 1 hurricane.
“Because of the storm itself, we lost all lifeguard mounds and the lifeguard chairs were knocked to the back of the beach,” Gillespie said. “Thank God we saved all 24 chairs. We just restored everything, we put up all the chairs, and we’re ready to go. We’re going to open the beach tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. and let people back in the water.”
The lifeguard station at National beach was knocked off its moorings and pushed into the boardwalk during the storm Sunday morning. Gillespie said he is still waiting to hear what will be done with the structure. “Hopefully we’ll be able to lift it and put it back on its foundation, hopefully before the contest, before Labor Day,” he said.
Meanwhile, Quiksilver fully booked the on Broadway and National, for the 15-day event, but the hotel's underground garage and ground level Work crews on Monday were still busy cleaning up those areas.
“Those are the only levels that are not fully operational right now,” said Laura Vivonetto, a spokesperson for the hotel, on Monday. “So we moved the front desk up to our lounge and we’re checking in guest from there. Otherwise, every other floor is completely operational. But our lobby will be back in pristine condition and operating in time for the Quiksilver event.”
Vivonetto said work crews will continue to work day and night to restore the garage and ground level and help Quiksilver get through the next few days.
“It’s really going to be a team effort to get everything going, so that Thursday, when they event starts, they’ll be minimal disruption,” she said.
* Matt Hogan contributed to this story.