The largest crowd ever showed up at Crescenta Valley Park for a day packed with fun.
By Mary O’KEEFE
Great weather, a variety of entertainment and over 100 vendors in colorful booths made this year’s Hometown Country Fair a huge success.
“This was the biggest ever,” said Julia Rabago, executive director of the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We were 25% higher in every [aspect] – more cars for [the car show] and more vendors.”
Although there is no exact way of counting the amount of people who attended the event (it was free to attend), Rabago said many of the vendors and the carnival ride operators agreed there were more in attendance this year than in years past.
The Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce sponsors the event and any funds raised go toward the organization’s many outreach programs that support the community including the high school scholarship program.
The fair was a true community event with over 75 volunteers manning booths, overseeing traffic and vendor placement, flipping burgers at the snack shack and taking their turn in the dunk tank.
The kids from Crescenta Valley High School helped add to the volunteer force with Prom Plus Club showing up early to help with booths, Falkons’ Robotics taking care of the recyclables and the Falcons sports teams coming in at the end for tear down and clean up.
“It is so nice how everyone comes together,” Rabago said. “There are so many elements to [preparing] for the fair with [coordinating] the cars for the car show and all the vendors. You need a lot of volunteers.”
Dwight Sityar, with the help of his friends at Early Rodders, organized the car show, which filled the south end of CV Hindenburg Park with vehicles from every era.
A Boy Scout used the event to complete his Eagle Scout project with a flag retirement ceremony. Kirk Wilson began his project not knowing if he would be able to collect many flags but by Saturday he had 100 old and worn flags to retire.
“I am happy about how many we received,” he said.
The ceremony was done with respect and honored the tradition of retiring American flags.
Wilson said the burning of the first flag was a little strange, “to see the flag on fire,” he said. But he knew that because of the ceremony the flags would not be thrown away but given the dignity deserved.
Several veterans from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion attended the flag ceremony including Lynn McGinnis who mentored Wilson through his Eagle Project. Wilson also folded and is sending 900 pocket American flags to military personnel serving overseas.
Long before the flag ceremony, VFW and American Legion members were at the park for the Two Strike Park Memorial 5K. Over 150 runners ran their 3.2 miles to help support the construction of a new memorial wall at Two Strike Park. Construction has already begun on the wall, which received support from the two veterans organizations and the community.
School and youth organizations benefited from the fair as well with help from Lexus of Glendale.
“Lexus [supplied] the coupons for lunch,” Rabago said. Lunch customers would write in a youth organization or school they would like to donate to and for each lunch meal sold, Lexus donated $3 to that school or organization.
“Lexus [of Glendale] was a great supporter of the [event],” she added.
The fair also had a variety of entertainers. Rabago said this year they wanted to add more performers. There were local artists like Matt Sikora and Liz Forde, and school bands including the drum line from Rosemont Middle School.
“This is the first year we have been here,” said Rosemont band director Ron Yonkers. “It’s great.”
At the end of the day, kids were tired from all the rides they went on, everyone was full of the great food available and many went home dreaming of the vintage car they would buy … if only.