Clear skies and warm weather frame a day that includes a hot rod forum, classic cars, unique vendors, games, food and more.
By Charly SHELTON
Every year, the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce hosts a huge event at CV Park that brings the community together for food, music, unique vendors and good old-fashioned hometown fun. This is the annual Hometown Country Fair, and it’s coming this Saturday, April 16.
“This event is held every year to foster cohesiveness throughout the community, and everyone is welcome,” said Calvin “Kaipo” Chock, chairman of the HTCF and president of the CVCOC. “This is the biggest event the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce puts on every year that is free to the public. The event draws thousands [of guests], and business and community support is essential to its success. It gives businesses a chance to show what they have to offer to the public, and at the same time raises money for supporting our community organizations.”
Chock, who is serving as chairman for the second consecutive year, is looking forward to a great event on Saturday that includes nice weather – not the case in 2015 when rain shuttered the fair at 3 p.m. due to safety concerns. The forecast for this Saturday is clear skies with a high of 82° – perfect for an outdoor festival in the park.
Though many aspects of the HTCF are fan favorites from previous years, like the pie eating contest and car show, one new aspect of the fair this year is the collaboration between the Armenian and Korean communities with the CVCOC for the event.
“This year, the Armenian Cultural Foundation and the Korean American Federation of North Los Angeles have asked to join the Hometown Country Fair,” Chock said. “They asked to join last year but it was already too late in the year to make the adjustment, so this year we brought them aboard. So [guests] will get a chance to experience their culture through foods, entertainment and vendors. We have also changed and added some rides to the carnival, including the addition of blow up slides and rock climbing.”
Among the returning favorite aspects of the fair is the Legends of Hot Rod Forum. This annual forum invites professionals of the hot rod or racing car industries to share their insights and opinions on the state of the industry, where it was and where it is headed. This year’s speakers are champion race car driver, builder and designer Kenny Sapper. Sapper was born and raised in Glendale now lives in La Crescenta and runs and manages Speedway Engineering, which has contributed and also one of the great supporters of NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing).
Jim Miller, a journalist and a historian for the American Hot Rod Foundation, will be on the panel. He has chronicled the beginning of hot rod events and the people that led to this American icon.
Steve Gibbs, one of the main contributors to the sport called drag racing, will talk about innovations in the sport. These include the “Christmas tree lights” at a race’s start, the finish line traps and staging up. He has been instrumental in making these functions a part of professional drag racing.
The forum is a joint venture between CVCOC and the Early Rodders Car Club and it precedes the car show at the fair. It is expected to draw crowds of gearheads, grease monkeys and car fanatics from all walks of life.
“This event would not even be possible without the help of our major sponsors, Valley Automotive Group, Nam Eye Center, CV Korean Business Group, and Supervisor Michael Antonovich,” Chock said. “Also, everyone who is working the fair is a volunteer, so this is really a community effort by not only the Chamber of Commerce but from the community also. And, as chairman of the fair, I really appreciate the team effort.”