“I was told by many residents that it was the best show ever,” said CVFA president Steve Goldsworthy. “I had to agree with them.”
The event has become a foothills tradition started almost 30 years ago. The show used to be held on the field of Crescenta Valley High School but, after artificial turf was installed, the show was suspended for a year. Other sites were explored that could accommodate a display. The decision was made to move the show just east of the high school to the adjacent elementary school.
Ticket prices ($7 presale, $10 day of the event; free admission for children under 7) kept the show affordable for most families.
The gates opened to the festival at 4 p.m. and the school field filled quickly. Folks came to enjoy the carnival provided by Kemsley Shows and fare offered by several food trucks. An added surprise this year was the Golden Stars Skydiving Team that arrived around 8 p.m.
At the direction of emcee Anthony Portantino, festival attendees were directed to look to the sky. There they saw three parachutists, smoke billowing from their heels, heading for a predetermined location at the nearby Crescenta Valley High School softball field. The crowd went wild.
“Once the skydivers were announced the entire crowd was pointing at them and applauding,” said Goldsworthy.
The addition of the skydivers was something that very few knew about.
“It was a lot of fun knowing that we had been planning this for so many months,” Goldsworthy said.
Once the skydivers touched down, veteran Art Napiwocki was welcomed to the stage and honored for his lifetime commitment to veterans, said Goldsworthy.
Local youngster Dana Ryan then took the mic to sing the national anthem and then the fireworks show began. If folks thought the show was longer this year, they’re right. The fireworks display was extended by five minutes to 24 minutes.
Despite the work, Goldsworthy said it was all worth it.
“We have a great committee that makes the show happen each year,” he said, “but I’m not sure how we can top this one!”
Photos by Leonard COUTIN, Mary O’KEEFE and Charly SHELTON
To see a video of the show, scan the QR code or go online and click on Videos.