Fair Fun Guaranteed

File photo The pie-eating contest at the Annual Hometown Country Fair is a crowd favorite, as are the carnival rides, the entertainment stage and the barbecue. The fair takes place on April 5 at CV Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
File photo
The pie-eating contest at the Annual Hometown Country Fair is a crowd favorite, as are the carnival rides, the entertainment stage and the barbecue. The fair takes place on April 5 at CV Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year’s fair will feature favorites plus an exciting car panel Q&A.
By Joyce LEE, intern

The blooming of spring signals the time for the annual Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce Hometown Country Fair, which will be held at Crescenta Valley Park at 3901 Dunsmore Ave. on April 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will mark the ninth anniversary of the traditional event that promises to be even bigger and better than ever.

“Each year the Hometown Country Fair grows in size and revenue. Last year the fair attracted over 4,000 people and we expect even more this year,” Steve Pierce, co-chair of the Hometown Country Fair and CV chamber president, said.

As in previous years, the fair will include a carnival and feature dozens of merchants offering a variety of items for sale. There will also be several non-profit organizations on-site in booths to share information about their organizations.

The morning will start off with the arrival of 65 classic cars from the Early Rodders car group. The cars will be on display until about 1 p.m., so car enthusiasts are encouraged to arrive early to have plenty of time to check them out. Dwight Sityar, organizer of the car show, is hosting a panel discussion titled, “The Evolution of Racing and Design” in the park’s community hall from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Guest speakers for the forum are La Crescenta’s own Voice of Drag Racing Dave McClelland, Bonneville Salt Flat record holder Ron Main, funny car racer/crew chief Frank Aldana and Art Center College of Design Transportation Chair Stewart Reed.     “This mixture of eloquent speakers, with their background and achievements, will make a very interesting forum,” Sityar said. “This is the first time that we’ve held an open forum like this.” There is a limited amount of seating, so those who plan on attending should contact Sityar at (818) 395-4312 to reserve a seat.

Sityar credited Abel Garnica of Los Angeles County Dept. of Parks & Recreation and the CV Chamber of Commerce with being instrumental in arranging the forum.

In addition to the extensive car show, fairgoers will also find rides and games for all ages, a pie-eating contest to keep everyone full, live music and a dog parade. Entertainment will showcase diverse cultures and include a demonstration from MTC Master’s Taekwondo Club, a performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Dana Ryan, and performances by Revolutions Dance.

“This year will be my seventh time at the fair. My fondest memory is when the CV Town Council challenged the CV Chamber to a friendly game of tug of war,” Pierce said. “I also have great memories of the dogs parading in costumes and the smiles on everyone’s faces while watching townspeople of all ages participating in the pie-eating contest.”

There will also be a silent auction and a raffle for an iPad Mini. Raffle tickets are just $5 and available at the CV Chamber office or at the fair.

There will be no need to leave the fair grounds due to hunger, either. The chamber will be grilling up barbecue food and there will also be sweet treats for sale.

“The purpose of our fair is to provide a safe, family-oriented community event reflecting the cultural diversity of our area and to assist the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce in meeting its goals of [funding] youth scholarships and membership benefits,” Pierce said.

For the fourth year, a 5K run will kick off the day’s festivities. In previous years, the race started at 10 a.m., but this year it has been pulled back to 8 a.m. to avoid conflicts with vendors coming and going. Organizing the 5K are members of the VFW and American Legion. They will also man a booth at the fair to inform the community of its programs and to invite eligible veterans to join their posts.

“I ran in our first 5K after having been in Linda Taix’s Extreme Boot Camp for six months and was able to finish. That may not sound like a big deal, but I am 71 years old and had not been following a healthy exercise program until I started boot camp, so just being able to take part in a 5K is exciting for me,” said Mike Baldwin, co-chairman for the 5K run and the adjutant of both VFW Post 1614 and of American Legion Post 288.

This year’s run will benefit the veteran programs of both posts. In the past, the run raised money for the Two Strike Memorial Wall. Since that project was completed in September 2013, this year the run will dedicate fundraising for hospitalized veterans at the valley VA and West L.A. facilities, and their Christmas fund for local veterans in need. This past Christmas, distribution amounted to $700 for a family in Crescenta Valley. The run will also sponsor organizations such as Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venture Crew, Prom Plus, CVHS Jr. ROTC, and veteran programs.

“I want to have a successful event and for those taking part to have a wonderful day. The Crescenta Valley Park is truly a beautiful park to run in with all of the oaks and trails,” said Baldwin. “We are blessed to live in this valley.”

Though it’s a lot of work to coordinate, chamber members are excited for the annual event.

“This year I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, especially my two grandchildren, at the fair and eating a couple of hot dogs while watching all the people having fun,” Pierce said. “That’s what our fair is all about.”