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Picture perfect day for Carrot Festival Parade

February 03, 2001|By DORA DEPAOLI, Staff Writer

HOLTVILLE — Local residents woke up to blue skies and warmer temperatures Saturday in what amounted to a perfect day for the 54th annual Carrot Festival Parade.

Runners, vendors and all involved with the Carrot Festival gathered in Holt Park shortly after dawn. Even though the parade didn't start until 10, the commercial vendors and local groups were ready for business before 8 a.m.

Just about every type of food was available at the park, from baked potatoes, fish tacos and various Mexican fare to fruit cups and vegetable trays. Teriyaki chicken bowls and Island Buffalo Wings with pork fried rice were available from local churches, as were hot dogs and hamburgers. Holtville cooks cranked out lots of carrot-based delicacies for the various booths.

Painted denim clothes in all styles were on sale in several booths. The Hackworths of Yucaipa arrived with about 150 assorted jams, jellies and flavored honey. Amil Pedro of Phoenix had beautifully painted gourds and Indian artifacts for sale. Various ceramic, metal and wooden items caught the fancies of many parade visitors. A popular sign read: "I would love to live in the fast lane, but I am married to a speed bump."

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Those who think puka shells and incense are something from the past are badly mistaken. The shell necklaces, incense and tie-dyed T-shirts were still around at the Carrot Festival. The vendor Big Kahuna of Oroville had an abundance of all three.

Wonderful smells wafted from Josie Maeda's soap booth. Maeda of Calexico sold olive oil and herb-based soap as well as some made with goat's milk.

A big hit with the younger generation was the designer copy sunglasses booth.

Carrot Festival coordinator Marty Dinley was pleased with the 96 parade entries.

Silverado Ranch and Wesley Day Care Center tied for best use of the theme, "Come Grow With Us." The Holtville High School Band of Pride and the Korean War Veterans Association color guard tied for the sweepstakes trophy.

The parade had numerous dignitaries including the newly selected Carrot Festival Queen Keri Kilgore and junior princesses Tassa Allegranza and Carleigh Bingham. Lee and Arona Farris, Holtville's newest citizens of the year, drove themselves in their own 1960 Dodge Dart. Parade marshal Dallas Crabtree and his wife, Marie, rode in a 1924 Model T.

Also on hand were county Sheriff Harold Carter, Imperial County District 5 Supervisor Wally Leimgruber, Holtville Mayor Victor Gillespie and Holtville Police Chief Charlie Simpson.

A popular first-time parade entry was the Lawnmower Mamas made up of the Holtville High School reunion committee of 1969, '70 and '71. The eight-woman group was lead by Lynn Croak. The denim-clad drill team included: Debbie Fjeldsted, Terri Schaffner, Susan Rasmussen, Jeanne Miller, Judy Garcia, Lola Telles and Dana Cato. Several women have volunteered to join the group for next year's participation. Finding all the old lawnmowers proved to be challenging, Fjeldsted said. The group placed first in the non-school drill teams.

The Sunrunners Car Club had 30 vintage cars in the parade. Parade visitors had the opportunity to inspect them at close range following the parade.

Simpson extended an invitation to law enforcement agencies throughout the Valley to participate in the local security movement and traffic control. Simpson was pleased most agencies responded to his call.

The Holtville Fire Department set up an emergency medical aid tent west of City Hall for the first time. Even before the parade got under way personnel treated a fingertip amputation of a fellow cutting meat in a park booth.

Today, the final day of the Carrot Festival, the Holtville Athletic Club Rib Cook-Off will take place in Holt Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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