El Centro cools off with treats, ‘showers'

July 27, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

If the rockin' and distorted guitar sounds brought you out to Main Street last night, it was likely the punk rock sounds of ForFit, a band from Holtville.


Then maybe it was the foot-stomping, hand-clapping string music by Fiddle-Fare at the El Centro Town Square that brought you out.

Brought you out, that is, for an evening of ice cream, friendly faces and beautiful weather.

Thursday was the 13th annual Ice Cream Social.

"It's amazing to think that this many people on a balmy afternoon would come out and enjoy this," said Larry Bratton, president of the Downtown El Centro Association, which co-sponsored the event with the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. "It's great that they are."

Bratton said the event is staged at a time of the year when few local events are scheduled.

Besides such cool favorites as ice cream sundaes, banana splits, root beer floats and peach cobbler, the event allowed the city to show off the recently completed Town Square, replete with fountain, misters, benches, an inviting lawn and a matching paint and lighting scheme.


Enjoying the fountain with three grandchildren from Michigan was Carmen Montejanos of El Centro.

"This is very nice because we didn't have anything else to do this afternoon," she said. "Everything is very nice."

The event stretched from the 700 block of Main to the 500 block. Along the way, downtown merchants welcomed late shoppers and some merchants set up tables to showcase their wares. There were also community organizations present as well.

One of those groups was Mid-Valley Pop Warner, which hosted a football toss.

Pop Warner Sun Devils left defensive end, field goal kicker and place kicker, among other positions player, Alexis McElvany, 11, of El Centro said he was enjoying just cruising the crowd.

C.J. Kinney, 11, of Seeley — a Pee Wee football player — said he enjoyed the crowd, Rain on Main water spraying by the El Centro Fire Department and the ice cream.

"The ice cream is really good," he said.

Both youngsters were helping their parents raise funds for football.

Other organizations with booths included the Imperial County Public Health Department, Healthy Start Community Services, California Women for Agriculture and the Mostly Theatre Co.

The Rock Kings played hits from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

El Centro Mayor Cheryl Walker, along with many other volunteers, was inside one of the booths serving ice cream to the hungry and hot crowd.

"I think this is spectacular," Walker said. "We're so excited to see everybody down here, to see them enjoying the downtown revitalization project, enjoying the square, enjoying the fountain. We're having a great time."

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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