Indian Beach a fitting site for Mermaid Festival

Cambria Dalton won 1st place in the younger division of the Mermaid Costume Contest.

Cambria Dalton won 1st place in the younger division of the Mermaid Costume Contest.

If it didn’t accomplish anything else (though it did), the Mermaid Festival on Saturday, August 22, was an outstanding day for picture taking! From lovely young mermaids to burly old pirates (well, not really old), it was a day for dressing up and being seen.

Hosted by the Woman’s Club at Indian Beach, the event fulfilled one of its intended purposes to raise money for the club’s many philanthropic endeavors, according to organizer Lyne Hall, whose job it is to oversee fundraising for the club. There wasn’t an admission charge to those attending the festival, but the 20-some nautical and beach-themed vendors paid a fee to have a booth.

In addition, the Woman’s Club sold hot dogs, pizza, soft drinks and Mermaid Martinis, and there was a slight charge to cover material costs for children making crafts. Lyne and Woman’s Club President Jan May agreed there were a few kinks this first year of the event, but overall they were pleased with the results.

Zoey Carroll won 2nd place in the costume contest and is pictured with helper mermaid Jayne Stanyon. Photos by Donna Kupke

Zoey Carroll won 2nd place in the costume contest and is pictured with helper mermaid Jayne Stanyon. Photos by Donna Kupke.

Adding to the ambiance of the day were volunteers from the Yacht Club, who dressed up as pirates and wenches, and brought their pirate pontoons to Indian Beach for a pirate battle and to add a nice accent to the scenery. Captains of the pirate ships were Bob Templeton and Wayne Bootow.

Contests for best mermaid costume drew a crowd of adorable girls in the younger category (none in the older category). The pirate (knobby knees) contest drew an infant swashbuckler and several handsome pirates.

Mermaid winners were Cambria Dalton, 1st place, and Zoey Carroll, 2nd place. The winning pirate was the infant swashbuckler who came in his own decorated seat with a parrot perched on top. His name is not available.

Vendors were asked to decorate their booths in a mermaid theme, which made for a very colorful “Mermaid Marketplace.” Winning the best decorated booth was La La’s Hat Bling.

The stage at Indian Beach was professionally decorated (by Lyne Hall, whose business is event planning) and featured a Mermaid Grotto and giant shell-covered throne worthy of Poseidon himself. April McKinnon served as master of ceremonies and also sang.

Members of the Temescal Canyon High School Titan Thunder Regiment were on hand to provide music and sell funnel cakes. A cookie booth provided an opportunity to decorate (and eat) cookies. In addition there were booths where kids could make mermaid clothespins, necklaces and other crafts. When they got tired of crafts, they could play in a giant pirate bounce house and slide.

At the entrance to the park, Leota Janzen was parked in her decorated golf cart; not only to draw attention to the festival but to give attendees a chance to donate $1 to the CLWC Mermaid Student Fund, then flip a coin to win a coupon for a free Troy’s 4-slice pizza. (She raised $91.)

The crowning of the Mermaid Queen and Mermaid Princess took place after lunch, with Karina Bowen becoming the new Mermaid Queen (See Page A-6). As such, she will assist the Woman’s Club with events and fundraisers throughout the coming year. Also assisting with these tasks will be Mermaid Princess Kelley Peviani, a 36-year-old mother of three who is an artist and yoga teacher, and passionate about physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

Crowd attendance was decent for a hot, summer afternoon and a relatively unknown inaugural event, but organizers say they look forward to learning from this year’s strengths and weaknesses and building on their success next year.

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Donna Ritchie