Get ready for Stars, Stripes and Fiesta!


“Stilt Walker” – Photo by Paul Clare

Fiesta Day is considered the granddaddy of all Canyon Lake events. It draws approximately 5,000 people annual and has been the “opening event for the summer” for more than 40 years.

Fiesta Day remains a beloved tradition that takes place on the Saturday before Memorial Day. This year’s Fiesta Day will be held on May 27. The theme is “Stars, Stripes and Fiesta,” a patriotic tribute honoring all those who have served our nation.

The 44th annual Fiesta Day includes a street parade down Canyon Lake Dr. to the lodge where there will be vendors, a food court, kids zone, activities, music and contests. This year’s contests will have an all-American theme with a fun Jam Contest, Barbecue Sauce Contest, Parade Float Contest and, of course, the traditional Booth Decorating Contest. Residents Nancy Carroll and Al Van Beenen have been selected to serve as this year’s Fiesta Day parade Grand Marshals. Nancy and Al are longtime residents who have volunteered countless hours serving the community and helping residents.

Residents, groups and businesses are invited to get involved in Fiesta Day by having an entry in the parade, having a food or vendor booth, entering a contest or becoming a sponsor.

“Stilt girl” was among the 2016 Fiesta Day entertainers.

There are 105 vendor booth spaces available this year. Prizes and ribbons will be given to the booths with the best display of the “Stars, Stripes and Fiesta” theme. Booth spaces are $70 for Canyon Lake sanctioned clubs and $105 for all others. There is a $10 discount for early bird registration. No applications will be accepted after May 15. Information packets and application forms can be found on the POA website at

New this year is “Best Dressed Float” contest. To qualify, floats must keep with the “Stars, Stripes and Fiesta” theme. The winner will receive $100.

Veterans are invited to decorate their golf carts and join the Veterans Golf Cart Brigade in the parade. Interested veterans should contact Dave Harrigan at 951-746-3460.

One popular event that will not be featured at Fiesta Day this year is the Cardboard Boat Race. This event has been moved to Mermaid Festival , which will be held in August at Indian Beach.

Putting on Fiesta Day is a big task. The Fiesta Day Committee plays a major role in planning this event with the POA. The 2017 Fiesta Day Committee members are: Joanna Spiller, Committee Chair and Treasurer; Mike Shroyer, Entertainment and Publicity; LaRue McNamara, Dignitaries Reception and Secretary; Roanne Grasso, Booths; Joe Grasso, Programs and Banners; Lyne Hall, Parade Coordinator and Jude Donahue, Sponsorships Volunteer. The committee has been working on the planning of Fiesta Day since the beginning of the year.

Want to help plan this year’s Fiesta Day? The committee is still in need of a Sponsorship Coordinator and Traffic Coordinator. There is also a need for convertibles to drive dignitaries in the parade. Those who have convertibles and would like to volunteer to drive a dignitary are asked to contact the POA Activities Department at 951-244-6841, ext. 610.

Further details about Fiesta Day activities will be posted in upcoming issues of The Friday Flyer. Members can also log on the POA website at for more information.



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Donna Ritchie