Patriotism shines on Fiesta Day


Photo by Donna Ritchie

The 44th Fiesta Day celebration last Saturday marked the unofficial start of summer for Canyon Lakers. The celebration began with the iconic Fiesta Day parade, an annual tradition that brings together neighbors, friends and family for an old-fashioned, hometown parade through the streets of Canyon Lake.

As the parade made its way down Canyon Lake Dr. and Country Club Dr., hundreds of spectators lined the streets to watch the parade, cheer and catch candy.

This year’s Fiesta Day theme, Stars, Stripes and Fiesta, was a patriotic tribute honoring all those who have served our nation. Canyon Lakers showed their patriotism by decorating golf carts with patriotic decor, donning red, white and blue apparel and accessories and waving American flags along the parade route.

Canyon Lake honored and celebrated veterans during the parade. Veterans were invited to decorate a golf cart and ride in the Veterans Brigade. Applause and “thank you” shouts from spectators could be heard as the group drove along the parade route.

Other parade participants included dignitaries from the city, POA and chamber, various clubs, community groups, businesses and students from local schools. Vehicles, golf carts and trailers pulling boats were decorated with patriotic decor to celebrate this year’s theme.

Leading the parade were this year’s Grand Marshals Nancy Carroll and Al Van Beenen, two longtime residents who have volunteered countless hours serving community groups and helping residents.

Nancy is most noted for her 27-years of service as the president of the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee. Al is most noted for serving 10-years as the president of the Ski Club and 25-years as “Santa” for the club’s annual community-wide Breakfast with Santa event.

When the paraded concluded, the celebration continued at the lodge. Opening Ceremonies included the Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem and the introduction of dignitaries.

The festivities included live entertainment, kids zone, reptile show, concession stands, contests, bounce houses, dance show, mini horses, dunk tank, magician show, vendors and a spectacular ski show on the main lake by the ShowCal Skiers.

The Woman’s Club was the grand prize winner of the Float Contest sponsored by Lake Elsinore GNC. The mermaid themed float earned the club $100. The first place winner of the Booth Decorating Contest was the Yacht Club. This is the third consecutive win for the Yacht Club. The Women’s Golf Club took second place.

Kathy Knutson won the Boss of the (Barbecue) Sauce with her Chocolate Raspberry Chili Barbecue Sauce. Jerry Poncher’s Jalapeno Honey Mustard Barbecue Sauce earned him second place. Ed Peltzer came in third with his Still Smokin’ Barbecue Sauce.

Byron Evans won the Jammin Jam Contest with his Peach Bourbon Jam. Terry Leone’s Fresh Strawberry Jam earned her second place. Bard Monson took third with his Fig Berry Jam.

Putting on Fiesta Day is a big job and would not be possible without the dedicated volunteers. The Fiesta Day Committee plays an important role in planning this major event. Their support and creative ideas help to make this event possible each year. The 2017 Fiesta Day Committee members are: Joanna Spiller, committee chair and treasurer; Mike Shroyer, entertainment publicity; LaRue MacNamara, secretary and dignitaries reception; Lyne Hall, parade coordinator; Roanne Grasso, booths; Joe Grasso, programs and banners; Jude Donahue, sponsorships volunteer.

The Friday Flyer will feature more Fiesta Day photos in next week’s issue.