Cheers to 50 years!



A stilt walker was among the more than 50 Fiesta Day parade entries this year. Photo by Donna Ritchie

An estimated 8,000 people attended Canyon Lake’s 45th Fiesta Day, an annual event that marks the unofficial start of summer for Canyon Lakers. This year’s theme, “Cheers to 50 Years,” was a tribute honoring the POA’s 50th anniversary.

The celebration began with the iconic hometown parade through the streets, an annual tradition that brings together neighbors, family and friends. There were more than 50 parade entries.

Leading the parade were Detective Justino Flores and Officer Brown, followed by Cub Scouts Pack 346 carrying the opening banner, Elsinore color guard and drumline, Grand Marshal Joanna Spiller and POA and city dignitaries.

Participating clubs included the Yacht Club, Tennis Club, Pickleball Club, Golf Clubs, Car Club, Woman’s Club, Street Carts, Family Matters Club, Tuesday Work Group, Jr. Women’s Club and Equestrian Club.

Several Canyon Lake kids accompanied Storm Stadium mascot, Thunder, on the Riverside Transit Trolley.

Veterans were invited to decorate a golf cart and ride in the Veterans Brigade, led by Dave Harrigan. Applause and “thank you” shouts from spectators could be heard as the group drove along the parade route.

For the sixth year, Phoebe Barber paraded the streets in her “Sunflower Momma” golf cart.

Other parade participants included Canyon Lake Fire Station 60, The Friday Flyer, EVMWD Division 1 Director Nancy Horton, TCHS football team, University All Stars Twist and You, Davy family, stilt walker, several local realtors, the Business, Club, Youth, Volunteer and Citizen of the Year, John and Leota Ward, Black family and John and Margie Williams.

First time parade entries included Karen Kasian and the Rubio family.

At the conclusion of the parade, the celebration continued on the lodge grounds where there was live entertainment, vendors, concession stands and kids zone.

Opening Ceremonies at the main stage in front of the lodge included an invocation by resident pastor Pete Van Dyke, presentation of colors by Elsinore High ROTC, Pledge of Allegiance led by Cub Scouts Pack 346, National Anthem by Makenna Diegelma and announcements of sponsors and dignitaries.

At Sunset Beach, guests could soar through the air on a 250-foot zip line, climb a coconut tree and enjoy a ski show performed by Canyon Lake’s ShowCal Skiers.

Indoor entertainment included a reptile show, magic show and the History of Canyon Lake Museum, hosted by the Menifee Historical Museum and Canyon Lake pioneer Elinor Martin.

The Trip and One Guy and a Chick kept the crowd entertained with live music.

The kids zone featured a dunk tank, inflatables and raffles.

Other activities included more than 90 vendors, caricature artist, vintage VW Bus photo booth and balloon artist.

For the hungry, there were food booths offering everything from In-N-Out Burger to tacos, pulled pork, pizza and desserts.

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 and their support and creative ideas help to make it possible each year.

The 2018 Fiesta Day Committee members are Joe Grasso, LaRue McNamara, Roanne Grasso, Mike Shroyer, Lyne Hall, Jude Donahue, POA liaisons Carrie Pratt, Valerie Grillo and Samantha Bell and volunteers Roberta Ehlers and Sue Collins.

The photos in this week’s issue are just a few of the scenes from this unforgettable day. The Friday Flyer will feature more Fiesta Day photos in next week’s issue.

Photo by Donna Ritchie

Photo by Donna Ritchie

Photo by Donna Ritchie

Photo by Donna Ritchie

Photo by Donna Ritchie

Photo by Donna Ritchie


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Donna Ritchie