Fiesta Day kicks off CL’s summer

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Canyon Lake’s biggest party of the year took place last Saturday with Fiesta Day. This hometown tradition, held annually on the Saturday before Memorial Day, has marked the unofficial start of summer in Canyon Lake for the past 46 years.

According to the Fiesta Day Committee, more than 9,000 people participated in the celebration this year. It was a day filled with friends, family and fun.

This year’s theme was “Fiesta Day Celebrates Hawaii, remembering Pearl Harbor.” The event kicked off at 9 a.m. with the traditional parade led by Canyon Lake Fire Station 60, followed by a variety of floats and golf carts representing dignitaries, clubs, organizations, businesses and veterans.

Longtime residents Nancy and Ted Horton were honored as grand marshals. The Woman’s Club won the Best Decorated Float Contest and received $250 for their winning entry.

After the parade, the fun continued on the grounds of the lodge with entertainment, activities and shows. The Canyon Lake ShowCal Skiers wowed the crowd with their Ski Show on the main lake. The beach area featured a Bird Show, rock wall, ziplining tower and balloon artist.

The band Republic of Music entertained the crowd at the main stage area while the band One Guy One Chick entertained the crowd at the beach area.

The Kids Zone featured a variety of carnival rides and a bounce house. The Fiesta Day Committee held two raffles in the Kids Zone, featuring a bicycle and $250 worth of prizes.

The parking lot was filled with vendors selling items ranging from paddleboards to clothing.

The crowd was entertained with a stilt walker, Moana and Polynesian dancers. A Men’s Hula Dance Contest was held at the main stage area with the winner declared by applause.

The hungry could find a variety of food at the food court that featured bratwurst, hot dogs, In-N-Out Burger, tacos and ribbon fries, cotton candy and snow cones, to name a few.

In keeping with the Fiesta Day theme, the committee designed a Pearl Harbor exhibit and featured it in the Holiday Bay Room where it could be viewed throughout the day.

Fiesta Day would not be possible without the dedicated members of the Fiesta Day Committee who start planning for this extraordinary community-wide event months in advance. The committee is made of community volunteers and POA staff. The community volunteers are Joe Grasso, chair; LaRue McNamara, secretary; Roanne Grasso, treasurer; Mike Shroyer, entertainment coordinator; Lyne Hall, parade coordinator; Jude Donahue, sponsorship and advertising coordinator; Bobbi Ehlers, booth coordinator; and Harry Larson, traffic security coordinator. The POA staff liaisons are Carrie Pratt, Samantha Bell, Erica Toney and Val Grillo.

Photo provided by Jude Donahue

Photo by Donna Ritchie

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Donna Ritchie