(Father Acker in the Pine Valley Parade last year, taken by me)
Each year own small town, population 1200, holds our annual festival on the last weekend in July. When we first moved to our town almost eight years ago, the festival started on Friday evening and lasted through Sunday afternoon and included kiddie rides, a barn dance, a deep pit barbecue, two days of rodeo competition, a craft fair, and a parade Saturday morning.
Three years ago the owner of the large meadow immediately outside our property refused to allow the use of his land for the rodeo portion of the celebration. So without the two-day rodeo, Pine Valley Days has been reduced to Pine Valley DAY -- Saturday only. Starting with the parade at 9:00 AM, the crowds drift into the park to check out the climbing walls, the craft booths, the food offerings, and the kiddie rides. The day ends with the evening pit barbecue and "barn" dance to the music of a local band.
Jonathan will be playing guitar with Father Acker and the Free Teen Guitar Class in the parade, and Timothy and Benjamin will be tossing candy with Alpine Anglican's web site and church schedule stickers. This will be our kids third or fourth year in the parade, but J's first time playing guitar. My brother and parents are staying at the cabin further up the mountain and will be down in time to watch the parade. Small town parades are so much fun!
Even though we had swarms of huge horse flies to deal with for a week afterward, I enjoyed having the meadow outside our fence swell with motorhomes, horse trailers, fifth wheels, and the small herd of cattle used for roping. Now the meadow remains the home of squirrels and rabbits and perhaps the occasional coyote all 365 days of the year. Without the rodeo, no one mows the weeds down, and the mustard plants grow four feet high rather than being mowed and tramped to nothing each summer with little growth each fall which is quite reassuring when fire season rolls around in early autumn.
This year will be our third Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council (MECAC) arts booth, the second year in the park. We'll be selling baked goods and limeade for donations, plus MECAC T-shirts and canvas bags. Elizabeth will be selling her jewelry and will be in charge of the kids' jewelry craft. We'll be showcasing the best of this past week's Taste of Art Kids' Art Program as well as selling some of our members' photography, cards, two of Keith's stained glass windows, etc. We'll also be chatting about upcoming MECAC opportunities for which we need some volunteer help from the community.
So if you're a San Diegan, drive on up the mountain and check out Pine Valley Day tomorrow. It will be a ton of fun, and we'd love to see you! I'll post more about it after I recover....