On Oct. 19, we read a letter to the editor, which was submitted by an Arroyo Grande resident who questioned the grand marshal selection process for the Arroyo Grande Valley Harvest Festival. The writer also expressed concern about this year’s business decorating/scarecrow contest.
In response, we would like to first say that the 74th annual Arroyo Grande Valley Harvest Festival was a rousing success, with more than 60 parade entries, great entertainment, an expanded Agriculture Pavilion, food and game booths, a chili cook-off, salsa tasting contest, baking contest, wiener dog races, soapbox derby races, antique engines, pie eating contest, grape stomping, fish fry, vegetable decorating, costume judging, rides, a haunted maze, historical and agricultural displays, diaper derby, spelling bee and game and food booths.
It was stated in the Oct. 19 letter that some recent grand marshal nominees had been “passed over for a couple who had moved here five years ago.” We are a bit perplexed by this statement because our past nine grand marshals, including the Blankenburgs, the Pruetts, the Runels, the Mankins, the Talleys, the families comprising the Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange (POVE), June Waller, the Burkes, and Ella Honeycutt are all very longtime residents. In fact, POVE was formed in the 1920s, June Waller has lived here for more than 50 years, the Burkes have been an active part of the Arroyo Grande Valley for more than 60 years, and most recently, 2011 Grand Marshal Ella Honeycutt has lived here since 1974. All of these grand marshals have been very active in the community and were very worthy of the honor.
Regarding the business decorating/scarecrow contest, the committee chairperson indicated there had been some problems this year but promised her “ambassadors” would start earlier and do better next year.
The Harvest Festival is organized by a committee of about 15 community-oriented volunteers who started meeting in early spring and dedicated countless hours organizing all of the events and activities. The committee is always open to new volunteers willing to organize activities, start new events, fundraise, assist with existing events or help with the myriad tasks that make the festival successful.
The 75th annual Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival is scheduled for Sept. 28 and 29, 2012, and the committee hopes to make it the best Harvest Festival ever. For more information or to see contest results or festival photos, check out the website at www.agharvestfestival.com. To contact the committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/villageofag.
The writers are co-chairpersons of the Arroyo Grande Valley Harvest Festival.