San Dimas hoe-down rocks fair

Posted Sept. 22, 2006
Sergio Sandoval
Children and adults enjoyed panning for gold as part of San Dimas Day at the Los Angeles County Fair on Sept. 15. Volunteer Jason Maloney from Life Pacific Bible College in San Dimas helped 8-year-old Michael Kelly and 5-year-old Alijah Shaut find gold during the community expo.

Andres Rivera
Managing Editor

San Dimas continued its tradition of having a day at the fair on Sept 15. From a community expo in the morning to a parade and Community Hero Ceremony in the late afternoon, the Chamber of Commerce arranged activities designed to appeal to its residents.

The day at the fair started with a community expo on Pepper Street.

The Chamber of Commerce and other organizations set up a row of booths with activities for the children.

“The Chamber of Commerce wanted us to do games with the kids,” Caryol Smith of the Friends of the San Dimas Dog Park said. “It’s nice to see so many communities coming to the fair.”

It was the first year the Friends of the San Dimas Dog Park participated.

Along with information on the dog park, the booth provided a beanbag tossing activity with candy as a prize.

Part of the purpose for the community expo is to promote the Western Days that San Dimas will be celebrating in October.

Many of the booths were decorated with the rodeo theme.

The Rotary Club was positioned next to the dog park booth.

Board members offered children a chance to win “a bag of bones” candy by shooting basketballs in to a coffin with two basketball hoops.

The club has been active with San Dimas day for many years.

“We let people know that we’re the largest volunteer group in the world,” said Randy Dominguez, a Rotary Club of San Dimas board member. “Our members work or live in San Dimas.”

In the middle of the row of booths stood a popular pot for the children for its combination of water and gold.

Volunteers from Life Pacific Bible College set up a panning for gold booth, which offered children hands on experience with a part of the state’s history.

“This is our second year here, and our third year at the rodeo,” Jason Maloney of the Life Pacific Bible College said.

Children were talked through the process by Maloney or one of the other volunteers and were able to keep whatever gold they were able to find.

“We come here from Sylmar every year for the fair,” Ronnell Kelly said. “We wish they did more of the hands-on stuff around the fair.”

On one end of the expo, a booth focused on Native American culture caught the attention of people passing by.

The soothing sounds of a handcrafted flute could be heard as one walked along the row of booths.

“I’m here to promote the Elk Flute,” Bill Neal, elk whistle player, said. “It’s a good thing for people who want to know more about the Native American culture.”

Neal, dressed in an Eastern straight dance outfit with sashes and other ornamentation from the Iroquois, played tunes with a variety of flutes displayed in the booth.

“Someone came out and gave a flyer,” Wendy Coney, Taft Numan Christian School teacher said. “They love them; can’t get them away.”

Many of the organizations present at the community expo will participate in the 39th Annual Western Days Celebration on Oct. 7 and 8.

The day at the fair didn’t end with the expo.

San Dimas residents and other onlookers attended the San Dimas Day parade and Community Hero Ceremony in the afternoon at Park Square.

Andres Rivera can be reached at

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