Apples, apples everywhere – kids have fun without a care
November 10, 2018
The Apple Festival was meant to be family and especially kid-friendly. When streets are closed and the environment feels safe, parents are comfortable letting their kids go and have fun. That is what we hoped to accomplish at this year's Apple Festival.
Our best estimate is that at least 2,100 kids enjoyed the bounce houses. The Tehachapi Wrestling team, lead by Curtis Nelson, kept that area safe and organized. At the far end of Green Street, thousands of prizes for games were gone in the blink of an eye. Kids experienced free professional face painting by Judith Campanaro, a local respected artist. There was a continual line to climb into the Glider Plane provided by Ken Hetge and feel it rock and imagine it soaring. The Valley Oaks Interact Club helped the kids in and rocked the plane. Arts Science and Technology Educational Corporation of Tehachapi (AST) offered the kids a truly unique experience as they did a virtual reality plank walk. David and Dalton SteeleReed did several marionette fairy tale shows that attracted tons of kids and after each one they allowed the kids a close up look at the string puppets. What kid doesn't like animals, so the Windswept Ranch petting zoo is always a hit. The Rotary Club of Tehachapi ran the variety of small and simple carnival games where kids spent time knocking down cans, getting ping pong balls into fish bowls, playing corn hole and other fun games. Twice a day the THS Robotics team put a few robots through the paces, which is always of interest to kids. Kids rode on wiggle cars and tried their hand at getting balloon cars moving.
At Centennial Plaza kids could bob for apples hanging on a string. Adults could relax, have a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy live music. If planned right, they could also laugh and enjoy five men and five women stick their heads in an apple pie for the pie eating contest. Girl power was strong, but in the end a guy won. On Sunday, The Loop sponsored the Apple Pie Baking Contest. Six contestants submitted pies which were judged by four pie loving judges.
Kids and parents alike strolled down F Street to view the cars at the car show and judged the Best of Show, the Best Interior and the Best Engine. It's a small but mighty car show and the automobiles that entered were absolutely gorgeous. Also strolling the streets were a variety of characters from our own Tehachapi Community Theater. They were enthusiastic to the crowds and in many cases very recognizable, like Snow White. We also had an Apple Mascot roaming the event for photo ops and many, many photos were taken. On Sunday, Adventist Health sent their Penguin Mascot to travel the event and meet and greet parents and kids.
Of course, there were all kinds of vendors with food, tropical and fruity drinks, desserts, jewelry, soaps, clothes, lawn décor, candles, bird houses, signs, glassware, handmade goods and so much more. The diversity of merchandise was exceptional.
As the organizer of the Apple Festival I want to thank all of the organizations mentioned above. Without the support of the community and the youth organizations sited, I could not do this event. I also want to thank our sponsors: Adventist Health is our Presenting Sponsor, Waste Management sponsors the Kid Zone Bounce Houses, Alta One sponsored the Kid Carnival, The Loop Newspaper and KGET were media sponsors. I also want to thank my husband, James Carhart who was not only the MC in Centennial Plaza for the events taking place there, but was on call for many tasks. My daughter, Caitlyn Havis, who was ever present at the Kids Carnival and my son-in-law, Daniel Havis, who was responsible for getting the cars checked in and parked, plus Caitlyn tallied the ballots. Thanks to VJ for helping put together tables and load things up and Cassie Sarkisian for working the car show. It takes a village and I am thankful that I live in such a giving and caring village as Tehachapi. Over $12,000 of funds will be donated to these organizations. Thank you and see you next year - even bigger and better!