Thursday, November 26, 2015 • 09:53

Western Days 2014 best celebration ever

Valley Center firemen lower the flag at the conclusion of the opening ceremony of Western Days.
May 28, 2014
Western Days, Valley Center's biggest community event of the year, was celebrated on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The event began at 5 p.m. Friday with a gathering at the Community Center flag pole for 15 minutes of devotion. Next on center stage, the Republican Women presented the Best Little Cowboy and Cowgirl contest. The contestants showed off their talents by swaggering before the judges. Next they rode stick ponies through a maze of hay bales, finally vying for the judges' approval and points during the roping event. No little cowboys competed. Isabella Garcia represented the girls and swaggered offstage winning Best Little Cowgirl, the only title awarded for the event.

Following the contest was the conclusion of the Honorary Mayor's race in which all 10 candidates were introduced. On stage were Gina Roberts representing VC Kiwanis Club; Larry McKenzie of the Valley Center Aid Group; Bobby Weiss representing VC Women's Club; John Yeager with the Chamber of Commerce; VC Vaqueros Equine Education Foundation was represented by Oklahoma Francis owner Julie Picot; Marian Klein, president of Valley Center Friends of the Library; Marcia Townsend, representing the Republican Women's Club; Denette Stewart of the Rotary Club; Sharon Briscoe representing Relay For Life; and Hellhole Hermit representing the Friends of Hellhole Canyon. A grand total of $11,800 was raised by the 10 candidates. Roberts raised $3,600 and was announced Honorary Mayor of Valley Center.

Finally onstage, DJ Buddha provided music for dancing until 10 p.m. closing.

During the three-day event, the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo took place next door featuring the team roping event on Sunday afternoon.

For Western Days, VC Community Center grounds were covered with arts, crafts, and service organization booths. An array of vendors were on hand at Food Truck Alley including the Wine and Beer Garden and VC Women's Club Margaritas.

The day began on Saturday with a pancake breakfast served by VC Rotary Club. Breakfast consisted of eggs, pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice, and milk.

Ongoing Saturday, the Kids' Zone was featured highlighting K-12 Arts and Crafts Contest at the Community Hall. There were pony rides, a $100 Hat Raffle, and the dunk tank, among many other activities.

This year, the theme for the Chamber of Commerce Western Days Parade was "A Homegrown Musical Celebration." The parade consisted of 98 entrants led by a procession of floats, local dignitaries, and horses in patriotic gear. All who attended were encouraged to compete in the Battle of the Bands. Cash prizes were awarded for the most creative handmade instruments. Another new contest was the horse dropping contest in which cash prizes were awarded to participants who selected the correct spot where horse droppings landed.

VIP's riding in the parade included County Supervisor Bill Horn, State Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, Miss Valley Center April Lackpour, First Princess Julie Pregler, Junior Miss First Princess Danielle Yates, and Second Princess Taylor Pennell, Rodeo Queens Renee Terbush, Briana Garcia, and Lacey Bainbridge, and 2013 Citizens of the Year Martina Day and Frank Holtz.

Valley Center's new Honorary Mayor Gina Roberts and Winner of the Best Little Cowgirl Contest Isabella Garcia were invited to ride in the parade as well.

After the parade, "Valley Center the Sing Along" provided entertainment on stage. Parade awards were then presented.

Later in the afternoon, the Marshal's Posse Showdown took place at Western Town Center. A pie-eating contest was sponsored by Friends of Hellhole Canyon at noon and 3 p.m.

Music was provided by Cattle Call Concert from 2:30 p.m. until closing. On stage were Sierra West, Megan Combs, Jon Ji, 22 Kings, and Sara Petite.

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