HOLTVILLE — The Street Fair at this year’s Carrot Festival in Holtville encompassed an entire city block Feb. 8 and attracted vendors and patrons from all over the Imperial Valley and beyond.
Festival attendees could
find just about anything at the street fair from nick knacks to rasta hats and
everything in between.
It seemed half the people
at the festival were wearing green and gold T-shirts displaying their hometown
pride with Holtville High School’s colors. The Holtville Threads booth saw
non-stop action as Hornet clothing was in demand like never before.
“Holtville Threads have
the best shirts in the world”, said Teresa Reichle, a Holtville native who
returns annually for the festival. “I moved to San Marcos a few years ago but
we try to come back every year for the parade (also held Feb. 8).”
Reichle spoke about how
the street fair has grown in past decades: “The street fair is bigger. The
parade is amazing as ever. It is still a community-oriented event.”
Iris Biederman of BK
Stichers has been a vendor at the Carrot Festival for more than 40 years.
“The Street Fair used to
be in the park. I like it more since they moved it to the street. We get a lot
more people,” she recalled.
Although Biederman didn’t
get a chance to walk around the market because she was busy selling her wares
she was able to deduce, “Its big. I like the way they put food vendors next to
the other vendors. That way people will come and see everything.”
Popular among the
youngest attendees at the festival, Harlequin’s Entertainment stayed busy
making balloon animals and face painting.
Business owner Tasha
Robles said she started the business in 2015.
“We do face painting,
balloon animals, story time for birthday parties. We also work with Pioneers
Memorial (Healthcare District) to do hospital visits,” she said, describing her
business aside from the Carrot Festival.
Also a Holtville native, Robles
shared her insight about the popularity of this year’s street fair saying, “It
seems a little bit slower this year than previous years. But it is still a
The Holtville Connection
is a men’s Christian group that meets weekly in Holtville. The group worked
hard to keep festival goers hydrated offering free coffee and hot chocolate.
“We are not in business. We are just trying to
show God’s love in a practical way,” a member of the group, Carlos Canez, said.
“We knew it was going to be cold and windy so we thought we would serve the
community by providing hot chocolate.”
The Holtville Connection
groups draws 10-15 people for its weekly Bible studies.
“We have been here since
5 a.m. There are lots of people at the street fair. It is very crowded,” Canez
added. “Many people don’t believe we have free coffee. I tell them the only
catch is a smile.”
Smiles were in abundance
throughout the Carrot Festival and Street Fair.
The Holtville Chapter of
Future Farmers of America attended the Street Fair in full force and was able
to secure the only booth in the middle of the street for its produce station.
Melanie Lopez, a 16-year-old Holtville High student, is the vice president the
club and noted the event is already a tradition in her young life.
“I have been coming to
the Carrot Festival my entire life. I see the festival grow every year. I have
been helping at the produce station for the past four years,” she said.
Future Farmers of America
is a student led-organization providing opportunities, leadership roles and
“We are here raising
money for our state conference, which is the most important conference of the
year. We are selling a variety of different vegetables and carrots supplied by
local farmers,” Lopez added.
This year’s Carrot Festival
felt like Holtville’s own version of the California Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta.
The only difference was the entirely local element created by the Street Fair
that left attendees eager and waiting for next year’s festival.