■ By Stacey Bailey / Contributed
Harvard Street will once again host the Ramona Spring Festival to kickoff the Ramona Pageant Season beginning on April 6.
The street will be closed to accommodate all of the activities that will be happening. The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All of the Harvard street merchants will be having specials on that day. The street will be lined with classic cars and on the stage located on the south end of Harvard there will be a variety of performances.
For children, there will be a costume contest for grades preschool through fifth. The contest will start at 11 a.m. at the stage. Children are asked to dress as Ramona, Alessandro, the Senora or the evil Farrar. There will be winners for each character in the different age groups. Prizes will include tickets to Ramona, gift certificates to Downtown Deli and winners will appear onstage at the Ramona Bowl with their inspiration characters. There will also be a special art project with the Diamond Valley Arts Center and pet adoptions from the Ramona Humane Society. The event will also include a children’s play area.
For those that enjoy history, there will be a Magical History tour aboard the Ramona Trolley. The tour will canvas downtown Hemet, seeing pictures of historical buildings as they looked when first constructed while listening to a narration about the early days of Hemet.
The Diamond Valley Arts Center will have showings of one of the original “Ramona” silent movies. Ramona cast members will perform and interact with the crowd.
The Ramona Bowl is also once again presenting a Snowbird performance of “Ramona” on Mar. 16 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door. This performance is a special performance for Snowbirds only. You must be from out of the area to see this show.
Because the performances of “Ramona” are at the end of April and beginning of May, many winter visitors have to leave before the pageant opens. The Ramona Bowl is providing a show specifically for those patrons from colder climates. It is technically a formal dress rehearsal, but it has all the elements of the later official performances.
Tickets for the Snowbird performance are only available at the box office since patrons must show proof of out of area address. For more information, call (951) 658-3111.
The performances of Ramona this year are April 13-14, April 27-28, and May 4-5 at 3:30 p.m; gates open at 1:30 p.m.
Ticket prices – Lower level: $32 for all ages, $20 for locals
Upper level: $32 for adults, $29 for seniors 62 and up, $19 for children 12 and under
Shaded box seats: $47 for all ages
You can get tickets online through the website ramonabowl.com or by calling the box office. For more information, call (951) 658-3111 or check the Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre Facebook.