More than 1,000 attendees surprise organizers
■ Chronicle News Staff
Editor’s Note: Although we carried a story about the Make Hemet Great Again Festival in last week’s paper, there wasn’t sufficient room to publish the many photos that our photographer took.
At the Make Hemet Great Again Festival, Sept. 29, old timers harkened back to a time when the intersection of Florida and Harvard was the site of the historic Alessandro Hotel, reminiscent of an earlier era when the corner was a focal point of culture and commerce for the Valley.
The smell of street tacos and soul food wafted across the highway and folks revelled in the choices of food and affordable prices.
One of the most popular attractions was one that entertained kids – the Atomic Video Game Truck, which drew scores of youngsters who clamored to use their coupon clipped from Easy-Ad for 15 minutes of free play.
Jewelry and novelties celebrating the event were also available and downtown Hemet businesses were on full display to show home folks as well as any tourists what a friendly and family-oriented community we have.
The legendary Rocky Zaarp and his Blues Crackers entertained the more than 1,000 people who showed up to enjoy the festival. Listeners tapped their toes in unison with the band. The past seemed to blend into the present. Rocky certainly knows how to arouse a crowd into a dancing and hand-clapping frenzy.
Local merchants provided prizes and gift certificates to lucky winners. Balloons and Things donated bags filled with stuffed animals, hot and steamy popcorn, and Halloween costumes. Additional prizes and gift certificates were offered by Destination Coffee Bar and the Historic Hemet Theatre. Look to Balloon and Things for your special Halloween costumes at the upcoming festival the end of October.
A special attraction was an eclectic group of specialty cars gleaming like jewels on the back parking lot as the sunshine gave them a showy brilliance.
The McPherson family, who owns the block between State and Harvard Streets and who sponsored the event, deserve a big “Thank You.” Prepare for October’s Make Hemet Great Again event on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the same location – 135 E. Florida Ave. in downtown Hemet.