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February 24th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
The long anticipated 65th Annual Camellia Festival weekend started off with the Royal Court and Banner Carriers, along with their siblings and Miss Temple City & her Honor Court opening up the festival on Friday, February 20 right on time at 4 p.m. All the royalty was able to ride on five rides to get the weekend off to fun filled start.
“My favorite ride is the big slide with my mom and dad,” said Camellia Festival Prince Noah Granger.
The entire weekend was based around celebrating the youth of the city. The L.A. County Sheriffs were out patrolling in full force on their T3 Motions ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Said Sgt. Tony Osterman, “A few months back I put in a request for the use of the T3s. for the festival.” The park was filled with rides, games & food for all. Seventeen various community groups worked the food and game booths to raise money for their organizations.
Another festivity included the Talent show on Friday and Sunday, an event which marked their second year of participation in the festival.
The second and main day of the festival started off with Kiwanis Club annual pancake breakfast. The final judging of the floats was held at the start of the parade route in the Temple City Chamber of Commerce parking lot. St. Luke’s 8th Grade class took the sweepstakes award with their “Pirate Adventures” float. One spectator, Jean Randall was on the parade route before 8 a.m. to stake her claim on a prime spot.
“I use to walk in the parade years ago,” said Randall, “We’ve been coming to the parade route for over 20 years now.”
As a surprise at 10am the parade officially started of with the LA County Sheriff’s helicopter flying over head of the parade route down Las Tunas Drive.
At the last minute, the recently bankrupt Charter Communications backed out of filming the parade, which they have been doing for years. Luckily, members of the Chamber of Commerce stepped in and took over so that footage of the parade and other events will available to Temple City residents on the local access channel in a couple of weeks.
Immediately after the 83 organizations, dignitaries, floats and marching bands finished the parade route there was a luncheon to thank all those who dedicated their time to the planning of the festival. Present was Senator Carol Liu along with representatives from Congressman Adam Schiff’s and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino’s offices to present certificates of recognition to the Royal Court. The lunch had a backyard barbeque feel, which complemented nicely the theme of “Backyard Adventures.”
“I had a wonderful time this year,” commented Ann Seitz. “I’ve been involved with the festival for awhile. It has been really special being the General Chairman this year.”