A Halloween Full of Joyful Song

Amidst a light breeze and tepid temperatures, Temple City Park hummed with laughter and songs, highlighting this year’s annual Harvest Hoedown and Crafts fair.

Presented by the Temple City Vocal Arts and Theater Booster, the gala hosted various kiosks displaying artisan handcrafts and jewelry besides plump pumpkins, and, for entertainment, showcased Temple City High School’s Brighter Side Singers. Various other booths provided amusement for youngsters.

While also a community function, Harvest Hoedown serves to support the performing arts as well as various local organizations. A silent auction and raffle garnered fundraising for the high school’s choir.

However, erected booths, manned by groups such as Key Club or Boy Scouts, sold handmade trinkets or sizzling hot dogs. Books sold for under $2 in a separate room at the Temple City library, helping the library to remove outdated material and provide cheap reads.

As residents eyed the tabletop items, melodies rang, sang, and blasted between the aisles of stands. The Temple City High School band, led by Mr. Bert Ferntheil, tooted during the school’s joined choir’s interludes. Most of the festival’s soundtrack, however, burst from the Brighter Side Singers, an esteemed handful of handpicked high school singers.

After a song-and-dance routine of “Come So Far, So Far to Go”, “Common Ground, and a rock n’ roll medley, tunes from soloists flapped through the park. Famous pieces (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Memory”, James Horner’s “My Heart Will Go On”) were displayed.

Braying also added to the background noise. The Kid’s Country Petting Zoo, from San Bernardino, enclosed numerous roosters, chickens, sheep, rabbits, and ducks within a white pen. Besides the meshed fence, a calf and baby cow lay nibbling on grass as searching hands felt hair and horn.

For the especially adventurous, the staff hoisted children upon two ponies, which circled around a concrete ring.

Milder activities came in paint and pictures. Assisted by the high school’s Key Club, a multi-station crafts booth provided free face paintings, hands-on artwork, and interactive decorating. Beyond the playground, vintage cars sat idly for the local car show.

At the end of the day, the fair achieved its main goal. As Temple City High School student Catherine Wong states, “It’s events like these that bring a city closer.”


This article was written by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice on November 5, 2008.


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