5th Annual Honey Festival

Westmorland Holds 5th Annual Honey Festival

By Chris Furguson
The City of WestmorlHoney Festival 2009 (7)and held their fifth annual Honey Festival on November 21, 2009 at the Westmorland City Park.
Sponsored by the Westmorland Chamber of Commerce, the Honey Festival seeks to raise awareness of the honey industry, which partly began in the 1920s
This year, the honoree of the Honey Festival’s Man of Honor was the late Jean Hamby, who owned a bee business in the city.
The Westmorland Lions Club, with help from other Imperial Valley Cities, held a pancake breakfast.  Informational and vendor booths were also on hand.
Contests included a Spelling Bee, a swimming relay and a cooking contest featuring honey.
Additionally, three groups of Police Athletic League boxers, from Westmorland, El Centro and Imperial County, fought in 15 bouts and a first ever swimming relay contest took place.
Honey is an important part of the economy of Westmorland.  Westmorland is, per capita, the Honey Capital of the World, according to the latest figures.
Local bees are also used in pollination of plants, as the insects are better at encouraging plant reproduction than other comparable methods.
Winners of the contests include:
Spelling Bee Elementary Division:
1st – Kyle Taitano (Brawley Christian Academy)
2nd – Jason Whitehead (Academy of Higher Education)
3rd – Reet Goyal (Magnolia)
Spelling Bee Junior High Division:
1st – Lindsay Jones (Magnolia)
2nd – Roxanna Olivas (Westmorland Jr. High)
3rd – Anthony   Meza (Westmorland Jr. High)
Swimming contest:
1st (girls) Patricia Villalobos
1st (boys) Alec Walker.