By Luke Phillips
With roughly two months to go, the Holtville Chamber of Commerce is in full gear preparing for the 2011 Holtville Carrot Festival.
Chamber of Commerce Secretary Dana Hines-Gularte says that the festivals calendar of events is complete, a grand marshal has been chosen for the Carrot Parade, and the festivals theme and logo have been created.
The festivals theme, ‘We Can Do It’, is based on the popular slogan from WWII.
“We’re going to build on that idea,” Hines-Gularte said. “The idea that Holtville can grow. We can do it.”
The logo for the festival, created by Caliber Screen Printing in El Centro, will feature a carrot in the classic ‘Rosie the Riviter’ pose.
The parade’s Grand Marshall, chosen by the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, will be former District 5 Supervisor Wally Leimgruber. Hines-Gularte says he was chosen because of “all his service throughout the years.”
The festival will kick off on Friday, February 4 with the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet at the I.V. Swiss Club where Holtville’s citizen of the year will be named and the Carrot Queen and her court will be crowned. Holtville’s annual State of the City address will also be given at the banquet.
After a big opening last year, the Holtville Music Festival will be returning on Saturday, February 5 at 2 p.m. and will again be held at Hot Rods & Beer. The Holtville Rotary Club’s No Bones About It barbecue will be held on Sunday, February 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will provide barbecue plates just in time for the Super Bowl.
Cooking contests will be held Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. at the Holtville Civic Center and the Carrot Festival Midway Carnival will open for business Thursday through Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.
Saturday, February 12, will be the biggest day of the festival with the Carrot Festival Mile and 5K Races at 7 a.m., the Carrot Festival Parade at 10 a.m., and an antique car and tractor show at Hot Rods & Beer at 12 p.m. There will also be an arts and crafts show at the Civic Center from 9 a.m. to dusk.
On Sunday, February 12, Dia de la Familia Cook-Off will be returning to the festival after being scrapped last year due to scheduling conflicts.
Mary Helen Dollente, who works at the chamber during the months leading up to the festival, is excited about the return of Dia de Familia and urges teams to sign up. There is a $1,000 prize for the winner of the cookoff and in 2008 there were only 9 competitors.
“Those are pretty good odds,” Dollente said.
Hines-Gularte also pointed out that even if they don’t win, the teams get to keep the money they make selling their food.
“Everybody comes out a winner,” she said.
Right now, Hines-Gularte says the chamber staff is working on securing sponsors for the event, and she says it’s going well so far.