64th Annual Carrot Festival Ends With A Flourish

Luke Phillips
The 64th Annual Holtville Carrot Festival has come and gone and local business Highline Cooling, along with newcomers Imagine Schools of Imperial Valley came out the big winners.
Holtville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana Gularte said that the festival was one of the best yet.
“It was awesome,” Gularte said. “Our vendors in the park were very happy. People were actually buying. So I’m happy that they’re happy. And we had one of the best parades we’ve ever had.”
Highline Cooling took home two trophies for their entry in the Carrot Parade which included a tractor packed with produce arranged in colorful patterns, complete with a working Ferris Wheel with stuffed bunny riders. The judges awarded the entry the Best Commercial Float trophy as well as the Best Use of Theme trophy.
The Highline Cooling float is a long-time tradition in the Carrot Parade as is created each year by Highline Cooling employee Rusty Payne.  At the end of the parade each year the float is disassembled and festival-goers are allowed to take home as much fresh produce as they want.
The parade’s big winner this year was first-time parade entry Imagine Schools of Imperial Valley. The school won for Best Youth Float and the school’s drill team not only won the trophy for Best Elementary School Drill Team, but also took home the parade’s coveted Sweepstakes Trophy.
The Southwest Eagles won first place for High School Drill Team and JFK Middle School won second place.
The Southwest High School Eagles Marching band won the first place trophy in the bands category and also the Band Sweepstakes Trophy with their performance of the song ‘Rock and Roll,’ also known as ‘The Hey Song’. The Eagles wowed the judges with their colorful costumes and jazzy dance moves. The Pride of Imperial Tiger Marching Band and the Calexico High School Mighty Bulldog band took second and third place respectively.