Perris residents used lots of words to describe the City’s annual Harvest Festival that took place Oct. 20.
Fun. Convenient. Affordable. Family friendly. Safe.
The 2017 Harvest Festival moved to a new venue at Perris City Hall, the result of road construction at the old location at the Cesar Chavez Public Library. The new spot provided plenty of space for ghouls, goblins, ghosts, monsters, creepy clowns, superheroes and cartoon characters. Members of the City’s Youth Advisory Committee and the anti-bullying group Love for Life also were in attendance, as were the Boys and Girls Club of Perris, the Perris Police Explorers, Citizens on Patrol and the sheriff’s Mounted Posse.
The night included costume contests, dance ensembles and a puppet show. More than 1,000 people attended the festivities.
Comments of support from the public pleased Perris elected representatives who attended the festival. Mayor Michael Vargas called it a great example of community engagement.
“To be able to support events like this is a great feeling,” Vargas said. “It’s so good to see families and kids out here enjoying themselves. Community engagement is the key to running a successful city. A disengaged community means a dysfunctional city.”
Other members of the City Council made the Harvest Festival into quality family time.
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke attended the festival with her daughter, Jaylyn, a member of the City’s Youth Advisory Committee.
“This is always a great event,” Burke said. “It kicks off the start of the fall season. Every year our events get more and more popular, which shows there is a desire in the community for these kinds of activities. As a City Council, we take great pride in being able to serve our community in ways that bring us all closer together.”
City Councilman Malcolm Corona attended with his wife, Mila, and son, Malcolm, 2, who dressed up as Spiderman. Corona said he attended the Harvest Festival as a kid growing up in Perris. It was nice to come back as a dad and elected leader.
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers attended, as she has for the last several years, with grandson, Jordan, 6, who dressed as a werewolf.
“Jordan wouldn’t miss this for the world,” Rogers said. “It’s fun to have a safe place to go with my grandson. We’re very family-friendly in the City of Perris. It’s very important that families with young children have a great place to come and enjoy these kinds of events.
Praise from the public
Stephanie Rodriguez brought her daughter, Melanie, and niece, Jayleen Eudave, 4, to the festival. It was her first time to attend the event and she said she was delighted with the scope of activities and the atmosphere. Melanie came as witch; Jayleen as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
“I’ve noticed the City of Perris has lot of great family-fun and friendly events going on,” Rodriguez said.
She said she enjoyed the festival because “I get to enjoy my kid having fun—and that’s the best time.”
“If she’s happy, I’m happy,” Rodriguez said. “I appreciate the City of Perris for hosting events that bring the community together.”
Fabiola Martinez brought her three children—Sophia, 6, dressed as Wonder Woman; Isabel, 3, wearing a cheetah costume and Vincent, 1, appearing as Ninja Turtle Raphael. She said she was pleased the festival began in the afternoon and ended by early evening.
“The City does a pretty great job making the holiday exciting for the kids—and that makes me feel great,” she said. “The City is very considerate of the residents who live here.”
Aidan Han won one of the costume contests, netting top prize—and a bucket of candy—for this Wolfman costume. Mom Hazel Han was delighted as well.
“It’s great to be able to spend quality time with my son,” she said.
Hazel Han said this year marked the first time she has attended the Harvest Festival. It won’t be the last.
“We’ll be back next year—for sure,” she said.