The Star-News


Bonitafest marches on, even without parade

Fri, Aug 27 2010 04:00 PM Posted By: Richard Pena

I am one of those who always wonders where time has gone. It seems that we hardly get into summer and here it is, winter. We just had lunch and it is already time for dinner.

I am particularly aware of these happenings when I get my daily mail.

I get invitations or reminders of a coming function and it seems that we just recently attended the last one. The expression "time flies," may be a clichÄ but it is a true clichÄ, nevertheless.

I mention this because in my mail the other day was an invitation from the Bonita Business and Professional Association to the 38th annual Bonitafest "Kick-Off" banquet. This highly pleasant affair will be held at the Bonita Golf Club on the evening of Saturday Sept. 11, 2010. This is a type of fundraiser that the association has each year to help defray some of the expenses of the Bonitafest. The kickoff will feature live and silent auctions, and a festive banquet, complete with music and dancing.

I have attended this function many times in the past. I have been part of a group who buys a table for eight for a modest sum. It is an entertaining evening at a pleasant venue (find me a golf course that is not a pleasant venue) and is one that I recommend to anyone seeking "a night on the town." For more information one may contact the chairman, Kathleen Rocca at (619) 216 0400 or the association director, Carri Long at the BBPA office, (619) 472-0033. Either of these two pleasant ladies would be happy to supply any particulars on the event.

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In a letter the other day, a reader, Charles Marshall, remarked that there are many subjects that I write about year after year.

Why not, he asks, take the first one I wrote on the subject, make duplicates of it, and publish it as fresh material the following years.

Marshall might have a point. It would certainly save wear and tear on my machine, not to mention the time and effort that goes into preparing a "fresh" offering each time the subject is timely.

It also would make things a bit easier on the editor. He could merely set aside the blue pencil, and pass the copy with a "been there, done that" attitude.

One of those year after year subject matters is the aforementioned Bonitafest.

Thirty eight times it will be staged, hence, 38 times we have sat down, figuratively taken pen in hand and written glowing prose of the affair. At least, we think it is glowing prose. But we have to wonder how such an approach is taken with the reading public.

There seems to be a bit of cynicism in this. Bonitafest is an annual celebration that is staged for the benefit of the visiting community, be they from Bonita, Chula Vista, National City or communities far beyond.

We know of folks who live in North County but make it a point to visit our community each year at Bonitafest time. Hence, Bonitafest is no banal affair that should be short-changed.

For the benefit of everyone, particularly those who stage it, it should be given its maximum due.

The number of persons staging it are staggering. Back in those carefree times when few had financial woes, the big attraction was a parade. And this was no simple paseo.

There were floats, horsemen and horsewomen, clowns and bands above all, the bands with their brass, and drums and colorful dress.

This event alone took its toll on volunteers-the many men and women who had to coordinate they go on the route and when he goes. Nearly always it ran like clockwork, to the satisfaction of all.

I recall folks like Don Cousino, Reg Pye, Jeff Barnard and many others manning the many corners of the parade, looking for orderliness, but also looking at the safety angle.

To our knowledge, no one was ever seriously hurt.

As in the past two years the parade this year will be missing. We have hopes that it will return next year. But the booths will be there, displaying all sorts of things from finery to food of all kinds.

And there will also be the volunteers who are keeping order, whose sole objective is to make life a little more bearable for others. At least, for one day.

In this, the visiting public, regardless of their home base, can take a bit of solace.


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