BY Joshua inglada
Monterey Park celebrated its Second Annual Geranium Festival by hosting a costume contest for dogs in Barnes Park last Saturday.
The festival took place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Geranium Festival was arranged by the City Council with a barnyard theme. Volunteers from Monterey Park and East Los Angeles College set up booths to inform and entertain guests.
The festival was represented by the geranium. Geranium are Monterey Park’s official city flower. Guests were allowed to bring their dogs with them as they enjoyed the festivities.
Students from ELAC participated in the festival by setting up their own booths. The booths were run by members of the Arts and Science Departments.
The Arts booth held a contest for children to celebrate Mexican artist Raúl Anguiano’s 100th birthday. A mural Anguiano painted for ELAC called “A Biography of Mexican Painting” was the subject of the contest.
Children were asked to make crayon drawings based on images that inspired them from the mural. The drawings were sent to ELAC faculty for judging. The winner will receive a free tablet and the chance to attend a reception for Anguiano on Oct. 29 at ELAC.
The Arts Department also donated painted cut-outs of farm animals for children to take their photos in.
The Science booth was run by members of the STEM Club. They encouraged guests of all ages to partake in the Starburst Experiment. Participants were asked to eat a Starbust candy while holding their nose shut for a difference in flavor.
“Everything you eat has its own special chemical. Once it mixes with oxygen, it allows you to taste it better,” STEM member Diana Reyes said.
The booth also displayed a bottle filled with layers of rocks and cotton that filtered dirty water. The STEM Club stated they wished to do their part by educating younger minds and reaching out.
“If ELAC can be represented in Monterey Park, then all for the better. ELAC may be East Los Angeles College, but Monterey Park is a part of the community and we want to show our support for it,” STEM member Luis Portillo said .
Other booths served refreshments and offered games. Guests played at a dunk tank and tried to knock the city officials into it. A train-ride for children around the park was also set up.
Geraniums were also available for purchase, with younger flowers for $1 and fully-grown ones for $3.
The final event of the festival was a costume contest for dogs. Each contestant provided a card listing their dog’s personality and habits before strolling around the stage with his or her pet.
The winner of the costume contest was an 11-month old Yorkshire Terrier named Bibi. Her owner Tina Vartanian dressed her as a witch.
Bibi stumbled about onstage in her costume and charmed the audience with her size and appearance. The judges found her attempts to walk in her costume adorable.
“Bibi’s a therapy dog and very gentle,” Vartanian said.
Vartanian and Bibi were awarded a trophy for their victory while the other contestants received gift certificates. Members of the audience were allowed to pet the dogs after the contest was over.