Festival celebrates Monterey Park 100th anniversary

By Brooke Gemina 

Monterey Park celebrated its 100th birthday on Saturday at Barnes Memorial Park with the Third Annual Geranium Festival and Artwalk.

Events at the festival included a dunk-tank, three-legged race, a sack race, musical chairs, and a water balloon tossing contest.

Macy Intermediate School’s principal Jacinto Zavala, Schurr High School principal Francisco Arregui, and Monterey Park Police Chief Jim Smith volunteered to brave the Dunk Tank amongst a few other local public officials.

One ticket allowed festival attendees two shots to toss balls and hit the target.

One of the main events of the day was the Centennial Dog Show Contest which was split into two sections – dogs under 40 pounds, and dogs over 40 pounds.

Both shows had three judges: Annie Yaung, the Monterey Park City Controller, Christopher Hubert, an animal control officer, and Brenna Connely who is the manager of Home Depot at the Pico Rivera location.

“This (judging the winners) is harder than balancing the city’s budget,” Yaung said.

Third-place winners received a trophy and a $25 gift card to Petsmart. Second-place winners received a trophy as well as a $50 gift card for Petsmart. The first-prize winners took home a trophy and a $100 gift card..

Eight dogs entered the smaller dog contest, ranging from ages two years to 11 years old.

Speck, a five- year- old Lhasa Apso Poodle mix won first place. Speck and his owner, Larry Sullivan, sported matching attire.

Sullivan held two signs with “Vote for Speck” across them and wore a large red, white and blue-striped hat while Speck wore an American-flag-printed ribbon tied around his abdomen.

Speck celebrated his victory by promptly lying down in the dirt.

“He won already, so he can lie in the dirt now without his mom having a fit,” Sullivan said.

Harry, a two-year-old Pomeranian and his human Lorean Soo Hoo won third place.

Harry’s brother Ringo entered the contest but did not place.

“Ringo is the more lovable one, but Harry is the friendlier one,” Soo Hoo said.

Second place went to an 11-year-old Daschund named George Bailey.

In the contest for dogs over 40 pounds, there were only seven contestants.

Unity, a female black Labrador seeing-eye-dog, demonstrated patience and obedience and won first place with human Betty Boyd.

Second place went to a white Siberian Husky named Dakota, with her human Scott Heitkamp.

“For performing a hard trick and guessing right, Winter Moon wins third place,” Yaung said.

Winter Moon is a gray Siberian Husky who attended the event with her human Jackie Barron.

Dog bowls provided dogs with water throughout the park, while the Monterey Park Woman’s Club sold food and drinks to festival goers.

The Woman’s Club sold hot dogs, chips, sodas and waters.

“We’re a service club, not a social club,” Marie Montanez, Monterey Park Woman’s Club Treasurer said.

A booth sold different varieties of potted geraniums including                 the ivy geranium.

The geranium, a plant that    thrives in temperate conditions, is Monterey Park’s city flower.

According to Vice Mayor Theresa Real Sebastian, the choice                    was reached by a resolution.

“Somebody was doing research and found that the geranium               had been chosen in the 80s by               a council,” Real Sebastian said.

“The great things about geraniums, are that they come in so many different kinds.                                        The ivy geranium is great because it’s extremely drought resistant,” Real Sebastian said.

More than 50 booths lined the park in a circle including various artist and artisans’ tables, the Monterey Park Police Department, and school science clubs.

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