The autumn-like weather made for a big turnout at this year’s Mar Vista Community Fall Festival.
Approximately 4,000 people showed up Saturday to take advantage of the vendors, music, food and fun that were offered throughout the day, making it one of the best attended festivals to date, said organizer Albert Olson.
“This is where Mar Vista celebrates itself,” Olson said. “It’s the only place you can come and see the whole community.”
There was a silent auction in the auditorium of the Mar Vista Recreation Center, live entertainment and more than 50 food and business vendors to choose from, all under the theme, “Creative Connections."
This year marked the first that Jessica Chuang, owner of Paninowrap.com, was a vendor. Chuang, a former preschool teacher, sells decorative, reusable bags that are designed to be used instead of ziploc bags. She was pleased with the response she received at the festival.
“This is a really good year,” she said.
In addition to small business owners, there were a variety of non-profits on hand, including HoneyLove.
“We educate and inspire new, urban beekeepers,” explained HoneyLove director Ashley Fontenot.
She and HoneyLove founder Chelsea McFarland gave away California poppy seeds and did temporary tattoos of honeybees to also try to connect with young children who stopped by the booth with their parents.
“This year, we got our 501c3 status, and we’re out here gaining more local support,” McFarland said. “We’re expanding in terms of our outreach.”
Curves doled out one week of free passes to the Culver Boulevard location of their gym while also helping to promote Avon products at their booth.
“We’re promoting Curves and Avon, so people can have strong bodies and look beautiful,” said Rebecca Hill, a circuit trainer.
A few feet away, chef Susan Holtz advertised her baking and cake art classes which are designed for all members of the family.
“I’ve had a terrific response,” Holtz said. “A lot of kids are really interested in this.”
Many Mar Vista families took advantage of the festival's location and left their cars at home.
“We can walk here,” Sashya Tullo, the mother of twin girls, said. “We like to support our neighborhood park.”
Mari Hines said she was happy to tote her three boys, ages 10 and under, to the fair.
“It’s holiday spirit now,” she said. “This is a perfect way to kick it off.”
Her son, Joaquin, was looking forward to playing in a nearby bouncer after he finished eating a crepe filled with chocolate and whipped cream. He said he enjoyed the festival.
“It has really good music,” he said. “I think it’s pretty crowded.”
This year’s festival also featured a “Green Zone” where festival goers could recycle and learn how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Choruses and bands from schools, including Mar Vista Elementary School, Daniel Webster Middle School, Richland Avenue Elementary School and the Windward School, also performed.