FOUNTAIN - Sunny skies, funnel cakes and live music were just part of the fun at the 44th annual Fountain Fall Festival, as the community celebrated Labor Day and the end of summer.
For Esperanza Lopez , a Fountain resident of 27 years , the festival size and down-to-earth ambiance are what the town of more than 26,000 people is all about.
"This festival isn't very big but that's what I like about it," Lopez said. "I've come almost every year since I moved here, with my kids and now my grandkids, and I always run into folks I haven't seen in a long time."
The fall fest's committee worked since January to organize the event, themed "It's Magical," that includes a parade, more than 60 vendors , live music and dance performances.
"It's such a good time for the community and surrounding neighborhoods to come together and see what this area has to offer," said Leslie Harren-Friesz, office administrator with the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Fall fest is the chamber's largest fundraiser, with proceeds going toward services for local businesses affiliated with the organization.
"This year our kids' zone expanded quite a bit. We wanted to make sure that there was enough for the whole family to do so they could spend the day and enjoy everything the festival has to offer," Harren-Friesz said.
Fountain Fire Department firefighters served up hot dogs, cheeseburgers and cold drinks to earn money for their department, an endeavour one volunteer said was important and fun.
"We went through a few years of not participating, but picked it back up and this is my second year helping out. It's been a lot of fun," said volunteer firefighter Tyler Draper. "We've fed about 400 people today and earned money for the fire department, it's a great opportunity."
Suga Bear and The Show Time Band got people dancing and singing along to timeless hits. Fountain Valley Tae Kwon Do students put on a demonstration, and young dancers from the Fountain Arts Center clad in bright colors and smiles performed.
The organizing committee will meet again next year to pick a new theme for next year's event - probably something special to celebrate the event's upcoming 45th anniversary.
"For now we're all just happy to see such a successful festival year after year, and we'll take a break until January, then start planning again," Harren-Friesz said.