Bolivian dancers charm festival
Grand Marshall Carol Chandler rides with her grandchildren, Natalie and Anthony, in the Montross Fall Festival Parade.
Grand Marshall Carol Chandler and the dancers from the Caporales Centralistas USA were among the highlights that wrapped up this year’s Montross Fall Festival. With spectators watching from the sidewalks along Main Street, eyes were focused on the sights of Saturday’s events.
Vice President Edward Terrazas, of Caporales Centralistas USA, said they were excited about being invited to attend the event.
“It was our first time in Montross and we liked it. People took to us well, it was crowded and it was nice,” Terrazas said, adding that the group would consider returning if invited.
This event was their second festival since the group organized in December. During the summer they made an appearance in Colonial Beach for the annual Potomac River Festival. Only half of their group were able to attend the fall festival.
Mark Bryant, who has been the parade announcer for at least 10 years, said he was surprised when he saw the entry listing the national competitive dancers.
“Everyone stopped in their tracks and it was very entertaining,” Bryant said.
Mayor David O’Dell, like Bryant and others, braced for the heat this weekend. Still it was not enough to bring down the mayor.
“It was beautiful day, a great parade, nice bands and floats,” O’Dell said. “It’s another festival in the books and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Gwen Henry left contest coordinators in amazement with her knowledge of the town’s history in the first festival scavenger hunt. Henry printed her photos and copied them into a portfolio detailing the answers to the quiz.
“It’s something that they should do more of because it makes you learn about your town, “ said Henry. “It was interesting to do.”
The Montross native said she even followed her late father Samuel Tate’s footsteps to the county museum for help on the hunt. Before he passed he did a lot of research on their family’s history, Henry said, adding that she used the museum as a tool.
“When I went into the museum and I read a lot and it [the scavenger hunt] made me want to keep going and going,” Henry said.
New to the festival was the chocolate cake contest. The cakes devoured by the public who were able to sample them at Westmoreland County Museum’s soon-to-be visitors’ center next to Courthouse Square. The center was awarded a blue ribbon by festival judges for its design.
President Susan Ripol, of the Westmoreland County Museum and Visitors’ Center Board of Directors, credited board member Missy Collins and educational coordinator Brianna Morris for the decoration display.
“We have worked long and hard to get to the point we are today in the Wakefield Building. It is rewarding and quite an honor to receive the grand prize recognition for our door decorations,” Ripol said.
Walt Heyer, of the museum, said he is excited about the award and future of the museum’s efforts.
“Many people have been responsible for getting us to where we are today, beginning with folks like Bryan Chandler and Carl Flemer. We have taken a major step forward with the acquisition of the Wakefield Building under the leadership of current president, Susan Ripol,” Heyer said. “We hope that the Westmoreland County Museum and Library will continue to provide excitement and be in the foreground for many years to come.”