Grand Marshall Miss Rodeo USA Harmony Lathan with Event Chairman Dan Whalen. View more photos - click photo
By Terri Hill
In true county fair style, this year’s three-day Phelan Phun Days event reflected the values, activities and interests of the community.
Friday night’s music and carnival rides set the stage for a weekend of fun. From the parade on Saturday,to the vendor booths and food court, the family-themed festival reflected the traditions of Phun Days past. But the comparison ended there, as this year the venue changed and equestrian events were added to the lineup of entertainment and competition. The traditional car show will accompany the Craft Beer Festival October 22, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Dan Whalen, Vice President of the Phelan Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District (CSD), envisioned this type ofPhun Days for several years. With last year’s cancellation, due to lack of sponsor and vendor enthusiasm, and conflicts with other car shows, Whalen’s vision began to take shape for this year. He spoke with Phelan Gas about sponsorship and the company’s President, Dustin Shafer jumped at the opportunity to oblige. Other major sponsors were The Medicine Shoppe, News Plus, Mojave River Academy in Phelan, PPHCSD, San Bernardino County, CR&R, DCB, and The McNamara Group. Whalen also pointed out the indispensable help from volunteers at Set Free Ministries in Phelan;from set-up to tear-down, Whalen said, and “They assisted with whatever was needed.”
New this year were the venue and entertainment. Whalen saw the empty field north of the CSD office as the perfect space for carnival rides and an arena for equestrian events. Local bands played at the Phelan Park bandstand throughout the three-day celebration.
Grand Marshall, and Miss Rodeo USA, Harmony Latham was thrilled to attend the event in her home town. “I do these events every weekend, around the country,” Latham noted, “it’s so nice to come home to people I know, from the local communities that have given me so much support!”
Local riders participated in events includingGymkhana, Western Dressage Playday, and a Cowboy Obstacle Challenge.Demonstrations from local 4-H groups as well a fun activities for the kids were also on the schedule. Gymkhana sponsors were Dusty Spurs, Feed Barn, Simply Covered, and Phelan Hay Yard.High Desert Mojave Green 4-H members demonstrated dog agility courses in the equestrian arena Sunday. Hadley Conrad, Melissa Moll, Sydney Fultz-Waters, and Kendall Fultz-Waters led their working dogs through the obstacle course, first on lead, then off. Afterward, they coached members of the pubic who had brought their own dogs in hopes of teaching them new tricks. 4-H members also hosted a petting zoo, the denizens of which enjoyed pumpkins for a snack on Sunday.
Phelan Park’s Main Stage hosted Peg Leg Slim, High D Boys, Jarett James, Penny A Kiss, Under Construction, Bitter Honey, Cougrzz Rock, and more. From country to classic rock, and blues, there was truly something for everyone’s musical enjoyment.
Not since The Phelan Phling became Phelan PhamilyPhun Days (PPPD) and incorporated the car show, has the event undergone such a transformation. The county fair atmosphere and milder October temperatures drew a, “Larger than expected crowd,” said Whalen, and he hopes this will be the first of many such PPPD weekends going forward.
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