Claremont ventures out for Halloween event

Rayma Brancati, a veteran face painter and hair stylist, carefully decorates Lestat Saenz’s face at the Claremont Village Venture Arts and Crafts Faire Saturday. The fair aimed to showcase the community’s Halloween spirit and give Village business owners an opportunity to promote themselves. They also gave out samples at their booths./ photo by Gabriel De Alba
Rayma Brancati, a veteran face painter and hair stylist, carefully decorates Lestat Saenz’s face at the Claremont Village Venture Arts and Crafts Faire Saturday. The fair aimed to showcase the community’s Halloween spirit and give Village business owners an opportunity to promote themselves. They also gave out samples at their booths. / photo by Gabriel De Alba

Arielle Torrez
Staff Writer

Children, parents, vendors, and dogs walked through the Claremont Village dressed as vampires, superheroes and fairies Saturday for Claremont’s 34th annual Village Venture Arts and Crafts Faire.

The event began with a children’s Halloween costume parade led by the El Roble Intermediate School marching band.

Children and their parents walked through the Claremont Village to show off their Halloween costumes to event attendees.

There was also a pumpkin carving contest sponsored by the Claremont Sunrise Rotary Club. Community members to brought pumpkins they carved before the event to be judged.

About 450 vendors surrounded the Claremont Village between Bonita and First Street selling items such as jewelry, embroidered items, candles, olive oils, kitchen wear, handmade Halloween and Christmas decorations and more out of their booths.

Huntington Beach resident Sharon Tarpo set up a vendor booth at the Village Venture.

Tarpo’s business, Starfish are People Too, sells hand painted starfish and sand dollar ornaments. Tarpo decorates her starfish as athletes, mermaids, Santa Claus, and more.

“Normally, I sell better in a beach environment, but for an Inland show the response here has been wonderful,” Tarpo said.

Many residents were pleased with the outcome of this year’s Village Venture and appreciated the variety of vendors.

“This year’s Village Venture has been a great one,” Claremont resident Karen Smith said. “There are a variety of vendors with quality handmade original products. The vendors at the Venture have been both in decent price range and high end.”

Local Claremont businesses and organizations gave out free samples of their products throughout the day.

The Claremont Museum of Art booth provided a set up where children could decorate Halloween masks and make bracelets.

The Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue booth encouraged pet adoption and welcomed guests to pet the dogs.

Another booth, hosted by Wild Wings educated children and parents on different exotic birds and allowed participants to see their domesticated owls up close.

The event also included musical entertainment from the Claremont Folk Music Center and The Moultrie Academy of Music, Voice and Dance.

People of all ages performed everything from show tunes to hip-hop routines outside the Claremont Depot.

Near the entertainment section were vendors selling fair foods such as funnel cake, corn dogs, fresh squeezed lemonade and tacos. Various alcohol booths also provided samples of whiskey to guests over 21.

Claremont businesses honored Dia de los Muertos with colorful, window displays depicting skulls with floral decorations.

The window paintings were done by artists Evelyn Acosta, Eddie Cunningham, Debbie Fuentes, Sandy Garcia, Danny Hinzo, Jordan LoGiudice, Suzanna Poulos and Kathy Starke.

“I have been attending the Village Venture every year and this has been the best one yet,” said Claremont resident Sharon Topf.

The event was such a hit that parking turned out to be an issue.

“I just wish the parking situation would be a bit better. There should be some more shuttles and easier transportation methods,” Topf said.

Arielle Torrez can be reached at arielle.torrez@laverne.edu.

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