| Aug 13, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - August 13, 2009 Verona Festival brought outall the starsby Julie Druker

The Deline family won a parade award as the cast of the Wizard of Oz

The 14th Annual Verona Festival was another resounding success. This year’s Hollywood theme brought out the stars of the community for the inaugural Friday night parade which included the entire cast of the Wizard of Oz, The Beverly Hillbillies, Marilyn Monroe, and Flatt and Scruggs, to name a few.

Opening ceremonies were performed by town crier Paddy O’Connor and Charlie Chaplin, aka Dick Miller. Debbie Lingen hosted the event and announced the award-winning parade participants.

Local band Telephoto warmed up the music fans prior to an appearance by Mike Menor (as Elvis) and the Amazing Hillbilly Cats who had the capacity crowd at McMullen Park grooving long after the stars were shining in the sky.

And that was just Friday.

Photo Right: The builders and crew of Mork and Gork finish first in the festival’s duct tape boat races at McMullen beach

Saturday the festival continued at breakneck speed with ever-popular duct tape boat races. Gork and Mork, after five years of racing and perfecting their technique, took the lead and were awarded the duct tape cup.

Floyd Deyo, a member of the Verona Area Heritage Society, gave informative and entertaining historical tours of Verona.

Local celebrities Rick Hughes, Del Stowe and Joel Barrett were auctioned off for a dunk tank soaking to the delight of the crowd.

The talent continued on stage all day Saturday with the relaxing piano interludes of Liza Carew, the heart-felt tunes of the Steve Kennedy Trio and the toe-tapping jazzy funk covers performed by the Torres guitar trio of Kingston. Big Mo and the Blues Mission played Chicago-style blues well into the afternoon.

Off stage and behind the scenes, other stars less fond of the limelight also had a chance to shine. Festival manager Wayne Conway took the helm of the brand new Verona Express train, a favorite for the kids. The train was designed and built by Verona native Charlie Stewart, a 3-month undertaking of which he “enjoyed every single minute.” Sabra Lovegrove’s flair for graphic design made possible the colorful cartoon cutouts that adorned each car.

Along with train rides, the young kids spent most of their day petting at the zoo, putting on the greens and getting lost in the maze in between mouthfuls of cotton candy.

Older members of the crowd shopped at the festival market and dined at Cameron’s Canteen while enjoying the musical entertainment.

Hats off once again to the members of the Verona Community Association and the Festival Committee and to the huge number of sponsors and committed volunteers who once again went that extra mile to bring together the entire community for a real gem of a festival.

Verona Festival 2009 Results:

Early Bird Draw: Gwen Grant; Admission Prize Winners: Karen Bince; Adam Mason; Paul Gonu; Claudia Percy; Steve Rampling; Frances Caird.

Parade Prize Winners: Best Horse Entry: Vaughan's Tire & Auto; Best Walking Entry: (children) Samantha Johns; Best Family Entry: The Deline Family; Best Business Entry: Bravo Restaurant; Best Decorated Vehicle: Tom & Dora Zimmer; Bicycle Winners: Ashley Wash; Kyle Sharpe

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