The Lompoc Flower Festival this year is June 26th-June 30th but it traces its roots back to the 1950’s when an annual parade and two day rodeo was held during the summer in Lompoc. George Miller, a prominent citizen, began advocating to change the celebration from a rodeo (arguing they were common and rather mundane) to something more unique and aligned with what Lompoc had to offer. The Alpha Club Flower Show had been established in 1922 and it was decided to develop the Festival around this key event. Since those days the Lompoc Flower Festival has grown to a 5 day event with local entertainment on stage at Ryon Park, food booths run by community organizations and nonprofits, a parade on Saturday which includes floats and marching bands and of course the opportunity to visit and catch up with all your friends that you haven’t seen in the past year.
An important part of my summer activities, the Flower Festival has always been close to my heart and I have participated on many different levels through the years. I have performed on stage and worked at some of the beloved food booths but also taken my turn as an audience member and enjoyed food purchased to support our local nonprofits. It is also fun to stroll through the park, peruse the arts and crafts and visit with friends and the community.
Then there’s the parade. A parade that delighted me when I was much younger, I enjoyed with my children when they were little and I have also had the experience of being a part of. From walking in it when I was in high school (just a couple of years ago) to gluing flowers to a float, being part of the parade is a special experience. And it is a special experience I am humbled to be a part of again. The Flower Festival Association asked me to be the Grand Marshall for the parade this year and I gratefully accepted the honor.
So join me Saturday, June 29th, as I join the Lompoc Flower Festival Parade once again and celebrate Summertime Fun and Friends and the Lompoc Community! See you at the park!