Lake Elsinore celebrates 125 years with arts and music festival
Friday, October 4th, 2013
Issue 40, Volume 17.
The festival was organized by city officials as well as the Elsinore Valley Arts Network (EVAN) and Studio 395, two art-based organizations.
The event began at 10 a.m. with a family fair dedicated to a number of arts and crafts activities.
Dancers, magicians and puppeteers could all be seen as children and young adults took on a number of different art projects that allowed them to show their creativity while learning about art.
Maureen Foster Davis, one of the event organizers, said she was impressed by how many children were engaged and involved in the art activities.
"I was just really pleased with how many kids just sat down and did the art projects," Foster Davis said. "They really had fun with it; we had a variety of different art they could do and they just kept coming back for more."
Some artists had a number of demonstrations geared to adults, according to Foster-Davis.
She said one artist showed his audience how to make rocks look like turquoise before embedding them in different kinds of art projects and another demonstrated how to make cigar box banjos, and that both demonstrations seemed to interest and engage adults in the same way some of the hands-on craft projects engaged children.
Foster-Davis said she hoped visitors would take away an idea from attending the festival.
"We’re really trying to emphasize that art is everywhere," she said. "And Studio 395, their goal and our goal with them is to say, ‘Art is for everybody.’
You don’t have to be particularly talented to enjoy making art or owning art."
Artists continued to demonstrate their art and children continued to engage themselves with a number of fun activities and, as the music started at 2 p.m., a number of different musicians and bands began to play some of their favorite musical styles.
Musical artist Dianne Chavarria took the audience for a trip down memory lane with a medley of hit ‘50s and ‘60s tunes that recalled a time when America was in an exciting state of transition. "Bye, bye love," and "On the Bayou," were just some of the songs Chavarria preformed as audiences fondly reminisced about a time when cool cars roamed the streets and the British invasion was just around the corner.
Chavarria has frequently sung at events in the Lake Elsinore-area and has shared her love for the music of the mid-20th century with a number of different groups of people. However, she primarily enjoys sharing her passion with senior communities like the Lake Elsinore Senior Center.
Chavarria began her musical journey 18 years ago when she started taking vocal classes. Since that time she has embarked on a number of different musical projects, including being a partof a country band.
The avid singer said she enjoys playing music from the ‘50s and ‘60s because of the styles and genres that were popular at that time.
I love Motown and pretty much all the music (from the ‘60s)," she said. "The British invasion bands and all that stuff. And the ‘50s music, too, is just great with Rock ‘N’ Roll."
Musical duo Nathan Rivera and Shine Delphi were up next. The two performed original folksy-sounding blues and country songs. Rivera played the accordion during many of the musical numbers, an instrument he learned to play over five years ago.
It was around the same time that Rivera began writing and creating music with Delphi after the two discovered each other through a Craigslist advertisement. Since that time, the two have been forging their unique sound, which they describe as, "jazz, blues, ragtime, gypsy-inspired country."
Delphi said their unique sound and approach to music has been generated through their interactions with each other and different people they’ve met while traveling through parts of the United States.
"We’re really influenced by the people we meet, especially some of the people we met in Louisiana," said Delphi.
Both Delphi and Rivera said they enjoyed the pleasant, family-oriented atmosphere of the City Park venue and would be interested in returning for an event if there will be one next year.
"I asked Kevin Davis if he could ask us back (for next year), and he said he’ll never not ask us," said Rivera.
As the evening wound down, a number of other bands performed. Black Bear and the Cheyenne Auto Band, an indie music group, performed their signature blend of folk, acoustic and alternative; and Desert Rose with New Wave Flamenco brought a Latin flare to the evening’s musical itinerary.
The evening ended with a trip to the ‘80s, as Steal Dawn, a San Diego rock group, played a wide variety of hits from that time period.
The evening appeared to be a success for many attendees of the event. Festival-goer Dani Miller and her sister-in-law were impressed with the cozy atmosphere of the park and the way the concert was set up.
"We like it," said Miller. "It’s a nice, cool community gathering."
Miller and her sister-in-law Geneva came to the event to watch Black Bear and the Cheyene Auto Band because Dani’s brother and Geneva’s husband plays in the band.
Geneva Miller said she found the concert experience to be a unique one for a key reason.
"We’re from Corona, so we don’t usually have community park events like this," she said.
Foster Davis said she was glad the event took place in the park on a nice day and said that while she isn’t sure whether she and other event organizers will do the event again next year, they would certainly like to.
"We’re hoping to do it again," she said. "We’ll just have to see where the collaboration is for next year and if everyone says, ‘yes this was great and it did everything we wanted to do,’ then we will certainly do it again next year."
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