Heber marches into fall with fiesta and optimism

Ernesto Pinedo and his daughter face off for pumpkin checkers.

HEBER – On Saturday morning, the sounds of emergency vehicle sirens and marching bands brought Heber residents out of their quiet homes to curb sides and front yards starting at Heber Avenue moving west along Hawk Avenue all the way to Tito Huerta Park to watch the parade that invited everyone to Heber’s Annual Fall Fiesta.

Fire trucks and Sheriff’s office vehicles drove the route as riders threw candy out to children along the parade route. The sounds of drums rang down the streets and neighborhoods, but what also rang out clearly was a new sense of community pride and optimism with recent events and happenings, such as the city’s new water treatment plant and school gym.

Children ran relays in hay bale-lined courses, played table games, threw ring toss and lined up for booth games, while others climbed inside an inflatable jumper, watched traditional folkloric dances, Mariachi bands, and a car show.

The streets were lined with food vendors for those who had missed breakfast chasing the marching bands to the fiesta, and for those who consumed too much, there was a Scary Clown Chase late in the day to work off all the yummy food.

Richard Carrillo and his family sat outside their home enjoying the parade in the morning. “I love it, they are trying to keep the community together,” Carrillo said. “This is the second time I have seen something like this.”

“The kids love it. They will see the parade, then we’ll go down to the carnival,” said Carrillo. “I’m really excited for the future (of Heber).”

“We like it (the parade and fiesta), because there is participation from a lot of people, thank God,” said Heber resident Maribel Rodriguez. “We have a lot of services here in Heber, and most people here are participating and the surrounding communities as well. We love the car show; my son loves cars.”

“We have 15 years living here. There have been a lot of improvements, like the new school and the new gym at the old school, and I am very happy with the community of Heber with a lot of new things and I think there is more to come,” said Rodriguez.

“We liked the parade. There is more movement and activities here in Heber for the kids. There has been more activities, baseball, I think we have the best baseball park for kids,” said Raul Gonzales. “The community needs to participate too. It’s like some residents aren’t used to all this. For some, it’s odd to see a band marching going through here, but this is the third parade and it’s great, the kids had a good time,” added Gonzales.

Imperial County Sheriff Raymond Loera was on hand for the parade and Fiesta as well.

“I’ve been here my whole life, and I’ve seen Heber really grow and expand and its always been a really close and tight knit community and it continues to be that way for them to have this event and its getting bigger and bigger,” Sheriff Loera said.

“It’s really good to see a community come together like this. Everyone is taking ownership of this community and they really want to show it off,” Loera added.

“It’s all about celebrating Heber,” said Diahna Garcia-Ruiz, Heber Public Utility board president. “It’s our Fall Fiesta. We needed something to celebrate our 85th Anniversary last year.”

“It’s become a celebration of Heber, as a community and coming together as a community,” Garcia-Ruiz said.