HOLTVILLE — February is known as carrot time in Holtville with the city's Chamber of Commerce hosting their 73rd Carrot Parade Saturday, February 8, along with related activities throughout the week.
The parade included appearances from local businesses and organizations. The Imperial County Sheriff's office and the Imperial County Fire Department honked their horns and ran sirens as they drove down 5th Street.
The Viking band dedicated their performance to the outgoing seniors to celebrate their last march in the Carrot Parade. Other local bands, including McCabe Elementary School District band played their practiced sets for Holtville residents to enjoy.
Floats of cauliflower, lettuce, and, of course, carrots drove the route, showing locals some of the vegetables grown locally. At the end of the parade guests were encouraged to take as much produce as they could carry for just one dollar.
Carrot Cooking contest sweepstakes winner, Becky Miller, rode in on an old Mustang, waving to parade watchers. Carrot Festival Royalty welcomed guests as well. Cattle Call Queen Royalty also joined in on the carrot festivities.
Whirring and buzzing sounds could be heard throughout the streets in Holtville surrounding city hall. The carnival rides and food drew in families after the parade.
The Carrot Festival and Street Fair brought in families to eat and purchase items from local vendors. Hand squeezed lemonade freshly popped kettle corn, and sizzling food were available for guests to purchase.
The American Legion and Auxiliary club members set up booths to sell food and items. Informational booths were set up for guests to learn about their local resources.
Lyn Croak, head whistle blower of the Reunion Committee Mommies, formed in 2001 and has been participating in the Carrot Parade since their formation, except for a few years. The Reunion Committee Mommies walked the parade route in their blow-up gator costumes, waving, dancing, and spinning their colorful umbrellas.
The parade’s theme was Carrot Carnival like Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, which inspired Croak and her group to wear the gator costumes, according to Croak.
Croak said, with sweat dripping from her forehead, the costumes were very hot to walk in. She also said it was worth it to have a good time and entertain parade goers.
“Our main purpose is to have fun and entertain people — to listen to them laugh and clap. We just get a charge out of it. It’s a comradery between the women,” said Croak.