Posted 3/17/13, updated 3/25/13 – The Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce put on the Wistaria Festival on St. Patrick’s Day, and IT DIDN’T RAIN! Congratulations to the Board and the volunteers who worked very hard to put on the Festival, which is Sierra Madre’s signature event.
Particularly, congratulations to Patricia Ancona, who did a great job bringing in vendors in the last few weeks before the event, including several that joined in on the day of the event. After two rain-outs in a row, many vendors were hesitant to attend. When I saw that Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Walsh had told the Star News that “We have over 65 vendors that are going to be in town”, I was quite concerned, as that number is really low. While the number of vendors was still down dramatically from last year, which was down quite a bit from the previous year, thanks to some creative area design, the streets looked to have nearly as many vendors as in previous years. And the final count ended up being a more respectable 83 vendors, according to Ms. Ancona.
Amazingly, the vine was spectacular, and I say amazingly because ten days before the Festival, I drove by the vine and it was nothing but sticks. Couldn’t find a blossom on the vine, though street view is admittedly limited. But I’ve heard for years that a hot spell following rain in the last few days is a magic combination, and this year was certainly evidence of that. The vine rivaled the best year I’d ever seen before, which was 2007.
Thanks again go to Nell and Bob Solt, and Tony Held, on whose properties the vine sits, for once again opening their properties to the curious and the horticulturally oriented.
The video I’ve added is a tour of the vine, prefaced by volunteer bus docent Camella Hopkins giving a brief history of the vine to the shuttle riders. Below the video, you’ll find a photo gallery. Enjoy! And if you click here, you’ll find videos of some of the bands that performed at the Festival.