After a dry summer of sweltering heat, it was cold rain that became the headliner of the 2022 Westside Summerfest, which kicked off at Ventana Ranch Park on Saturday (Aug. 20) night.
The gates opened at 5 p.m. to a smattering of enthusiastic Burquenos, and though people filtered in throughout the evening, Ventana Ranch Park remained relatively empty until the event ended around 10 p.m.
“It’s the rain, man,” Raul Hernandez, a local artist selling his wares in the crafts area, saidl. “Hopefully it clears up, but yeah, it’s a little disappointing.”
Despite the overcast sky and the sporadic showers, the rain-or-shine Summerfest powered ahead. The surf rock stylings of The Fabulous Martini Tones started up on the East Stage, and the small crowd in attendance began to get more lively.
The kids section, filled with tons of inflatable fun that included an oversized dart board, was the most crowded area all night.
The Society for Creative Anachronism (the folks at the parks around town who are dressed in medieval garb) and its accompanying knights took to the field to challenge local children to duels.
“Ah a young squire come to test his mettle,” said Sir Thomas, an imposing knight in full armor to a young local who was squaring off for battle. (Spoiler alert: the young local, Milo, won the duel.)
And as the smells of the army of food trucks began to replace the crisp smell of rain, the Summerfest began to build in energy.
By the end of the night, a nice crowd had formed around the West Stage to hear popular garage rock band Red Light Cameras perform.
“It was fun,” said Thomas, a local man as he was leaving with his family. “Glad the weather held for a bit.”
Though the rain was certainly in attendance, the event went off without many problems, and the Burquenos who did turn out were treated to a Summerfest event without the maddening crowds.
This story was written by Neighborhood Journal contributor Taylor Hood.