April 2014
Bonitafest will go on
Robert Moreno
Chula Vista Star-News
Jul 12 2014

The biggest community event in Bonita will get smaller.

Southwestern College professor Max Branscomb, who spearheaded a
community effort to salvage Bonitafest,  said the 42nd annual Bonitafest will
happen this year.

“Bonitafest is a go,” he said.

Unlike previous years where Bonitafest was an all-day affair, the 2014
Bonitafest will be spread out over five days and on a much smaller financial

Bonitafest kicks off Aug. 30 and will partner with the Chula Vista Live Steamers
in providing train rides to children from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Day two of Bonitafest takes place Sept. 12, with the Bonita Twilight Trail at the
Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course.  Branscomb said the parade will feature
children on horses and bicycles, and also people carrying glow sticks to light up
the night.

“That’s the way we are going to do our parade,” Branscomb said. “Everybody
can participate, that is the beauty of it.”
Bonitafest’s street fair and entertainment will follow on Sept. 12 at Bonita Vista
High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Show choirs from the Sweetwater Union High School District will be performing.

The last stage of Bonitafest is Branscomb’s Bonitafest Melodrama, which will
play at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 24 through 27 at Sweetwater Community Church,
5305 Sweetwater Road.

Branscomb said he had originally planned to produce the melodrama, even if
Bonitafest was cancelled.

Branscomb said he anticipates this year’s Bonitafest to cost about $7,500 to
produce, a drastic cut from the $19,500 in  2013.

As of Monday, $2,200 had been raised.

“We need $7,500 to do everything that we want to do,” he said. “That’s the
cheapest we can do everything.”

The money covers marketing, banners, logistics, and a performance stage.

Branscomb said he is still seeking financial contributions from community
members and businesses.

UCSD Health and The Phair Company, owners of a real estate
and  development company in Chula Vista, are two of the main
donors thus far, Branscomb said.

“Our family has been in Bonita for over four generations, so we feel that it is
important to help our community,” said Kirk Phair. “We are lifelong Bonita
Vistans and proud to help bring back Bonitafest.”

Phair said his family has been part of Bonitafest for many years.

Branscomb said the Chula Vista Police Department won’t be needed for
security, which saves money. He said he is waiting to hear back from the
Sweetwater district to see what kind of security measures will be needed for the
event at Bonita Vista High School.

Bonita Business and Professional Association, the title sponsor of the event,
announced May 20 that it was cancelling the decades old event as the group
was also disbanding.

But on Monday the former president of the association said she supported the
efforts to bring back Bonitafest.

“We’re really excited about the community rallying in response to the
continuation of the Bonitafest and he (Branscomb) has 100 percent of our
support,” said Carri Long-Fernandez, ex-president of BBPA...
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