Lots of beautiful weather, cars and fun combined for another great turnout over the weekend at Yucaipa’s annual Autumnfest.
“I thought Autumnfest was a big success,” said Mayor Dick Riddell. “The weather cooperated. It was very, very nice both days. I think that helped a lot with the turnout.”
The mayor also commented he liked the music entertainment and seeing the vehicles at the Show-N-Go car show cruise around a couple of roundabouts on Yucaipa Boulevard.
“I think that was kind of fun to see them parked and then driving around the roundabouts,” he said.
According to car show chairperson George Sardeson, there were 120 classic cars and hot rods that showed up on Friday night and it was a very successful Autumnfest car show.
“The addition of DJ Rick in his ‘Tune Saloon’ at First Street made the lower part of Yucaipa Boulevard more in0viting for the spectators and more inclusive for the participants because of the distance from the main activities.,” said Sardeson. “Also, the start of the show-n-go cruising by the number 18 NASCAR Chevy driven by Austin Edwards and the Rosa Maria dragster driven by Shannon Chennault was a crowd favorite as they both drove the entire cruise line down and back up the Boulevard. I received many positive comments from my fellow Past Pleasures Car Club members and other participants about the show and all are looking forward to next year.”
The award ceremony was held at the main stage and the grand prize for overall Best in Show was awarded to ____ of ___. After getting his enormous trophy, he said he visited many car shows all over the Inland Empire and “Yucaipa has the best one around.”
Yucaipa native, Austin Edwards, 12, had his car available for show on Friday nights car show. Edwards said he learned how to drive when he was only six years old. “I race mini stock at the Orange Show Speedway and my last race of the year will be held there on Nov. 4,” said Edwards.
He also said his middle school friends sometimes don’t believe that he knows how to drive.
“They don’t really act excited, I think they don’t believe me sometimes. Today my Dad picked me up from school in a tow truck with the race car on its back and I think it helped them believe me a bit more,” Edwards said.
The Smokin’ Cobra’s
The 50’s band took the stage at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. The Pasadena native band kicked off the show with a bang. The group recreates the live sound of the biggest hits from the 50’s, rockabilly, and surf in a modern and exciting way, with tons of energy and endless style. “A whole lot of shaking going on” could be heard blaring throughout Uptown Yucaipa while festival attendees clapped their hand and freely danced around what is normally a traffic filled California Street. According to the groups Facebook page, “The Smokin’ Cobras have passionately performed to audiences worldwide from Las Vegas and California casinos to Deadwood, South Dakota, from Arizona to Asia and Europe to Utah. The Smokin’ Cobras are no stranger to Yucaipa, they played at Concerts in the Park over summer.
Nerds, skeletons, and even a Tyrannosaurus Rex were among the young entrants at the annual costume contest at the main stage on Saturday afternoon. It was a hit with the young and old alike.
Costumes were judged according to creativity, presentation, quality and attention to detail. Children wowed the three-person judges panel with handmade costumes and some pretty original ones, as well.
Ava Anderson, 7–months-old, won first place in her age category with the original Pumpkin Patch kid. She got plenty of awwwwws from audience members.
Payton Wolfe, 6, of Yucaipa took first place for her creative and colorful butterfly costume. She said it was the most fun she’s ever had and added, “I thought there was no way I’d win because all the costumes were so cool!”
Other first place winners included Smokey Bear and an awesome T-Rex.
The country music artist kicked off his performance in the crowd, singing to audience members, and continued the enthusiasm throughout his set.
“That’s good music right there,” said Calimesa’s Bill Daley, of Calimesa, after hearing a couple of songs with a lot of great fiddling.
Payne really got the crowd on its feet with his version of “Footloose.” Two of his younger fans, Annabella Diamond and Angel Wheeler, couldn’t resist showing off their moves.
“Oh yes, they’ve seen him before,” said Rhonda Diamond, about her granddaughter’s eagerness to dance and enjoy the music.
The small group was there with Guitars for Vets, a nonprofit that Payne mentioned several times throughout his performance. Guitars for Vets helps soldiers cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through the power of music and learning how to play a guitar.
“He supports us, so we support him,” Diamond said, about Payne, who performs several times a year for veterans groups.
The creative flair and high energy of the nerdy looking Spazmatics proved contagious and had everyone on their feet dancing, clapping and tapping to the beat by the end of their closeout performance Saturday night.
Playing mostly 1980s tunes, such as “Tainted Love,” “Don’t You Forget About Me” and “Jesse’s Girl,” the Spazmatics got the crowd involved, much to its delight. “Manly men” were asked to get up and dance the jitterbug on the secondary stage, while a young man was pulled from the audience and took over lead vocals for “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
“They’re funny and entertaining,” said Betsy DeTurk, of Yucaipa. “They’re good musicians, too. They’re quality is really good.”
The band closed out its performance with tributes to recently deceased artists Prince and Tom Petty.
Donut and pie eating contest
The donut and pie eating contest was held on Saturday and dozens of kids and adults took the stage to show off their mean eating skills. The competitions were divided up to two different groups, kids and adults. During the donut eating contest, a donut was hanging at the bottom of yard and tied to a cross bar. Participants were only allowed to use their mouth to eat the donut, no hands were allowed. Whoever finished the donut first, without dropping, was the winner. The pie eating contest was full of laughter and whip cream. Each pie eater was given a chocolate and whip cream filled pie. The participants could only use their mouth to finish the pie. Hundreds of festival onlookers laughed and cheered for the participants. At the end of each competition the players’ faces were filled with whip cream, chocolate and powder from the donuts. Each contest winner was given a prize.
The Haunted house was a very popular event at the festival. At times the lines seemed pretty long. The house was provided by Jolly Jumps and volunteers from Yucaipa High School Interact Club, Yucaipa Community Services department and staff from the Aquatics center dressed in costumes to give visitors a fright. Screams and shrills could be heard from down the street and kids could be seem running out of the house. Those who braved the house, spent one to two minutes inside, making their way through different rooms, with a new character in each one ready to jump out and scare you.
With three jumpers, one being a long train, the kids zone was the highlight of many little ones time at the festival.
Stein holding and carrying contest
The winner of the women’s holding contest was Sandra Volkneam of Yucaipa. The winner of the men’s stein holding contest was Phillip Richey of Yucaipa. There was a tie for the women’s stein carrying contest, Amber Lapi and Amy Ferrence both of Yucaipa, tied for first place, each carrying 14 steins.