With last week's tragic death of MBPD Officer Chad Swanson
still weighing heavily on resident's minds, the fair gave Manhattan Beach a chance to celebrate one of the most time-honored traditions of this close-knit community.
"This fair has always been about community, and always will be about community - community above all else," said Manhattan Beach Hometown Board President Dana Old at the start of the fair, before asking for a moment of silence in honor of Swanson.
L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell told the crowd: "It's days like today where we come together and are reminded about the love and commitment and support of community.
Because it's tough times like this that communities like yours rally
The fair began with its traditional parade, featuring MBPD officers, local scout troops, the Mira Costa High School marching band, and local dignitaries in vintage cars. This year, however, members of the Manhattan Beach City Council opted not to ride in the parade while still mourning in the wake of the Swanson tragedy.
The fair featured 200 arts and crafts booths, and more than 60 food and game booths run by local civic and booster organizations.
In addition to the traditional fair attractions, this year
featured a community showcase with more artists than ever, and a wine garden that had been doubled in size. The former South Stage was revamped and moved to Live Oak Field - and named Dietz Stage in honor of Pat Dietz
and the Dietz family.
Fair attendees had a chance to eat traditional Pepper Bellies, get their hair sprayed in different colors, play miniature golf on the Live Oak tennis courts, watch a reptile demonstration or ride ponies in Kid Country, enjoy the annual Diaper Derby, and learn all about Manhattan Beach's various civic organizations at informational booths.
The fair's silent auction raised $16,256 - nearly $5,000 more than last year. The proceeds are distributed to support local booster clubs and community organizations.
The Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair, which was first started by a group of residents in 1972, is a non-profit venture run by a 21-member all-volunteer board.