Press Fest puts community front and center
Roger & Rogers and the Community Valley Bank teams fight to control the ball during the Imperial Valley Press Fest 2012 at Stark Field in El Centro on Sunday. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / November 19, 2012)
“We are 100 percent behind promoting … the community.” said Sara Atwood Douglass, marketing and event manager for the Imperial Valley Press. “We want this event to stay as local as possible and give back to our community.”
The main event, for some Press Fest attendees, was the adult soccer tournament, which was won by the Imperial Valley Auto Mall/Direct Auto team.
El Centro resident Luis Rosas said he chose not to play in this year’s tournament. Instead, he was there to support his family members, who were competing with their teammates on the soccer pitch.
Fellow El Centro resident Victoria Dorame was there to support her boyfriend, Andres Garcia, “a soccer fanatic.”
“It’s nice, watching them play. I enjoy it,” she said.
California Department of Food and Agriculture employee Bill Lilien could not sit the soccer tournament out. The 36-year-old said this was his first organized soccer game. Lilien said that between playing football and running, he has always been athletic.
Lilien said he moved to the Imperial Valley from Kansas.
“This community is great,” he said. “It’s small but a lot of fun.”
Soccer wasn’t the only athletic event at Press Fest.
Zumba dancers from the Fitness Oasis health club showed off their moves, a combination of moves that provide cardiovascular exercise and tone the body.
Those who wanted to simply enjoy the sunshine could enjoy their drink in a beer garden. Those who wanted to donate for a good cause and get some artwork on their face had the option of visiting the face-painting booth, organized by Southwest High School’s Interact Club. Southwest High School student and Interact member Alexia Banagas said the club was raising money for the Humane Society of Imperial Valley shelter.
“We want to donate cat food and dog food to the Humane Society,” she said.
With a full face painting going for $5, a cheek painting for $2, and bottled water and soft drinks for $1, the club had raised about $120 by mid-afternoon.
No community festival would be complete without sweets. Festival-goers could satisfy their sweet tooth with funnel cakes and Hawaiian shaved ice.
And those who wanted to rock and roll got rock and roll, courtesy of local bands Pipe Wrench Fight, Random Article and Latin Fuze. Douglass said she was encouraged by the number of people who came to the festival, and wished to expand the soccer tournament next year to allow more people in the community to play.
Ultimately, Douglass said, Press Fest was an event for the community by the community.
“An event of this magnitude can’t be completed without our sponsors,” she said.
Staff Writer Antoine Abou-Diwan can be reached at 760-337-3454 or email@example.com