Crowds embrace heat for KGNH street fair

Hundreds of Claremonters braved the searing September heat to attend the Eighth annual KGNH Street Fair on Saturday, September 18.

The fair featured a number of events to serve the interests of citizens of all ages and backgrounds, including open house tours of the Claremont police and fire stations, food trucks, a car show featuring classic police cars, live bands and even a face-painting booth. The fair is the brainchild of Betty Crocker, who started KGNH (Keeping the Good in the Neighborhood) as a way to keep a close eye and ear on crime in the community.

“When we first started doing [KGNH], it was a potluck with only a couple hundred people that showed up,” Ms. Crocker said. “And so eight years later, this is what it’s blossomed out to.”

This is the first KGNH event in front of the police station, which put Claremonters at the actual front door of crime prevention in the city. Bonita Avenue was closed for a block, giving people plenty of room to walk around and take in the scene.

“This is our first year bringing the street fair out to our public safety [centers] so it’s just it’s a new dawn,” Ms. Crocker said. “A new opportunity.”

Kids of all ages were treated to climb around massive fire engines and were given plastic fire helmets, but were given an opportunity to see how the stations actually worked when firefighters were forced to go out on a call in the middle of the open house.

At the police station, Claremonters were given a rare treat to see how the erstwhile station operated, including tours of the jails, offices and booking rooms.

Kids were also allowed the pet and take pictures with Dodger and Luther, Claremont PD’s two police K-9s. McGruff the Crime Dog also made an appearance, though his signature trench coat wasn’t exactly the smartest thing to wear in the heat.

As for the future, Ms. Crocker believes the new location is paramount to KGNH’s success.

“It just feels good to be standing right here in front of PD,” she said. “It feels like this is where it should be.”

Matthew Bramlett


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