Claremont gets a big Fair shout out

The Claremont clan took to deep-fried goodness and town regalia last Thursday as part of the Los Angeles County Fair’s annual Claremont Day celebration.

City staffers and familiar faces milled around the fairgrounds to commemorate the wacky holiday, enjoying an opportunity to swap City Hall for a low-key “fun for all.”

“It’s a great opportunity to be immersed in the pride of Claremont,” said Sue Hyland, fellow Claremonter and member of the fair’s board of directors. “It’s a chance for the whole community to come together and enjoy.”

It’s not everyday that Claremonters get to throw beads from pirate ships or listen to the sounds of the Claremont High School band jamming in the middle of a business expo, after all.

“It’s nice to be able to reunite with people I haven’t seen for a while, see all the familiar faces,” said Jayme Ung.

The fair’s Claremont Community Committee has been working hard for the past 6 months to organize the yearly staple, which is tailored to commemorate cities near the fairgrounds for their continued support. San Dimas, La Verne, and Pomona all have their own unique city parties.

But Thursday was all about Claremont, from the town camaraderie to the cheers of El Roble’s spirit squad.

In addition to enjoying a sunny day at the fair without the typical fees (admission was given with the presentation of a book, new or used), residents were presented with a series of Claremont-themed activities.

When not partaking in the occasional fair staples like corn dogs and turkey legs, Claremonters were invited to wine and dine at the Mill Sheets Center for the Arts.

Following the reception, fairgoers were treated to their own little taste with the Claremont Day parade, kicked off by the Claremont High School Drill Team.  CHS and El Roble marching bands, along with a series of floats featuring Claremont people and businesses, like Sekai Black Belt Academy, streamed past the concession stands and carnival rides throwing multi-colored beads in showers upon eager fair folk.

Special guests to the parade included this year’s 2 Claremont Community Heroes: Jack Shih, and Marilee Scaff.

After being toted along the parade in fancy cars, the pair was honored for their community contributions in a special awards ceremony.

Jack, a senior at CHS, was honored for his active role both at CHS and around the city. Jack serves as associated student body vice president, yearbook editor and a member of Claremont High Theater, while also staying active in the Claremont Heritage Historical Society, educating other Claremonters on the historical significance of his town.

“All that stuff is just training for becoming a typical Claremont resident,” joked Mayor Sam Pedroza.

Ms. Scaff, 95, was recognized for more than 60 years of dedication to Claremont. A Ph.D. recipient from Claremont Graduate University, Ms. Scaff’s long list of accomplishments includes serving on the Claremont Coordination Council, work on the Claremont Youth Master Plan and Claremont Youth Directory, as well as teaching and counseling at El Roble Intermediate School. Though retired, Ms. Scaff continues to serve in the local and Los Angeles County League of Women Voters, and Pomona Valley Chapter of the United Nations Association among other activities.

“People are just blown away by her intellect,” Mr. Pedroza said. “I truly respect all that she has done.”

After the presentation and a few closing words from members of the fair committee, Claremont Day wrapped with a serenade from the Claremont High School Jazz Band.

 “Now it’s time to get some funnel cake,” Jack proclaimed.


—Beth Hartnett



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