Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Larchmont Family Fair — Maybe the Best Ever!

Best friends June and Floyd enjoy a boat ride at the Larchmont Family Fair.

It seemed like the most crowded and best ever Larchmont Family Fair. Organizers Vivian Gueler and Betsey Malloy worked tirelessly to put on on what seemed like one of the most successful Family Fairs in recent years.  In addition, special thanks to Larchmont Boulevard Association volunteer President John Winther, Tim Gogan, Jim Bloomfield, and LBA volunteer treasurer Mel Miyamoto for their help in pulling everything together.

Malloy and Gueler and their team of six made the day work by managing all the people and parts of the Fair, including store owners, schools, temples, churches, placing all the booths and rides appropriately, and covering all the minimum costs on the food  — we heard In-N-Out Burger sold out!

“If it’s any indication, I did 21,996 steps – 9.3 miles!!!, Gueler told the Buzz. “I’m barely standing today, but was particularly happy with the flow of the stage.  We had fantastic family-filled events from noon to five, beginning with the dances, costume contest and Bob Baker Marionettes, who drew a large audience for first year at the Fair.”

“I am sure all stiff from walking the street back and forth 25xs,” said Malloy. “Asleep by 10:00 last evening.”

The pie baking contest, the talent show and the pie eating contest, as well as the Saint Brendan’s dunking booth, were also very popular with fairgoers, said Gueler. There were some strong feelings about the animals at the fair again this year, but families still clearly enjoyed having the petting zoo and the pony and camel rides, said Malloy, adding ‘What is a fair without animals?”

Talent Show producer Jimm Bloomfield, an owner and acupuncturist at Larchmont Traditional Medicine,  gave us the winners of the talent show.  Taking Third Place was 8 year old Ayanda Noyce, a dancer who attends Larchmont Charter School.  Noyce won for her ballet/performance dance of the song “Popular” from the musical “Wicked.”

“Noyce was amazing,” said Bloomfield, “She did her own choreography as well.”

Taking Second Place was Rylin Rivas, a 19 year old singer who performed the song “Lay Me Down,” by Sam Smith.

The First Place winner was Dane Flexner, a 6th grader at City School, who played the piano doing a combination of “Bohemian Rhapsody” with a boogie woogie blues follow up. 

“Flexner was very entertaining and very accomplished for his age,” said Bloomfield. “We had a  lot of great talent. There were 19 contestants in the show, everything from a joke teller to a full glee club. I want to give a shout out to the Citizens of the World School’s Glee Club, who performed the song “Anything Can Happen,” from “Mary Poppins,” and a lot of things happened!”

If you missed this year’s fair, you can always try out for next year. Bloomfield said contestants should start preparing their acts in late summer. Auditions for next year’s contest are the second Sunday before Halloween.

Special thanks to David Rhodes and Rhodes School of Music, who sponsored the contest, as well as volunteers Brandon Pierce of BMusic and Duff Ferguson.

“What a success at the 2nd Annual Pie Baking Contest,” contest organizer and local realtor Anne Loveland told the Buzz. “We had twice as many bakers this year, most were 14 and under!”

Judges Daphne Brogdon, who most recently appeared on “Beat Bobby Flay” and is co-owner of the Prawn restaurants with her husband, renowned chef Mark Peel, along with Phil Cochran, manager of Larchmont’s Vernetti Restaurant, judged the homemade pies on the basis of overall presentation, tastiness and the name of the pie. Once winners were announced, the pies were shared with all, explained Loveland.

Below are the winners in the three baking categories :

“Tiny pies” for kids 12 and under
#1 Lilah Feuerstein (9) for her “Pear & Apple Galette” for balance of crust and fruit, texture and variety of fruits
#2 Theo (7) and August (10) Mulkerin for their “Apple Pie Cinnamon Roll” for original presentation, crust & intensity of fruit.
#3 Lalita Olazabal (11) for her “Apple of my pie” for flavor of filling
Honorable mention: Artie Parsons for his “Apple pie” for flavor and texture of apples

‘Teeny pies” for 13 to 19 year olds
#1 Katie Kim (14) for her “Apple Pie” was hands down best pie – best in category and show for best crust, filling and presentation.” All judges want the recipe.
#2 Benny Buckley (14) for his “BB’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie” which was good like candy
#3 Amelia Tankenson (14) for her “Boo-Berry pie.” Great fruit.

“Tempting pies ” adult category
#1 Adena Halpern & Jonathan Goldstein’s “Apple Crumble” overall presentation, excellent crumbs & will balanced flavors
#2 Allison Ceppi’s “Whipped pumpkin spice pie” killed it!
#3 Bindu Vargese’s “Apple Pie” for flavor of filling and spices

Loads of family fun was had by all  — as you can see from the photos below! Enjoy!

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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