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Calendar >  Summer Fest Keeps Up The Optimism During The Heat

Summer Fest Keeps Up The Optimism During The Heat

By   /  August 17, 2015  /  No Comments




Jeffry Mcgrew....Want to begin the end of summer right? How about a party while fundraising for Vista? At the Vista Summer Fest anyone can gather to enjoy a private taste of Vista along with local artwork. The Optimist clubs fundraising venue raised big bucks and eyebrows at this latest Summer Fest. This event was hosted at the Vista Optimist club, located right off Sycamore drive towards the edge of Vista and the price to attend was only $55 dollars. The cream colored building is hidden on top of the hill giving a delicate view of the “backyard” of Vista. This sight overlooks the Rancho Buena Vista Little League fields as well as the booming business park. This scenery along with the cool 5:30 pm summer breeze added to the atmosphere as I began my approach.

Photos by Philippe Carre         www.bountyphotographie.com

Arriving at the energetic scene, I was instantly greeted in the front by the volunteers, and was offered a plastic tray with a wine glass to start the evening off right. Through the decorated corridors and ballroom I was directed outside, and was introduced to the first familiar vendors of the event. The familiar faces starting the tasting tour were Monte De Oro winery, Mrs. Taco, and the new Flying Pig Bistro. What a pleasant beginning it was to taste our local Mexican food and barbeque along with a small glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. However, since it was early into the event, the night was merely beginning for the early birds like myself. The DJ started the music around 6 pm and the crowd began to swell like social butterflies. Under the large white tents was the  commotion, where the vendors were generously handing out food, drinks and free items, such as glasses, bottle openers, coasters, stickers, and more.

Some of the big name Vista vendors were Iron Fist, Oggie’s, Prohibition, Thai One On, and many others. There were also vendors from beyond the Vista borders, which included Elephant Bar, St. Petersburg Vodka, Roadrunner Ridge Winery, Svedka, Ballast Point, and more. To put it simply, it was a wonderland of food and drinks for the 21 and up event. After getting my own abundance of samples, I decided to peruse the corners of the club where the artists held their work. The first artist I had the pleasure of speaking to was Carol Corfin, a Carmel Valley based artist, and head of the San Dieguito Art Guild. Her art consisted of recycled computer parts turned into clocks and other decorations. These pieces held a very unique and futuristic look that would fit perfectly into any office setting. The piece that truly caught my eye was an aquamarine colored surfboard clock, which was made out of dichroic glass. Just like you I needed an explanation of this seemingly foreign yet beautiful material. Carol explained to me that it was initially made for spaceships and has been designed out of Orange County by CBS Coating Inc.


The next artist I spoke to was Michael Ridge, he offered his craft pottery to the line-up of the event. Michael has been teaching pottery to our local teens at Vista high school for 17 years. His own style of pottery is inspired from surfing, which shown through in many of his pieces as they bent and curved with a sandy sparkle just like the ocean itself. Some of his pieces looked as if they were sculpted by waves and washed up on the shore, but Michael’s own description of his work was even better. Michael told me, “Craft pottery adds to the experience of eating and drinking.” He then added, “Craftsman production is lost nowadays, in soulless mass production.” For one to get this much time to speak earnestly to our local artist amidst this summer bash, was yet another experience the Optimist club offers their community.

After my time with the vendors and artists, I spent some time with the attendants. The first person I spoke to was Javier Collaza and his wife. We had a lively conversation between our drinks and when I asked Mr. Collaza about the event he replied with, “Simply awesome.” Mrs.Collaza also added “It’s very well put together, with a lot of choices. I’m impressed.” Later, I got a chance to speak with several volunteers of the Optimist club, Matt Leonard and Mike Origileri. They informed me of the many contributions the club makes to our city. They donate over $120,000 a year to our local high schools, special needs programs, and the Rancho Buena Vista Little League to name a few. I also learned that the Optimist Club building is in the process of renovations and trying to become an even more attractive venue for events like weddings and fundraisers. Also, all the money that the club raises from weddings and other events goes straight to the city and the programs that they support. They showed that they are truly into making a better Vista.

The last person I got to speak to before my departure was extremely memorable. I spoke with George G. Franceschi, a master tequilier, certified sake professional, beer sommelier, and certified bartender. We spoke about the many passions that we pursue, and of the great atmosphere the Optimist club put on. He had just gotten back from a worldwide competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he placed 7th in the world for his knowledge of beer, wine, tequila, and sake. When I asked him how he got his thirst for knowledge and travel he confidently replied, “I, as a human, expand my horizons to be more acceptable to the world.” My experience with Mr. Franceschi was a cherished addition to the lively crowd.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the series of personalities, food, and drinks that summed up my experience I received thanks to the Optimist club. I hope that this experience inspires you to come next year to not only donate to Vista’s programs, but to enjoy your time indulging in the food, drinks, and compelling community that the Optimist clubs brings together. So until next summer, I hope to see you there partaking in the Vista Optimist club’s Summer Fest.










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