From soap bombs to animal rescue, or the best sourdough bread you’ve had since San Francisco, you could find almost anything at the 2023 Pinon Hills Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Gateway Summerfest.
Assembled on the campus of Pinon Hills Elementary School, Saturday afternoon, June 3, 2023, a showcase of goods and services presented itself for the Tri-Community and the surrounding High Desert. Summerfest in Pinon Hills this year was blessed with sunshine and a slight breeze blowing the aroma of carnival food items such as street tacos and hot pretzels into the air.
A neat column of vendors displayed their wares within the Pinon Hills Elementary playground area, with San Bernardino County Fire Medical Engine ME-10 and Fire Station 10 standing by, ready to respond, which they did a few hours into the event. As Engine ME-10 was dispatched to a nearby traffic incident, San Bernardino Volunteer Mounted Reserve Sheriffs remained with three crowd-pleasing horses to stand a post. Volunteer Reserve Sheriffs Jim Thomas, with his mount “Dandy Casanova,” Elizabeth Waters, with “Honey,” and Dan MacDonald, with his horse “Niner,” who was very people-friendly, were on hand for information and a little horsing around. Niner seemed to be counting on one hoof during the interview. Strolling down the vendors’ row, a concierge of Safety and High-Desert Information posts greeted those entering the fair.
Having the Disaster Animal Relocation Team (D.A.R.T.) adjacent to the Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) allowed similar interests to combine into a one-stop Life-Safety Headquarters for Gateway Summerfest 2023. D.A.R.T. President Kevin Baroni and C.E.R.T. asst. Coordinator Bonnie Butler was ready to sign new applicants to these important organizations. Just past the Pinon Hills Chamber of Commerce booth was event sponsor “Pulse” publications, with plenty of new issues stacked and ready. The colorful vendor booths lay just beyond, lined up, ready for business. Across the playground, Author/Teacher Dr. Dawn Menge had a book fair of her own with the award-winning children’s book series “Queen Vernitas Visitors.”
“Jewels Crafty Creations” came tumbling right along with her custom tumbler creations for your favorite beverage. Showing their hand-crafted peppermills and jewelry were Jay and Nancy Ayers from “Nana and Pop’s Workshop.” Ryan Fawley, owner of “All Picked Up,” was displaying rare finds of crystals and lapidary specimens for purchase. “Boog’s Bandanas and Bowties” will keep your pets well-dressed while they munch on some homemade doggie treats. “Sourdough Buddha” deserves a mantra for its delicious Artisan breads, while “2 Crafty Betties” highlighted a selection of inspired jewelry and crafts. Custom laser engraving is a specialty of “Design Studios,” a laser engraving media for small businesses featuring wholesale orders and custom gifts. Also camping out was realtor Erica Nicolai of “HomeSmart” and Eugene Martinet of “Acra Lending” for your realty needs.
Music, shopping, great food, and all kinds of animal experiences were to be had at the 2023 Gateway Summerfest. A 60-year-old giant land tortoise named “Spike” was a special guest of the “Slither’s and Crawls” booth, and along with the “We Rescue 4 Pawz” animal rescue/pet adoption pavilion, brought their usual and unusual furry friends, reptiles, and insects. “Face Painting By Liz” added whiskers to some smiles, while the jumping puppies for adoption were also adding smiles. Speaking of jumping, Jumper, bounce house, and water slide fun was guaranteed for children at the Pinon Hills Elementary School grassy field. The dunk tank was also a refreshing way to let off some steam for younger patrons. Next year, be sure to mark your calendars for Gateway Summerfest and all it has to offer.