Youth-Oriented Bonitafest '15 Honors Sweetwater Valley Little League Champions.

Bonita's newest and youngest hometown heroes swung big bats to blast their way to the quarterfinals of the Little League World Series and straight into the hearts of their community. Bonitafest '15 will honor players and coaches from the Western Region Champion Sweetwater Valley Little League All-Stars at all three of its major events this month. Players and coaches will be feted along with a venerable group of long-time community contributors. This year's event will also feature performances by the National Heritage Festival Show Choir Champion Music Machine and Sound Unlimited from Bonita Vista High School.

SVLL players and coaches will march in the Bonitafest Twilight Trail Parade as it wends around the Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course Friday evening, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. The parade is open to all participants, including equestrians, bicyclists, strollers and walkers. Paraders are encouraged to bring glow sticks or small flashlights to help give the event its trademark luster. Participants will gather at 5 p.m. at the Sunnyside Saddle Club Arena in Rohr Park.

Leading the parade is Grand Marshal Mehl Lawson, a well-known Western artist and philanthropist. Joining Lawson as Bonitafest '15 honorees are Pioneers Jane Campbell and Vera Mathias, Historian Dr. Steven Schoenherr, Bonitafest Host and Hostess Rev. Marc LaPointe and Julie Gay, Humanitarian Elaine Thompson, Miss Bonita Chantal Branscomb and Miss Sweetwater Valley Caitlin Lange. Alexis Luna, Alex Huerta, Dayna Hill and Lacey Cappos are this year's Bonitafest Junior Hosts and Hostesses.

This year's parade will feature the Halfway There Break Station in front of the Bonita History Museum and Bonita/Sunnyside Library. Popular rock trio Shy Fox will perform for passersby in the spirit of the Rock-n-roll Marathon. Snacks, beverages and twinkling souvenirs will be available.

SVLL players and 2015 VIPs will be introduced from the Performing Arts Stage at the Bonitafest Street Fair on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. at Bonita Vista High School. SVLL gear will be available as a fund raiser for parents who spent considerable amounts of money to travel with the team as it won the Western Regional tournament and reached the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Players will sign autographs and pose for photographs.

Team members will get a curtain call to the opening night of the 38th Annual Bonitafest Melodrama, Wednesday evening, Sept. 23, at the Sweetwater Community Church Theater. Players and coaches will be introduced at 7:20 p.m., the musical-comedy "Really Fast Food" will begin at 7:30 p.m.

"This is going to be a very special Bonitafest because we are celebrating so many of our talented young people as well as a wonderful group of life-long Bonita super citizens," said Bonitafest '15 General Chairman Dr. Max Branscomb. "About half of the Bonitafest Committee this year is comprised of bright and talented teenagers who came up with our theme, and who are putting together a special Youth Section at the street fair. Our Performing Arts Stage is booked for seven hours with 100 percent South Bay student bands, dance troupes and show choirs that are all terrific. Now we have our Sweetwater Valley Little League All-Stars returning home after their amazing run to the Little League World Series. Youth will be served!"

Branscomb said the street fair will have a youthful and multicultural tilt. Committee members spent the year seeking out diverse vendors, athletic teams and educational organizations that would conduct activities for teens and children at Bonitafest.

"This is going to be the hands-on Bonitafest," Branscomb said. "We have Latino artists who will teach young people how to make sugar skulls for el Dia de los Muertos, trainers from Family Fitness who will run circuit training demonstrations, and jewelry makers who will give mini-clinics. There will also be more games and events for teens and kids."

"Bonitafest History" is a new exhibit from the SBHS at

This web page was created Sept. 18, 2015, and revised Sept. 18, 2015, by Steve Schoenherr for the South Bay Historical Society | Copyright © 2015