by DARSHANA PATEL, RPTC Web and Print Chair

Do you know a hometown hero?

The community of Rancho Peñasquitos is home to a variety of heroes – including our local first responders at the Northeastern SDPD station and SDFD Station 40, our VFW Post 11388 members, our enlisted residents, teachers, community volunteers, elected officials, and many others. Allow me to be the first to cordially invite you to join our community in honoring our Hometown Heroes during the Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council (RPTC) sponsored Fiesta de los Peñasquitos weekend! To start, we are excited to unveil our official Fiesta artwork, selected through our traditional art contest where fourth and fifth graders living in Peñasquitos are invited to draw or paint a picture that represents the Fiesta theme. We can’t wait to see what our local student artists will do with this year’s theme.

Fiesta Weekend Schedule

Saturday, April 30
9th Annual PQ5K Fun Run | 7:30 a.m.
Rancho Family YMCA Farmers Market Grand Opening | 9 a.m.

Sunday, May 1
2nd Annual PQ Community Parade | 10:30 a.m.
21st Annual Fiesta de los Peñasquitos | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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{ PQ5K Fun Run }

What better way to kick off Fiesta weekend than a fun run – the 9th Annual PQ5K Fun Run! The free PQ5K Fun Run is 3.1 miles of easy jogging, running, or strolling through beautiful 92129 neighborhoods. This year’s service focus is to gather non-perishable snack items for local school faculty to give to students who can’t afford them.

The fun begins Saturday, April 30, in the LDS church parking lot on 12835 Black Mountain Rd. You can either pre-register online or come early on the day of the run and register on-site. Participants will receive racing bibs and leave the staging area in staggered groups. The run ends at a church parking lot located at 14191 Camino del Sur. There, children under 12 will receive a victory medal and can tour a local fire engine. All participants will be treated to a free pancake breakfast with orange juice. Shuttles will be available to take runners back to their cars.

Visit www.pq5kfunrun.org for details.

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{ Rancho Family YMCA Farmers Market Grand Opening }

While we love to support favorite traditions, this year we hope to start a new one. We have been working with the Rancho Family YMCA to bring a Certified Farmers Market to our own community! This market will feature a variety of harvests from our own local farmers, as well as delicious choices from local food trucks. This fits right in with the Y’s mission and PQ’s desire to have locally sourced, fresh farm products. The Farmers Market will open April 30 and will return every Saturday throughout the year.

{ Parade }

This year, encouraged by positive feedback, we will bring back an improved PQ Community Parade. We’ve changed the route – parade participants will start at Mt. Carmel High School, swing right on Paseo Montalban, and finish at the Fiesta (see map). We are certainly looking forward to participation from community groups, schools, teams, scouts, block parties, clubs, and other PQ-themed organizations. We are still finalizing our Hometown Hero Grand Marshal and it’s not too late to sign up your group to participate – visit our website for details. The PQ Community Parade provides another fun way to showcase the diversity of our community!

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{ Donors }

The RPTC would not be able to bring the ever-growing and vibrant Fiesta de los Peñasquitos to our community each year without the generous contributions from our local government offices. They take as much pride in supporting us as we do in bringing the Fiesta to you each year. This year we received support from County Supervisor Dave Roberts and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program, as well as the City of San Diego Creative Communities San Diego Program supplemented with additional funding from District 5 City Councilman Mark Kersey and District 6 City Councilman Chris Cate. We sincerely express our gratitude for their continued community support.

Additionally, we appreciate the continued in-kind contributions from 92129 Magazine, San Diego Family Magazine, and Allies Party Rentals. It’s support from local businesses like these that make our annual community fiesta possible.

{ Sponsors }

Each year, the RPTC offers sponsorship opportunities for local businesses, organizations, and residents for our Fiesta. By choosing to sponsor the Fiesta, these organizations have shown their dedication to our community. The profits from the Fiesta return directly to the community in the form of community grants, local events, and improvements in our community. The San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) is proudly supporting PQ through its Premier Sponsorship of our Fiesta for a third consecutive year.

The Premier Sponsorship package includes both Main Stage and Banner District sponsor levels. Through SDCCU’s continued support of the Fiesta and the Banner District, they are proving that people really do come first. SDCCU is not only locally owned, but was voted San Diego’s Best Credit Union for its 16th year in a row! Local branch manager Jeff Barger welcomes all residents to come into the PQ branch location in the Towne Center Shopping Plaza to learn how SDCCU can serve you.

Is your organization interested in showing its support for our community through being a Fiesta Sponsor? Would you like to have a full-page, half-page, or business card-size advertisement in our 21st Annual Fiesta Program? It’s not too late. There are still sponsorship and advertising opportunities available. Visit the Fiesta website or email fiesta.rptc@gmail.com.

{ Community Awards }

Each year, the RPTC is proud to recognize the community service contributions of 12 local students, one adult volunteer, and one business or organization. Winners of these community awards, along with our Fiesta Theme Art Contest winner, will be invited to participate in a Fiesta ceremony, where they will be publicly recognized by the community, the RPTC, and our local elected officials.

Twelve outstanding students – one from each of our twelve PQ public schools – are recognized for their community service efforts with Youth Community Service Awards. Fifth and eighth grade winners are nominated by their schools, while at the high school level, one graduating senior from each high school will be awarded the $500 scholarship through a direct application selection process.

Additionally, the RPTC will recognize the exceptional community service efforts of one Volunteer of the Year and one Business/Organization of the Year. The name of the Volunteer of the Year will be added to the engraved plaque installed at Hilltop Park, and the Business of the Year will be featured for a full year on the RPTC website. Join us at the main stage during the opening ceremonies to see who our winners will be!

{ RPTC Elections }

One of the many interesting things going on at the RPTC booth will be the annual election of your neighborhood representatives. The Rancho de los Peñasquitos Town Council consists of elected and appointed volunteers from eight districts laid out to coincide with the elementary school boundaries in PQ. Every year there is at least one elected position open in every district. The benefit of being elected, rather than appointed, is that elected members may run for a position on the Executive Board or Committee Chair position, which can have a significant impact on how the resident can serve our community and set priorities. Our current areas of focus include building a business community for Rancho Peñasquitos, celebrating our community volunteers, and a commitment to civic engagement.

The RPTC is always looking for capable new members to infuse fresh energy, ideas, and perspectives, so if you think that sounds like you, fill out a candidate application online at www.rpcouncil.com/join. The deadline is April 19 so don’t delay!

Active participation in our community is the basis for all positive growth. So, before you forget with all the excitement of Fiesta Day, stop by at the Fiesta 2015 elections ballot station in the RPTC booth and cast your vote.

{ School Spirit Booth }

We are thrilled to present the 3rd Annual PQ School Spirit Booth. Totals from last year’s 2nd Annual PQ School Spirit Booth include $888 donated by our community, $185 from the RPTC for free tickets to donors wearing school logo apparel, and another $500 from the TC for the school with the most tickets. Last year, Sunset Hills took the grand prize again! That’s a total of $1,573 that our 12 local PQ schools received after last year’s event!

Remember that every dollar donated will go directly back to the schools, and don’t forget to wear your school shirt when you stop by the booth again this year with a few bucks for your school or alma mater. Will Sunset Hills win for a third year in a row? Can your school rally together to win the big cash prize? We can’t wait to find out. For more information visit www.rpcouncil.com or email education.rptc@gmail.com.

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{ Entertainment }

If all of this does not seem like enough, we have lined up a wonderful set of live performances, displays, and rides. This year’s line up includes Step-by-Step Dance, Gyminny Kids Demo Team, returning acts Nitro Express Band, Bayou Brothers, and new acts such as Martin Coughlin and the Reverbnation, as well as AM Gold Band. We are also excited to have singer-songwriter Alyssa Walker perform. The 16-year-old PQ native and recent 92129 Magazine Student Star co-hosts a weekly Open Mic and performs in monthly shows at the Company Pub.

For Fiesta regulars, we will have carnival rides, the Mad Hatter in the Kids Pavilion, Kool Katz Tatz face-painting, pony rides, Slow Lane Familia classic cars, and a petting zoo. Don’t forget to pick up the Fiesta map at the RPTC booth to guide you though your day.

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