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Carnival fun in the SCV

Pie-eating and water-balloon tossing mark Independence Day at Bridgeport Marketplace

Posted: July 4, 2009 10:56 p.m.
Updated: July 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Stacy Indermill, 14, drops in to a dunking booth fundraiser for Hart High girls volleyball at the Bristol Farms and Bridgeport Marketplace Picnic and Carnival held in the parking lot on Saturday..

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Bristol Farms and the Bridgeport Marketplace added a new tradition Saturday to Santa Clarita Valley Independence Day celebrations — a new tradition with an old-fashioned twist.

Pie-eating and hula hoop contests, a water-balloon toss and a dunk tank were among the offerings during the Fourth of July carnival at the shopping center.

Snow cones, watermelon and cotton candy were available for purchase for $1 tickets.

“The pie-eating contest was hilarious. We did it three different times,” said Pete Hejny, senior director of health, nutrition and sustainability for Bristol Farms.

Sixty people participated, he said, and first-place winners went home with a $20 Bristol Farms gift certificate.

Hejny estimated the event drew 3,000 to 5,000 visitors.

The aim was to give the community an option for Fourth of July between the morning parade in Newhall and the evening fireworks shows in Valencia and Castaic, Hejny said.

“We were looking at the schedule of events and there was nothing going on (during the middle of the day), so we decided to host the carnival with the Marketplace and turn it into a fundraiser for many of the charities that live and work in Valencia,” Hejny said.

“There was a great opportunity to raise some money for them and let the community have a good time.”

Local nonprofits were invited to host game booths for free and received 75 percent of the gaming proceeds.

Six organizations signed up, including local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops, Help Not Hassle and the Betty Ferguson Foundation.

Hot dogs and hamburgers were available for purchase, and live music was provided.

“It was fabulous,” Hejny said. “We had an absolutely great turnout with lots of smiling kids.”

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