BARSTOW, CALICO – The Barstow area played host to a variety of events this Saturday, lasting from morning until well after sunset.

The parking lot at Tanger Outlet Center was not only full of shoppers on Saturday morning and afternoon, but a plethora of classic vehicles and hot rods as well. The Cruise for the Cure car show brought 98 vehicles — from vintage 1930s Fords to modern tuned-up rods — and their owners to the shopping center. Curious shoppers rubbed shoulders with the car show faithful as a cover band cranked out music age-appropriate to many of the vehicles on display.

Bruce Taylor, of Apple Valley, came to the show with his modified and modernized 1940 Ford Coupe, complete with air conditioning and automatic transmission. He said that he likes to meet with fellow car aficionados at shows like Saturday's and reminisce.

"I've come here with different cars over the years," said Taylor. "My wife likes this show, she can go to the shops. (People at the show) are into nostalgia, we like to talk about the way it was."

The show was a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Over the Hill Gang Car Club member Jeanne Burke said that $4,000 was raised at last year's show and that they hope to raise as much this year through registration fees and a raffle.

Further up Interstate 15, the streets of Calico Ghost Town were filled with people getting a taste of the way life was during the silver mine era at Calico Days.

The annual festival brought out extra activities and performers to the streets of the ghost town tourist attraction. Cowboys demonstrated their roping skills and interested parties signed up for pie eating, egg-throwing, and bubble-gum blowing contests.

Barstow resident Evonne Cowan was strolling Calico's Main Street on Saturday afternoon with her friend's grandchildren and said she was enjoying the day's festivities.

"We went to the mines, we panned for gold, and we saw a gunfight," said Cowan. "We even heard some yodeling. It reminded me of where I grew up in Montana."

Fort Irwin resident Bryan Kish brought his family to Calico Days and was pleased with what he found.

"It's very family-oriented," said Kish. "We rode the train, toured the mine, and now we're off to have our picture taken. The prices on everything were very reasonable. We'll definitely come back next year."

Back in Barstow, marching bands from across the High Desert and Inland Empire came to Barstow High School's Langworthy Field for the 26th annual High Desert Field Show Tournament.

Yvonne Bower was at the tournament Saturday afternoon to see her grandchildren perform, and ended up winning $120 in a fundraising raffle drawing.

"It's fun to watch," said Bower. "I enjoy all of it, the way they perform, they are so cute."

Barstow residents Mike and Pam Hill were at the tournament to watch their son and a niece, and were pleased with performances from a number of bands.

"Barstow did very well, it was awesome," said Mike. "Everything was solid, it was a nice program and a nice concert. The junior high band was good, too, the high school will have some nice material to work with."

Hill said that he also enjoyed performance from Colton, Rialto, and Apple Valley's bands. Barstow's band performed but did not compete, as they played host.

"The Jersey Boys" was the theme of Barstow's field show this year, and the band played some of the Four Seasons' biggest hits. Four "Jersey boys" from Barstow High even rode out onto the field in a 1965 Ford Mustang and danced along on stage to the band's performance.

As the sun fell over town, a group of roughly 100 Barstonians marched from the Barstow Courthouse to the Christiansen Memorial Plaza downtown for a candlelight vigil to raise awareness about domestic violence.

The vigil traces its origins to 2001, when Barstow Resident Becky Muñoz was killed by her boyfriend and her body found dumped in a garbage can near her Santiago Desert View Estates home. In October of 2001 residents marched from Desert View to downtown in her memory and have been holding a vigil yearly ever since.

Barstow native Devin Vargas played guitar and sang in front of a slide show. A crowd gathered on the plaza with battery-operated candles.

This year's theme was "Through the eyes of a child," and three people who had entered the shelter as children spoke of the abusive situation they were in, often in other states, and how they came to the Desert Sanctuary shelter to find peace.

Rich Johnson, president of the Desert Sanctuary board, said that he was pleased with the turnout for the vigil.

"The more people are aware, the harder domestic violence is to ignore," said Johnson.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4126 or adome@desertdispatch.com