San Benito Lifestyle

Village comes out to play

More than 5,000 people attend annual Aromas Day celebration.
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Every year, Aromas residents gather to celebrate who they are. With a crowd estimated at upwards of 5,000, Aromas Day started off on Aug. 26 with a hearty breakfast at the grange, followed by music, dancing, vendors, rides, a petting zoo and a parade in the downtown area.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles organizes the event for the small town in which community is very important.

“It’s the best day for Aromas to come together, it is like one big neighborhood party,” said Leslie Austin, longtime resident and chairwoman of the 2018 event. “Everyone has fun. It is about community coming together to do good work on behalf of kids.”

Proceeds from Aromas Day are expected to go to several youth organizations including local Boy Scouts and 4-H groups that had booths onsite. A suggested parking donation of $5 was used by the Aromas School’s Home and School Club to send sixth-graders to science camp.

The children’s area was a hotspot during Aromas Day with carnival rides, pony rides and a petting zoo. Evelyn and Sophia, grade schoolers from San Jose visiting with their grandparents, said they liked the petting zoo the most. Watsonville-based Estrellas Esperanzas Dancers entertained visitors in the children’s area.

On the main stage, musician Noé Yaocoatl Montoya told the folktale “La Llorona (the Weeping Woman),” before singing a love song to her. Local blues band Steve Troop Group played on the Old Firehouse Store stage. Asked if he has fun, Steve’s robust reply was “absolutely.”

Vendors offered a wide range of goods, from clothing to food, vinyl records to artwork, jewelry, religious artifacts and much more.

Anna, a senior citizen from Gilroy, spoke to BenitoLink while waiting for the parade to start. She attends Aromas Day every year with her husband.

“Every year it gets more interesting, they add on to it,” she said.

Except for an emergency run to the grange for toilet paper to restock the porta potties, the day went off without a glitch.



Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.