Scenes from Poppy Festival 2012

The Bubble Fun Pool was a hit with youngsters at the 21st Annual California Poppy Festival.

LANCASTER – Thousands of people descended on Lancaster City Park Saturday for the 21st Annual California Poppy Festival.

The festival grounds, which covered 35 acres, offered more than 400 vendors, four stages of live entertainment, a children’s carnival, exotic animal encounters, a classic car show, a farmers markets, the Taste of Lancaster and more.

The two new features of this year’s Poppy Festival – Ziplining and the traveling shark exhibit – were crowd favorites.

Squeals filled the air as residents, young and old, were strapped into a harness high above the ground and glided through the air and onto the softball field on the north end of the park.

Meanwhile, families flocked to the shark tent in droves for a look at the only traveling shark show in the United States.

Well over 75 people attended the 10-minute show at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Theme music from the 1970s film “Jaws” blasted through loud speakers to signal the start of the show. The hydraulic door to the 7,000 gallon tank opened, and smoke billowed out to applause from the audience.

When the smoke cleared, four large nurse sharks were swimming around the tank. The diver, who identified himself as Phillip Peters, gave a humorous introduction to the sharks and even got some help from a volunteer in the audience.

Then Peters went into the tank to swim with the sharks. There were loud gasps from the audience, as Peters interacted with several of the sharks.

He embraced one large shark and danced around with the shark, which the announcer said was the “Dancing with the Sharks” routine. He also simulated the playing of a guitar on the stomach of another large shark in the tank.

When Peters finally left the tank he was greeted with loud applause from the audience.

“I made it out another day,” he said to the audience.

The traveling shark exhibit also allowed featured shark teeth, shark jaws of different sizes, and information on sharks.

The announcer explained to the audience that the sharks in Saturday’s exhibit were rescue sharks and could not be released into the ocean. If the sharks were not in the traveling exhibit, they would have to be euthanized, the announcer said.

The 21st Annual California Poppy Festival continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For many more scenes from the Poppy Festival, visit our facebook page.

  1 comment for “Scenes from Poppy Festival 2012

  1. Elaine
    April 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Did you attend the festival this year Ace C??

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