Arts and Culture

los altos hills hoedown



When the clock struck three on Sept. 10, the Westwind Community Barn was magically transformed into a lively, buzzing haven bedecked with hay bales, caramel apples, and various fall decorations. Vibrant bouquets of sunflowers and baskets of fruits offered a reprieve of color against a backdrop of autumn ochre. The sultry air was filled with laughter, chatter, and live
bluegrass music.

As parents tasted wine and treated themselves to the barbeque, children hurried to create as many crafts as they could in the four hours of joy that constituted the annual Los Altos
Hills Hoedown.

Every year, a Los Altos Hills organization and a group of volunteers host the Hoedown at the Westwind Barn. It’s a fall-themed event meant for the entire community to enjoy and cherish together. The Hoedown features a vast array of activities and displays, ranging from soap-making to scarecrow dolls, in addition to an assortment of booths operated by perpetually-smiling, passionate people.

“I love repping the local honey business,” said beekeeper Kendall Sager, who stood behind a table displaying jars of honey, bath bombs, and lip balms. “It’s just getting more involved in my own community.”

Other booth-operators had different motives. Scott Vanderlip, a seasoned chicken-owner, aimed to promote his recently set up Tour de Coop, a biking tour around the backyard chicken coops of the Bay Area.

“There’s a lot more backyard-chicken-owners and people that want to be be backyard-chicken-owners than you think,” Vanderlip said.

Some did it for the sole purpose of spreading happiness. John Mendez, a member of the Silicon Valley Leathercraft Guild, ran a booth where children engraved designs into leather strips.

“To see the twinkle in the little kids’ eyes and a big smile, to see the confidence that they get from doing the leather… that just hits my heart,”
said Mendez.

All three of these people, and the groups that they represented, achieved their goals. The last one particularly resonated with me as I walked around and saw little kids beaming with delight at their new trinkets.

“I think that it’s really amazing for the whole Los Altos Hills community to get together in one place and share their happiness,” said former Pinewood student Mayu Alten. “We should do this more often.”

Undoubtedly, the Hoedown made a positive impact on our community. The cozy barn gave everybody the opportunity to interact with each other, bringing us into one close-knit family.

Through this event, I personally was able to meet two new people and become closer with a friend who had recently grown distant.

It truly is phenomenal to see how much can go down at a hoedown.