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Isaac Gayton gets a yoyo lesson from Tom Von Allmen during the Monarch Butterfly Festival, Nov. 2. (Photo by Chris Frost)
Thursday, November 8, 2018

By Chris Frost



The Huenemean Bohemian Artist Melting Pot Ministry played host to the Annual Monarch Butterfly Festival in Oxnard, Nov. 3, and was full of music, kite flying, art, and fun for everyone.

The event supports monarch butterflies in the community, which used to be commonplace but are starting to disappear.

Pastor Nancy Cozza said the wildfires had decreased the Monarch Butterfly population by a significant amount.

“We normally have over 200 Monarchs flying around now,” she said. “We have two pair mating, and they are in the tree over there. They’ll either stay here for the winter or will keep migrating to the south.”

Part of the fun was a yo-yo display by Tom Von Allmen or Tom Von the Yo-Yo Man, who showed off lots of tricks, including walk the dog and the Ferris Wheel to the appreciative crowd. He’s been doing tricks with his yo-yo for 60 years.

The highlight of his performance was when he invited Isaac Gayton up for a class who said it was his first time with a yo-yo and had a great time.

“I always wanted to buy a yo-yo, but I wasn’t good at it,” he said.

Mom Heidi Gayton said she heard about the event and wanted to check it out.

“I had a yo-yo when I was a kid,” she said. “That was our toy; if he wants to learn, he should take his time. Once you get the tricks down, it’s fun, and people will be impressed.”

Isaac plans to enjoy food and enter the kite contest.

“We have to go pick up his kite,” Heidi said.

Jessica Lamb brought her daughter Isabella to the event, and the two wanted to support the Monarch Butterflies.

“My grandma is here, and we need to support the butterflies,” Isabella said. “I already got my face painted with glitter.”

Jessica did pick for the raffle going on at the event, which included prizes purchased by the Melting Pot Ministry and are all art related sets, including two easels, palettes watercolor and acrylic with pencils, and charcoal. One had an art board paper.

Artist Dennis O’Leary had his “Turn Guns into Spoons and Feed the Poor" painting on display.

“This has been very popular and the painting I’ve had to redo a few times because it sold,” he said. “It was an idea to bring peace instead of guns and violence. We need to feed the poor, that should be the theme.”

O’Leary is a local schoolteacher and trustee for Oxnard Elementary.

“I tell people that I am the person that I hate,” he said.

Artist Robin said the butterflies are all about the kids.

“They migrate here,” she said. “Sometimes I use pictures and sometimes I do them by imagination. It depends on my mood. It doesn’t look like I am going to paint today. I am going to let the kids have some fun.”

Artist Noe Estrella flew in from Hawaii and thought the art was incredible.

“You can see all the rich history around us,” she said. “Nancy (Cozza) and Roberto Garcia headline this and they’ve done a great job bringing awareness and art to one single place. It’s history, and it's great.”