Dignitaries gathered on a cement area of Hesperia Civic Park as the Hesperia High School band entertained the audience with patriotic songs.


While the star of this week's dedication ceremony a 33-foot-high energy-producing wind turbine was uncharacteristically still in the calm, blue sky, the presence of the new turbine created quite a stir.


"It's the first one in America installed in a park like this," said George Stanford, a longtime real estate developer who spearheaded the turbine's donation to the city.


Powered by Hesperia's generous supply of wind, the turbine provides enough energy to light numerous light fixtures in the park, which has become a main attraction in the city's civic center. Contrary to the older, taller and louder models seen along Interstate 10 to Palm Springs, the one at the park is virtually noise-free and is about the same height as the park's light posts.


And they're built solid.


"This machine is tested at 141 miles per hour wind speed," Stanford said. "Your house will blow over before it's going to fall."


The wind turbine was donated by Stanford, fellow Hesperia businessmen Dr. Jintau Two and Dale Bowen and Hi-Grade Materials. City Manager Mike Podegracz, who acted as event emcee, noted the city actually paid $1 to affirm the business deal.


Mayor Thurston "Smitty" Smith said the unit transformed "clean wind energy into affordable electric energy."


According to Stanford, the installation of such wind energy systems will help offset the estimated 700 million tons of carbon dioxide that is put into the atmosphere every 12 months.


"Our goal is to put one of these behind every house in America," Stanford said.