HESPERIA Hesperians turned out in force to party during the 63rd annual Hesperia Days weekend.


It was a night of firsts on Friday night, when the Wranglers Championship Gymkhana kicked off the event at the Hesperia Park and Recreation District's new equestrian center at Hesperia Lake Park. Meanwhile, the district threw the first American Heroes Dance at the Percy Bakker Center.


The Hesperia Days 5k Run, Walk & Skate race almost doubled in numbers Saturday morning, with more than 1,000 participants pre-registered to participate, up from 652 last year and 470 the year before.


Participants ranged from high school sports teams and committed athletes to families pushing strollers and running with the family dog.


No sooner had the racers cleared Main Street than dozens of entries in the annual Kiwanis Hesperia Days Parade took over, performing for a crowd of hundreds.


The action moved back to Hesperia Lake Park after that, for the American Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and fireworks Saturday night.


The Hesperia Days celebration has been held annually since 1948.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.