“The parade and car show led our Pinedorado to another record success,” festival chairman Greg Wilson said Tuesday, Sept. 8, although because the Lions Club’s financial tallying wasn’t yet complete, he couldn’t give statistics.
Mother Nature helped, too, with warm, sparkling summer weather for the club’s 67th annual Labor Day carnival.
As usual, the parade kicked things off, with balloon arches, lively marching bands, cars old and new, horses and riders, Broncos, floats, dancers, marchers, clowns, Peter Pan pups, first responders, flowers, lots of bubbles floating in the air and nearly as many flags waving. (See Page 31 for a list of winning entries.)
It was “one of the best Pinedorado parades ever,” according to Terry Farrell of Cambria. He (and others) credited the 2015 event’s chairperson, Lani Zaragoza, for the success.
What could have been a tragic accident prompted a prolonged parade slowdown, after Dianne Brooke tried unsuccessfully to jump aboard a float, and the trailer carrying the Rough House band ran over her leg. While Brooke is bruised and multihued, apparently nothing broke but the float’s railing.
“When the parade ended,” Wilson said, “our grounds were packed. The entire weekend.” So were most motels, shops, restaurants … and Cambria streets, as many drivers discovered when they tried to make mid-day treks from one end of the village to the other.
Pinedorado’s top raffle prizes were won by: Mel Ukestad, Florida/Bahamas cruise vacation; Joe Korpiel of Cambria, $500 cash; and D. and C. Davenport, who also won $500.
Three radio stations broadcast from the parade or grounds over the weekend: Cambria’s own KTEA 103.5, KCJZ “Bob-FM” 105.3, and KSTT “Coast” 101.3.
Wilson reported that Pinedorado’s food concessions sold about “1,000 burgers, and we still sold out three hours early. Sharkey Warrick put on another amazingly great barbecue, going through 800 pounds of beef and at least 400 chicken halves. Dave and Joe Sassaman sold a record amount of beer” from Cambria Beer Company and Tap-It Beer from San Luis Obispo.
“Nancy Taylor set all kinds of records in the game booths, in terms of games played and prizes won,” Wilson reported.
Sunday’s car show was a success, too, according to chairman Nate Fearonce. Even though some entrants didn’t show up, their spots were quickly filled by last-minute applicants who did.
Elah McKinney, 5, daughter of Farrell and Ashley McKinney of Cambria, served as the trophy girl.
But turnabout was fair this year, and the community surprised Fearonce with his own award “in appreciation for your many years of outstanding work, dedication and contribution to the Cambria Community.”
A couple of Pinedorado peeps were sorely missed, however.
“We sure missed the Follies and Peggy Christianson,” Wilson said. “What an amazing time that was, with her incredibly professional productions!” The Lions hope to offer a show next year.
Also missed was Mel McColloch, Cambria Chamber of Commerce president, Cambria’s Citizen of the Year and an American Legion Post No. 432 stalwart who’s usually in the parade in his military jeep.
The Korean War veteran was recovering from recent surgery to his combat-injured back and neck, and he didn’t have clearance from his doctor to attend the festivities, let alone ride in the parade.
So, post-parade part of the flag-waving procession went to an astonished McColloch at home, with Legion members carrying the cardboard Mel replica that had stood in for him in the parade.