Mother Nature smiled on the Lions Club of Cambria’s three-day Pinedorado celebration in Cambria, and so did the event’s visitors.
There were warm sunny days, little wind and picturesque clouds in a bright blue sky. No fog, no cold, no drizzle over the Labor Day weekend.
Then add: The return of writer-director-producer Peggy Christianson to a well-received Cambria Follies revue; the largest Pinedorado car show ever; a big mural created square-by-square by attendees (many of the artists were children); live music in the parade, at the car show and on Monday; and substantially increased attendance and sales.
The end result is elated (if exhausted) Lions Club members and happy volunteers from other participating nonprofit groups. Most business owners reported steady-to-good sales over the four-day, end-of-summer hurrah, and some called the weekend’s business record-setting.
“Our preliminary Pinedorado numbers are fabulous,” said event Chairman Greg Wilson. “We feel we set a record for smiles, and that translates down to our bottom line. This was probably the best year in recent memory … Everything did great. We sold out at the barbecue,” and other foods, T-shirts and Cambria Garden Club’s plants also sold well. Game booths and the historic mini rides were busy, too.
The colorful community mural will be installed in the Cambria Skate Park, according to Lions Club President Andy Zinn. He said he feels the 2013 Pinedorado “was the best one in years, and it brought an incredible amount of business to town.”
Andy Loveless of Cambria, who donates to just about every North Coast charity, according to Zinn, won the 55-inch flat-screen TV in the raffle.
Pinedorado proceeds go to Lions Club philanthropies and scholarships, and to the nonprofit groups that help the Lions put on the festivities.
“Vacation: The Musical” was — as Christianson explained during the show’s introduction — designed to answer the question, “If you live in paradise, where do you go on vacation?”
The five shows were sellouts, or close to it.
Innovative LED technology provided quick-change, fluid-motion sets on a giant computer-monitor screen. Christianson created a show full of music, comedy, slapstick, puns, inside jokes and nostalgia-triggering songs and dance.
But some moments likely will stick in their memory banks for a long time:
• Ed Steele as a touchy-feelie TSA agent;
• A roadside sign indicating the distance to “Chip Seal";
• Mark O’Bryan’s Jamaican attitude;
• Cesar Viveros and Alex Zaragoza dealing with casino hazards;
• Karla Newman’s sunburn;
• Susan Hay’s romance, scooter and passenger;
• Renee Linn’s gym exercise routine;
• Al Curtice’s rousingly melodic “My Kind of Town”;
• And all six stars in Jay Burbank’s mini-cars traveling home along the “Country Road,” which was, of course, Highway 1 through Cambria.
Zinn called Christianson’s Follies “a phenomenal phenomenon. People say they can’t wait for next year.”
Pinedorado’s cornerstone parade, at about 45 minutes, was shorter than it had been in recent years. Some entrants that had participated for years were among the missing, but there were a variety of reasons why.
Greg Sanders said that the U.S. Marine Corps band couldn’t perform due to the federal sequestration, even though Cambria’s American Legion Post No. 432 covers all travel and other expenses for the group.
Sanders said, “If the federal government gets its fiscal house in order, the band may be back next year.”
Some members of other previously participating groups were in Cambria anyway for the 2013 Pinedorado, even though they weren’t in the parade.
Tom Beal at Caren’s Corner said some members of the Santa Monica Drum Corps stopped by his store (where the four-day sales were up 21 percent over last year, he reported).
Beal told the drummers he’d missed seeing them perform in the parade. They were “tickled that I’d recognized them,” Beal said, but “they told me they’re just getting too old to take that long walk, beating on the drums the whole way.”
The always popular multi-unit Grizzly Youth Academy marching entry won the Pinedorado Parade Sweepstakes award.
Cambria Garden Club’s “Garden Gals Roar” entry won the theme award, and the Cambria Scouts float won the Youth Entry award and special novelty junior award.
The escorts to the American Legion Color Guard won special recognition.
Among other top winners were: Cambria Canine Warriors, special novelty adult; Covell’s Clydesdales, horse-drawn vehicle; Slabtown Rollers, non-musical drill team; Linn’s, decorated commercial float; Rotary Club, decorated non-commercial float; and Newcomers Club, marching musical unit.
Downtown Cambria streets were packed with parkers (or those who wanted to be) on Sunday, especially from Tamson Drive to Kent Street.
According to show Chairman Nate Fearonce, there were 156 entries displayed in the parking lot and in front of the Veterans Memorial Building, as well as along Cambria Drive (which was closed for the day).
“It’s one of the best car shows on the Central Coast,” said Zinn.
Among award recipients were:
Best of Show: Michael Botzon, Santa Cruz. Violet 1941 Willys Street rod, which also won for best engine.
Best paint: Mike Boyer, Paso Robles. Yellow 1932 Ford coupe hot rod with elaborate flames.
Best interior: Shirley Szesko, Lake Havasu, Ariz. 1934 Dodge custom. (Szesko was likely the entrant who came the farthest to participate in the show, Fearonce said.)
Lions President’s Award: Gail Robinette, Cambria, turquoise 1956 Ford T-bird.