If Cambria’s Pinedorado was a working person, the three-day festival would be just past retirement age. But organizers insist that the 66th annual introduction-to-fall celebration will be better than ever, with lots of old favorites plus some new activities for the young and young-at-heart.
Some traditions remain unchanged, of course: the Saturday morning parade Aug. 30, the games of chance for all ages, the Sunday car show, the Monday “locals day,” the “haven’t seen you in years!” socialization opportunities, the renowned beef and chicken barbecue, the charming track rides for little ones, and so much more.
The Pinedorado Follies revue, “Vacation: The Musical 2” will be onstage at the vets hall Wednesday, Aug. 27 through Sunday, Aug. 31. Tickets are available at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St.
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Zoo to You of Paso Robles is set to bring its animal ambassadors to the Pinedorado grounds Saturday at 2 and 4 p.m., according to Pinedorado Chairman Greg Wilson.
Andy Zinn, president of the sponsoring Lions Club, wrote in an Aug. 7 email interview that other changes begin even before the celebration itself does, when members of the Coast Union High School football team dig in to “do the heavy lifting this year” during set-up and tear-down.
“The team will get service hours and a much-needed donation from the Lions Club.” He asks community members to support the teams by going to all their games.
Sales of raffle tickets have begun, he said, spurred perhaps by this year’s top prize of four Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland, two nights’ lodging and $200.
Tickets, $1 each, can be purchased from Lions Club members. Zinn expects to have the usual array of about 200 prizes. “It’s great that everybody can play, and so many do win. Everyone loves to win a prize the generosity of the town’s businesses is incredible.”
Proceeds go directly into the community, Zinn said.
And some people send us “very lovely checks every year to support certain aspects of Pinedorado,” Wilson said. “However, those donors insist on remaining anonymous.”
The Bud Goff Food Court booths will be stocked to the hilt, as usual, Zinn said, including Bud’s 800 freshly handmade, never-frozen, burgers.
New to the array at the cookie booth will be Centrally Grown’s house-made sugar and chocolate-chip cookies.
A popular beverage, too, will be localized. “Aaron Wharton, owner of Cambria Beer, is making us a Pinedorado Pale Ale,” Zinn said. “He is currently finishing his dry hop process to be ready just in time for Pinedorado.”
Free Revell make-and-take models of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ F18 plane will be available for youngsters at the Sunday car show.
Some recent Pinedorado additions will continue, Zinn said.
“The Nerf Shooting Gallery will be back for a second year. What a big hit it was last year!” he said.
Also, school art teacher Suzette Morrow will lead youths in painting the free art mural, which is to serve as the backdrop for the Monday concerts, with Jill Knight in the Pub, followed by the Julian Temple Band.
“Last year, people didn’t want to go home,” Zinn recalled.
In an oblique hint, the Lion’s president concluded that “the parade is going to start out with some extra color this year,” but he wouldn’t elaborate on what that would be.
Pinedorado water use: No changes planned
According to Greg Wilson, Pinedorado chairman, there are no plans to cancel or modify any of the three-day festival’s events in response to the drought, as some Cambrians have asserted should be done.
“As an event, we don’t use a lot of water,” Wilson said, because there aren’t any water-intensive events or uses. “We sell soda and beer. We bring in from 15 to 20 porta-potties,” courtesy of Harvey’s Honey Huts.
Wilson said people would be in Cambria with or without Pine-dorado. “Labor Day weekend is a holiday. You can’t cancel that. And people love to come to our village and enjoy the cool breezes.”
Andy Zinn, president of the sponsoring Lions Club, agreed.
Many of the visitors Saturday, when the crowds are most intense, are county residents who “come for the day for the parade, go to Pinedorado, do some shopping, and then go home,” Zinn said. “They’re not using a lot of water, either. Most of our parade entrants come for the day. And many of the Shriners stay in their motor homes, and spend the weekend at Pinedorado, visiting Cambria’s businesses, going to restaurants, ice cream stores and little shops.”
As he’s been recruiting raffle-prize donations from local businesses, Zinn added, many owners have told him, “You can’t cancel Pinedorado. It’s Cambria. It represents our town.”