The Cambrian

It’s that time of year again: Here’s what you need to know for Cambria’s Pinedorado festival

Cambria Girl and Boy Scouts and 4H kids walk with a large American flag during last year’s Pinedorado Parade.
Cambria Girl and Boy Scouts and 4H kids walk with a large American flag during last year’s Pinedorado Parade.

Pinedorado, the Cambria Lions Club’s annual Labor Day weekend celebration, is “70 Years Strong” this year, and officially begins with the start of the annual parade at Bridge and Main streets at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1.

Main Street will close to traffic at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with traffic also limited on some intersecting streets. Public parking areas for the parade and Pinedorado are in the Rodeo Grounds Road area, just off the downtown Burton Drive curve, and on the west side of Highway 1, just south of Cambria Drive.

The Cambria Trolley is to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, although its Main Street route may be modified while the parade is going.

Besides the parade, Pinedorado includes the 12th annual car show Sunday, Locals’ Day on Monday, five nights of Follies performances and a wide variety of activities at the Pinedorado grounds throughout the three-day celebration.

Follies and more

Laborious Pinedorado preparations have been happening for months, and the celebration itself actually was to launch Wednesday night, with the first performance of the Cambria Follies show, “Showdown in Slabtown.”

The rollicking musical fable by Cambrian Randy Schwalbe has a cast of local actors and musicians for a five-performance run through Sunday, starting at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.

The Follies is returning to its zany roots as a lively, local comedy with a good-versus-evil plot that includes a show-within-a-show melodrama. The storyline is about staving off impending doom for the charming village.

“Shakedown” includes popular songs, live music by keyboardists Jeff Mar and Ron Perry, and energetic dance routines choreographed by Shirley Kirkes-Mar.

Tickets are $25 plus service fee for general seating, available at They’re also available at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St.

Some other annual activities also precede the Pinedorado parade and festivities:

• At 7 a.m. Saturday, registration starts for the yearly 5K fun run at the high school, 2950 Santa Rosa Creek Road. The race, which benefits the school’s American Field Service Program for foreign-exchange students, starts at 7:45 a.m. and follows the Main Street parade route. Cost is $20 including a T-shirt or $15 without. For details, call AFS advisor Sharon Bisso at 805-995-1432.

• The traditional waffle breakfast at the Joslyn Recreation Center, 950 Main St., also starts at 7 a.m., ending about 10. The menu includes waffles, strawberries, sausage, melon, coffee and juice. Mimosas are available for an additional $5. Tickets, $10, are available at the center, 950 Main St., and the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St. Phone 805-927-3364 for details.

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From left, during an Aug. 7 rehearsal for the 2018 Pinedorado Follies show, Darien Jewel (who portrays Hero in show-in-a-show melodrama) reacts to the sudden reappearance of ‘Villain’, played by Kirk Henning, as the still-tied-up heroine Praline (MaryAnn Grau) waits for a kiss from the Hero who had saved her from the evil Villain. Meanwhile, some other members of the cast share Hero’s dismay at the latest twist and turn in the script. The show runs Aug. 29 through Sept. 2. Kathe Tanner


As usual, this year’s Pinedorado parade down Main Street will include the usual assortment of hijinks, music, entertainment and laughter with floats, kids, flowers, animals, nonprofit groups, businesses, first responders, bands and other musical groups, clowns, all sorts of vehicles (including antiques) and more.

An expected highlight (weather permitting) will be a “Freedom Flight” flyover of planes from the Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles.

According to parade chairman Jeff Neilsen, the planes’ arrival time above Main Street will depend on when (if) the fog lifts enough.

Parade awards will be handed out at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pinedorado grounds, between the Joslyn center and the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.

Trophy categories for 2018 are sweepstakes, parade theme, best youth entry and judges’ special recognition.

This year, ribbons will be awarded for first-place winners only. The categories are: decorated commercial float; decorated non-commercial float (adult and junior); equestrian group; marching band musical; antique auto (single and group); decorated vehicle; and special novelty (adult and junior).

For parade details, go to

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The Cambria Farmers Market float in the Pinedorado Parade featured participants dessed as fruits and vegetables. Laura Dickinson


The Pinedorado grounds open at 11 a.m. each day, and activities include old-time games in booths manned by nonprofit volunteers, a bounce house, face painting, garden-club plant sale, raffle with more than 100 prizes and daylong creation of murals by art teacher Suzette Morrow, her students and volunteers.

Raffle funds support Lions Club causes and local nonprofits and charities.

And don’t forget the much-loved photo ops at the traditional kiddie train and car rides.

Pinedorado food is another cherished part of the tradition, especially the always popular top-sirloin-and-chicken barbecue dinners. Nonprofits man the booths that sell burgers, hot dogs, Linn’s pie a la mode, ice cream, cotton candy, popcorn, corn on the cob, nachos and sweets. Local beer and wine are available, as are non-alcoholic beverages.

Live entertainment is planned for all three Pinedorado days, including Jukebox Heroes from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Voodoo Lounge all day for Sunday’s car show, and Jill Knight Band from 1 to 4 p.m. on Locals Day Monday. Artbeat Dancers/Folklorica will perform at 11 a.m. Monday at the new Pinedorado Bandstand.

The Joslyn center will have bingo from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

But perhaps the best parts of Pinedorado for locals are the chance encounters, reunions between friends and get-acquainted opportunities.

Pinedorado Parade
Ronette Sutherland of Colorado gets into the Pinedorado spirit with Rocco, an 8-year-old Chihuahua. Laura Dickinson

12th annual car show

This year’s car show on Sunday will include 27 competitive classes of vehicles and bikes, 11 special awards (including best of show), plus a silent auction, 50/50 cash raffle, product raffle and a grand prize.

There’ll be live music during the car show.

There’s no charge to attend.

Mark Wahls7@2017
One of the vintage automobiles entered in the 2017 Pinedorado Car Show. Mark Wahls

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