Cambria’s history will be prominently featured in the 2016 Pinedorado parade during the town’s 150th anniversary celebration on Sept. 3-5. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Past, Serve the Future.”
Preparations are already underway for the Lions Club of Cambria’s Pinedorado festival and proud procession down Main Street on Labor Day weekend.
For instance, on Sunday, Aug. 7, volunteers from Daughters of the Golden West, El Pinal Parlor No. 163, worked on their group’s historically oriented float, which is sequestered in a Cambria garage. It’s the first time in several years that the Daughters have had an entry in the parade, according to parade Chairwoman Lani Zaragoza.
On Monday, Zaragoza was scurrying fast, even though the parade was still three-plus weeks away. “We’re bringing in as much history as we can,” she said.
That day, she was finalizing the list of parade entries, confirming how many balloon arches had been sponsored (four, so far), making final arrangements for a historic flyover and being elated by the addition of many new entries, including the large Drillers high school band from Bakersfield, her hometown.
“Once a Driller, always a Driller,” she said proudly of the school’s motto.
Zaragoza won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Her new assistant, Jeff Nielsen, was shadowing Zaragoza to learn the ropes, and was collecting photos and data for a parade Facebook page he’s developing.
Zaragoza estimates there’ll be more than 60 entries in this year’s Pinedorado parade, and that doesn’t include individual elements in group entries, such as the 15 former parade queens and princesses who’ll ride in antique or collectible vehicles.
Area historian and former Pinedorado queen Dawn Dunlap expects the parade will include eight princesses, whose reigns date to 1951, and Dunlap plus six other former queens, who served starting in 1956.
The queens and princesses will be adorned with ceremonial sashes and tiaras, as befits their status, Dunlap said.
The parade starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, from the corner of Main and Bridge streets, wending from there through East and West Village.
Zaragoza said some other new entries for 2016 include:
▪ This year’s parade marshal, Marjorie Sewell, an energetic, involved 84-year-old volunteer, author, docent and San Simeon native who can outlast some people half her age.
▪ A Freedom Flight flyover by three historic planes — a Cessna 172, a Piper J-3 Cub and an Aeronca L-16 Champ — from the Estrella Warbird Museum. Zaragoza said American Legion Post No. 432 is underwriting the fuel bill for the planes. (One of the pilots in the Cessna will be Cambria’s own Ben Heaston.)
▪ Baja and Racing Formula One cars designed, fabricated, raced and financially supported by Cal Poly students.
▪ A Special Olympics float with Olympian athletes on board. Zaragoza said Ramona Voge is coordinating the entry, and the Cambria Community Services District (Jerry Gruber and Carlos Mendoza) is providing the flatbed-truck transportation.
▪ Harmony Valley Creamery’s 1957 Divco ice cream truck.
▪ Pacific Coast Wine Trail.
▪ ArtBeat afterschool program.
▪ Got Jesus Ministries.
▪ Tula Yoga.
Pinedorado certainly is more than a parade, and preparing for the fun, food and festivities takes a lot of work, too. Every Saturday from 9 to noon or later, Lions Club members and other volunteers gather to prepare the area and facilities of the Pinedorado grounds, which flanks the northwestern side of the Veterans Memorial Building property at 1000 Main St.
Nate Fearonce, who has chaired the Sunday Pinedorado Car show for a decade, was working hard Monday, Aug. 8, too. He said he was “procuring the permits … finding raffle prizes and sponsors” and putting together his teams of judges, parking people and other groups, then setting up their training sessions.
Fearonce said 140 vehicles are already entered in the show, and the cutoff is between 150 and 160. So anybody who hasn’t signed up yet better do so soon at www.pinedorado.com/carshow.htm.
The famed Pinedorado beef-and-chicken barbecue and foods sold in other booths, the Follies, the music, the shows and games, the kiddie rides — even related events on parade day, such as the AFS 5K Fun Run (7 a.m. start at Coast Union High School, 2850 Santa Rosa Creek Road) and the Joslyn Recreation Center waffle breakfast (7-10 a.m.) — they all take advance work. So, Lions and other volunteers are revving up, setting their sights on the past and the future.
Rehearsals are in full swing for the 2016 Pinedorado Follies interactive dinner theater presentation of “ ‘Joyful’ Wedding Celebration.” Tickets — $50 each, including a sit-down dinner — are available at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St. Call 927-3624.
There will be four performances (6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Sept. 4), but there are far fewer tickets available each night than for previous Follies shows — just 96 for each performance this year.