Founders Tea opens COLONY DAYS

Colony Days Queen and King Jeanne and Lamon Colvin, second and third from left, are formally introduced to the public at the 41st Colony Days Founders Tea at Atascadero Bible Church on Saturday. (Photo by Elizabeth Enriquez-Phillips)

Quota International of Atascadero held its 41st Colony Days Founders Tea at Atascadero Bible Church on Sept. 30, kicking off this week’s Colony Days celebration. Last year’s Colony Days Queen Doris Reynolds crowned 2018 Queen Jeanne Colvin and last year’s King Ed Chidlaw pinned a badge on Lamon Colvin to take over the reign. Grand Marshal for 2017, Jerry Tanimoto, handed his role to Bob Brown.

The Colony Tea, exclusive to those 55 and older who have been in Atascadero for at least 40 years, is an opportunity to revel in days gone by for the guests, who take turns sharing stories as well as hearing from the royals. It’s also a chance to reflect on the civic life they built for and with each other. Frank Sanchez and Judy Harris, royalty emeritus from 2016, returned for something a little different this year, the aptly named Mudhole Follies, with selections from their original show in 1976. Nostalgic even at the time, with radio shows and samples of entertainment pre-television, the follies sang, danced and performed a soapbox radio skit.

The audience inside the ABC auditorium included many who recalled the days when the building was the town’s formal community center complete with a swimming pool — and home to summer shenanigans — and several who’d gotten married in that very room decades before. Accepting his role as Grand Marshal for the year, Brown recalled that it was his wife Sue who found them a home in town while he was working in radio. She reassured him that he’d love the location. Despite being off a dirt road, it was only 15 minute from work.

“She was right,” he said. “I fell in love with Atascadero, the people here offer friendship...they don’t act snobbish. I do love Atascadero,” to which someone in the crowd responded, “Atascadero loves you!”

The Tent City After Dark fundraiser kicks off Colony Days for the rest of the public at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 with a “Whiskerino” contest.



The 45th annual celebration of Atascadero and its beginning will take place on Saturday, Oct. 6. The weekend kicks off with with Tent City After Dark on Friday, Oct. 5. The Friday event includes a concert with music by Carolina Story, Hilary & Kate, Wood and Toro Creek Ramblers; Whiskerino and five-pound burger contests; food vendors and beer and wine. “Tent City After Dark is an amazing combination of good music and an incredible setting,”Colony Days President Karen McNamara said. “Once the sun sets, the tents and hanging lanterns glow as they did in the original Tent City.” Tickets are on sale now for Tent City After Dark on the website. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Each ticket includes a drink ticket. Atascadero was formed in 1913 when E.G. Lewis purchased the land that makes up Atascadero for $1 million from the United States Army. The town was the first planned community in California. The first building constructed was the Printery, which housed Lewis’ printing businesses. He enticed people to move to Atascadero from places around the United States and Europe via his publications and mailed information. The historic re-enactment of 1916 Tent City shows off what life could have been like for those who lived in Tent City, which was located in the area where Bank of America is now. The re-enactment takes place after the parade on Saturday until 4 p.m. and part of Tent City will be open on Friday during Tent City After Dark. In Tent City, visitors will be able to taste fresh apple cider or core an apple, wash laundry the old-fashioned way, watch a blacksmith in action and so much more. Outside of Tent City, Heilmann Dog Park will host its annual Dogtoberfest, which includes races for wiener dogs and small dogs and pet costume contest in the other half of Sunken Gardens. There will also be amusements, vendors, food, beer, wine and entertainment in around Sunken Gardens.

Schedule of events for Friday, Oct. 5 • 4:30 p.m.: “Slacker” Whiskerino contest registration ($5) • 4:30 to 9 p.m.: Parade packet pick up near the entrance to Tent City After Dark concert • 4:30 to 10 p.m.: Food & beverage sales • 4:30 p.m.: Toro Creek Ramblers • 5 p.m.: Five-pound burger eating contest sponsored by Sylvester’s Burgers • 5:15 p.m.: Whiskerino contest prejudging • 5:45 p.m.: Whiskerino contest begins • 6 p.m.: Wood • 7:15 p.m.: Hilary & Kate • 8:30 p.m.: Carolina Story

Schedule of events for Saturday, Oct. 6 • 7 to 9 a.m.: Lions Club Pancake breakfast • 8 a.m.: Pick up parade packets in the parking lot of CoastHills • 10 a.m.: Colony Days Parade begins at Golden China on El Camino Real


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