The Parade now takes place on the FIRST Saturday in October, and the theme is ‘Mudhole Follies’

Atascadero’s 45th annual community celebration of the city’s founding will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 6, which is a change from past years when it was held on the third Saturday of the month.
“We moved Colony Days forward to the first weekend in October in an attempt to avoid poor weather conditions,” Colony Days Committee Chairwoman Karen McNamara said. “The past two years have brought rain during Colony Days, which makes it unpleasant for everyone who attends and brings great challenges to all the vendors and participants.”
This year’s theme is Mudhole Follies, a play from Atascadero’s nickname and entertainment from the period of the early 1900s. A folly is silly or foolish. Around the turn of the 20th century, there were the Folies Bergere in Paris, which was well known for cabaret. Cabaret is what made the flies popular, but it began with comic opera, popular songs and gymnastics.
With those in mind, the committee came up with a logo depicting a strong man, a woman on a tightrope and a man on a penny-farthing. Some parade entry ideas include
“We want to have fun. Follies is about silly, being foolish and we want to do that on as large scale as possible, but also being responsible,” Colony Days Committee Vice President Nic Mattson said. “The purpose of Colony Days is to bring the community together and celebrate each other and Atascadero. This year we want to do this with the spirit of silliness and fun.”
Some ideas for parade entries include:

  • Dressing up in silly costumes
  • Playing unusual instruments, such as a pots and pans band, a kazoo band, recorder band, keytar band
  • Lots of balloons
  • Silly dancing and entertainment
  • Vaudeville-esque floats
  • Dress up as a prominent community leader, both past and present
  • Juggling, circus-related fun

This past year marked the first year that the Tent City re-enactment was held in Sunken Gardens. It was brought out of its usual location along Atascadero Creek because of construction underway during the event for the pedestrian bridge. Tent City was successful in Sunken Gardens and will be held there again in 2018.
“[This year’s] event in the Sunken Gardens was an experiment that yielded a lot of great pluses,” Tent City director Dianne Greenaway said. “[Tent City] became the visual core of the Sunken Gardens celebration, making us easy to find, the ‘city square’ lent itself to a lovely feeling of community for our little Tent City, lending it to just hanging out.”
The committee has begun working on the 2018 event and all those in the community are invited to help plan and execute the community event. Those who would like to be involved in the committee and in other ways, sign up for our volunteer email list, which can be found on the event’s website,
Parade and vendor applications are currently being accepted and are available on the organization’s website.
Colony Days is produced and operated by an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization, and business and community sponsors are needed to make this event possible each year.
To find out more about being a sponsor, go to, or email