The 46th Annual Colony Days Parade will return to the streets of Atascadero on Saturday, October 4 at 10 a.m. featuring a colorful array of floats, marching bands, equestrian entries, vehicle entries, community organizations and more. The parade begins at 10 a.m. with the parade route beginning near the Adobe Plaza on El Camino Real and marching north along ECR and then east on West Mall, ending just past City Hall.
The following entries are expected to be some of the highlights of this year’s parade:
Atascadero Community Church
The Atascadero Community Church, winner of last year’s Sweepstakes Award for their circus-themed float featuring a Ford F150 dressed up as an elephant and pulling a big top tent, will be back this year with a new float to wow their fellow Atascaderans.
This time the pull vehicle will be made up to look like a sailboat and will be pulling a giant “wave” filled with children from the community who will be playing the part of surfers. Float organizer David May said that the float will have 31 spots available for passengers and any children in the community who would like to ride in the parade sign up for a spot by calling him at 805-466-8610 or by calling the Community Church at 805-466-9108. All passengers will be required to have a signed parental consent form.
“A parade is supposed to be fun and it’s supposed to be for kids,” May said. “Every kid in Atascadero who wants to be in the parade should be able to and we should make it fun and inclusive.”
May said that the float will also feature a big smiling sun and the music of the Beach Boys. May organize the float-building efforts and several members of the church pitch in to help bring it to life.
“It’s a lot of work for three hours but if some kid gets some joy out of it, that’s the cool part,” he said.
Escuela Del Rio
Escuela Del Rio is well known for their elaborate and artfully designed floats at the Colony Days Parade and their entry is always one of the most highly-anticipated. Past entries have included a vehicle full of minions from the movie “Despicable Me,” and a giant, steaming volcano.
The group has one numerous awards for past parade entries including the Judge’s Award last year. They have also one the parade’s biggest honor, the Sweepstakes Award, multiple times including in 2017, 2014, 2012 and 2011.
For this year’s parade, Escuela Del Rio will be woring on building a float that highlights the many wonderful locations on the Central Coast as you cruise Highway 1.
“Escuela del Rio enjoys supporting Atascadero’s Colony Days and appreciate all the support we get from our great community,” said Program Director Eric Saloum.
As of press time, marching bands confirmed for the parade included Atascadero High School Greyhound Marching Band and the Paso Robles High School Bearcat Marching Band.
The AHS Marching Band will play “Carry On My Wayward Son,” by Kansas. Drum majors Liliana Garcia and Kiana Lambert will lead the marching band along with drum captain Benjamin Chester. The band is under the direction of Nate Conrad.
The PRHS Marching band will march in a combined band with members from the city’s two middle schools, led by PRHS band director Aimee Ware, assisted by Sonny Galvan, director of the Flamson and Lewis Middle School bands. Emily Plale will lead the color guard and Justin Butcher will lead the percussion section. The combined band will present their street march, “Let’s Get Loud!”
Atascadero High School Greybots robotics team members will be riding on a float in the parade along with mentors, parents and their World Champion robot Fireball. The robot helped the Greybots win the FIRST World Championships robotics competition in Houston, Texas earlier this year. The Greybots served as team captains for an alliance of four California teams. The Greybots now hold the elite status of teams that have won three World Championship titles and they will automatically be invited back next year.
They Greybots manufactured 90 percent of the parts used to assemble Fireball at their shop at Atascadero High School.
The team is currently practicing for its off-season competitions with one scheduled for September 27-29 and other for November 8-10. The teams competition season will kick off on January 4, 2020.
Team members will be selling raffle tickets at the Colony Days Parade for a chance to win one of two $500 VISA gift cards. All funds raised will go toward the teams trip to the 2020 World Championships in Houston.
Friends of the Atascadero Library
The Friends of the Atascadero Library will debut the community star dancers and choreographers for the 2020 Atascadero’s Dancing With Our Stars event, dancing along the parade route in a choreographed routine.
Next year’s show is set for March 26-28 and will benefit seven local nonprofit organizations including the Atascadero Library, Atascadero Performing Arts Center Committee, Central Coast Dance Foundation, Atascadero Police K9 Foundation, Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo, North County Economic Foundation and Templeton Community
Following the dancers will be Barry Lewis driving his vintage Jeep, carrying event producer Jeannie Malik, show director Molly Comeen and 2015-18 show director Frank Sanchez.
The theme for the 2019 show will be “Prime Time Atascadero: Season 11” and will highlight popular TV shows past and present.