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31st Annual Raymond Parade

RAYMOND – Are you ready for some classic family fun, foothills-style? Raymond style? Come to the historic town of Raymond celebrate the Raymond Parade and Family Fun Days.

Click on images to enlarge.

Right now, busy hands are at work building floats, polishing rides, baking treats and doing all of the other important tasks required to properly prepare for this kind of pageantry.

The Raymond Parade steps off at High Noon in town, where people line the streets to experience the tradition and western flavor of this fun event. The Grand Marshals for this year’s parade are long-time Raymond residents Gene and Vera Phillips.

“The theme of the 31st Annual Raymond Parade is ‘Old Time Family Fun,'” explains Michelle Townsend, Principal and District Superintendent for Raymond-Knowles Union Elementary School (RKS).

Students and others at RKS  have been actively putting their float together for the parade, brick by brick you could say. Students from kindergarten through 8th grade signed up to help with the float, says Mrs. Townsend.

“I prepared a Google form that was sent out to the entire student body with three theme options for the float. Students voted on their favorite. The float that won is Lego themed to represent building family memories.”

Students also had the opportunity to sign up to help build the float, and the challenge was accepted. Using repurposed and recycled materials and a whole bunch of spray paint in primary colors, the clever young people have taken on a big project and apparently knocked this one out of the park.

“I had 33 students from K-8th grades sign up to help with the float. We brainstormed on how to create a Lego float. The students’ imagination, problem-solving, and collaboration skills amazed me. I also had 28 students sign up to ride on the float on parade day.”

The students have had three float building days, with a final day on Friday, a day before the parade.

“Many parents also volunteered with the float building. One of our fathers, Jeff Luna, made Lego mini figure faces out of wood to display on the float. Another RKS mom, Jennette Brechbuehl has been working hard all week on Lego mini figure t-shirts for all the float riders to wear.”

Mrs. Townsend says the school family is looking forward to sharing the project with their beloved community of Raymond, as well as visitors from surrounding communities.

“Thank you to all the students, teachers, and families who have worked hard on this project,” she says. “I know that the parade-goers will enjoy the Raymond Knowles School Float.”

To top off festivities on Saturday, the Raymond Museum will be open. It’s located at 31956 Road 608 in the middle of downtown Raymond. For more information, call (559) 689-3341.

Between 1886 and 1907, the only way to get to Yosemite was through Raymond, according to the museum. Freight to camps and gold mines went through Raymond during the same time period, so a visit to the Charles Miller House and the Raymond Museum will explain why “all roads lead to Raymond.”

Note: As always, the roads will be closed during the parade and opened right afterwards. So organizers recommend get to the parade early to get a good seat!

All proceeds benefit Raymond Community Scholarships.


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