OAKHURST — School Road was sunny and people were lined up by 10 a.m. to watch the 18th Mountain Heritage Days Parade on Saturday morning, Sept, 21.
With marching bands, classic cars, cool floats, service groups, first responders and more, the parade was especially exciting this year due to the inclusion of the Yosemite Mounted Patrol, who entered to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant.
The Yosemite Grant, signed by President Lincoln, set aside Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove for preservation and enjoyment.
The National Park Service participation highlights the strong connection between Yosemite and Oakhurst.
“This was the first in a year-long 150th year celebration of the Yosemite Grant,” says volunteer parade organizer Sandy Brinley, “Fresno Flats was proud to be the kick-off event.” There were some changes to the usual routine, and they worked out well, too.
“Even though we had to shorten the parade, the spectators were all along the route and the parade entrants liked having them all along the route,” says Brinley, referring to the parade cut-off at the end of school road, whereas in years past, it has continued farther down Road 426.
Besides being a wonderful way to remember history and celebrate the present, Brinley says the parade is also a great way to enhance business marketing strategies.
“Sears received the Commercial Float 1st Place trophy and Underwood Insurance sponsored five of the automobile category trophies. This helps Fresno Flats with the cost of the trophies and ribbons,” Brinley explains. Perhaps most importantly, “Mountain Heritage Days is Fresno Flats’ main fundraiser for the year and provides funds for expenses that run the park.”
All in all, it was a terrific Mountain Heritage Days Parade and here are the results you may have been waiting for:
Sierra Telephone’s Grand Marshalls won 1st Place in the Automobiles/Antique Car division, carrying Met Heroes Matt Sconce and Keith Walker, along with members of their usual entourage including Batman and Captain America.
In the Automobiles/Classic Cars division, Mountain Belle Limo took 1st Place, followed by Reimer’s Candies in 2nd Place. Robin and Diane Underwood took 3rd.
Winning 1st Place in the Automobiles/Clubs category was Mountain Road Rattlers, with Southern High Sierra Corvettes coming in 2nd.
Madera County Sheriff took 1st in the Automobiles/Other division, with Soroptimist International of the Sierra in 2nd and Mike and Joyce Decker taking 3rd.
Noll for Sheriff rolled down the road to the sound of “Bad Boys,” the “Cops” television program theme song, featuring Greg Noll and taking 1st Place in the Political category. 2nd was the Madera County Board of Supervisors and in 3rd place, Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz.
Members of the Mountain Area Junior High Band received 1st Place in the Band/Junior Riding division. In Band/Senior Walking the Minarets High School Marching Band took the 1st Place trophy, followed by the Mariposa County High School Grizzly Marching Band.
The Yosemite High School Band and Percussion ensemble took Best in Show, while the YHS California Cadet Corps Color Guard won 1st Place in the Color Guard division.
Equestrian groups in the Mounted Group category included the Yosemite National Park Mounted Patrol who won 1st Place, and The Grove Church from Ahwahnee who garnered 2nd Place. For Equestrian/Other, the winner was Diamond W Mini Horses – they sure were cute!
In the Float category, for Charitable Organizations, the Zombie Walk 2013, organized by Cause for Paws to benefit the Eastern Madera County SPCA, dragged along at a pretty slow pace yet still managed to capture 1st Place in their division. The Living Way Church took 2nd Place.
In the Commercial Float category, Sears Hometown Store of Oakhurst came in 1st.
For Floats/Non-Commercial, we had Caring Veterans of America in 1st place, followed by the Golden Chain Theater in 2nd and Yosemite High School Football in 3rd.
Fresno Flats’ perennial Yellow Wagon brought home 1st Place in the Historical Themed category and Mariposa Martial Arts Academy took 1st in the Marching Unit category.
Also in Marching Unit category, but in School division, the YHS Cadet Corps took 1st Place.
Boy Scout Troop 341/Pack 341 received 1st place in the category of Miscellaneous and Girl Scout Troop 2641 received 2nd place for their efforts in the same category.
In the Marching Unit/Junior Walking division, the Dazzling Diamonds came in 1st and last listed but certainly not least admired were the Tehran Shrine Clowns with a 1st Place Trophy in the Miscellaneous Entry category.
Commentary on the parade was conducted by Bill Atwood.
Great job, everybody! See you next year!
Click on photos to enlarge.
Special thanks to Virginia Lazar and Steve Montalto, Cathy Garcia and Erik Peterson for their photographic contributions.
Other entries in the parade include: Dennis Fairbanks running for Sheriff, Yosemite Youth Football, Fresno Flats Yellow Wagon, Mariposa Martial Arts Academy, Mobil Gas Special Classic Car, Sierra Telephone, Volunteer of the Year Roger & Loris Mitchell, Fire Station 12, and Sierra Ambulance.
If you were in the parade and we didn’t get your picture… sorry we missed you! if you want to send a photo in we will add it to this collection. Thank you!
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