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Atascadero Colony Days gears up for a safe celebration 

–The 47th Annual Atascadero Colony Days event is still scheduled to happen Thursday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 4. The multiple-day event showcases the community of Atascadero and is hosted each year by a committee of local volunteers.

This year, due to the pandemic, organizers had to come up with creative ways to celebrate safely together. After many months of uncertainty for all, the committee wanted to hold an upbeat event, something enjoyable for all who have been isolated for so long. In doing so, the committee is hoping to create a more cohesive environment, strengthen local businesses, and be a stronger, positive, and unified community. For the first time ever, they are promoting a sub-theme, “We are Atascadero,” in addition to the original theme, “Look how Far We Have Come, 100 years of Women’s Rights, Arts and Literacy,” celebrating 100 years of the right to vote for women, 100 years of the Atascadero Library and 100 years of art in Atascadero.

“Those who started Colony Days designed the annual event to bring everyone together to celebrate being a community,” said Karen McNamara, Committee Chair. “My focus is to continue that purpose, hosting a celebration of who we are, together. We are not perfect, nor were those who came before us. Setting aside this time, we have a chance to see our strengths and open discussion and craft plans to make a better community for the future”.

The event will feature Atascadero’s businesses, families, and non-profit organizations, showcasing each in different ways. Anyone who desires to enter the “reverse parade” on Saturday, Oct. 3, will have a space to set a “float” or display along East Mall or Palma Avenues. To see the parade, viewers will walk or drive slowly by, in designated lanes of the closed streets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entries for the Reverse Parade have started already and the deadline is Monday, Sept.14. Non-profits who enter will have a chance to have a flyer distributed during the Barbecue Fundraiser, also set to happen on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Barbecue Fundraiser, put on by the Colony Days Committee, will be headquartered in a historic-style tent and delivered by members of the Tent City Re-Creation dressed in period clothing. They will also be wearing masks while distributing a barbeque meal for a family of four “using the utmost care and safety.” The tent will be out in front of the Atascadero Printery located at 6351 Olmeda Ave. Tickets are $50 for tri-tip and $40 for chicken. Meals include beans, salad, bread, and dessert.

The committee wants the entire community to get involved in two easy ways. One is a Virtual Parade, where members of the community can submit a 7 to 10-second clip of themselves participating in the parade. Clips are due by Sept. 28, and can be submitted to These clips will be compiled into the virtual parade that will be streamed on Saturday, Oct. 3. The second involves asking everyone to create a sign to display at their home or business in the “We Are Atascadero” theme. Showcase who you are, something important to you and your family and create away. Use the hashtag #WeAreAtascadero on Facebook and Instagram to enter the contest.

Tent City After Dark concert is going virtual on Friday, Oct. 2 and the package will include drink tickets from a local business to enjoy at home with the concert. Stay tuned on Colony Days’ Facebook and Instagram when the band is announced. Tickets are $20 presale and $30 with a drink package. Tickets are available for purchase on

Another exciting part that the committee has brought back is the Business Window Painting Contest. Local businesses can partner up with Atascadero highschool seniors or recent grads to paint a positive message for the community using the hashtag #WeAreAtascadero. Window paintings will be judged on Tuesday, Sept. 29 and the winner will receive a certificate with “Best Window Display” and the young artist will receive a cash prize.

Businesses will also have a chance to partner up with Colony Days Committee and offer specials for customers during Colony Days to help members of the community get a great deal while strengthening the local economy. Businesses are encouraged to come up with a Colony Days theme promotion from Thursday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 4. A small percentage of sales will be donated to Atascadero Colony Days to keep the annual community event going for years to come.

For more information on the event and how to participate or to become a sponsor, contact Karen McNamara at For information on the Virtual and Reverse Parade contact

Forms will be available online at and at the Hope Chest Emporium and the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce by Tuesday, Sept. 1.

By Elizabeth Enriquez-Phillips

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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at