Hundreds attend ‘Heritage and Tradition Cruise’ parade event in downtown
–Pioneer Day canceled this year’s 90th annual parade, but several hundred people turned out for a “pop-up” parade in downtown Paso Robles on Saturday called the “Heritage and Tradition Cruise“.
One equestrian and several miniature horses pulling chaises negotiated Spring Street between classic cars and pick-up trucks festooned with flags. Several tractors traveled the route on top of flatbed trailers pulled by big trucks. Two antique tractors drove the route in the traditional Pioneer Day fashion. A Farmall and another antique tractor was driven by Bruce McGrath of Templeton to help keep the Pioneer Day tradition alive.
Women dressed in white portrayed suffragists on the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. They carried signs encouraging people to get out and vote. The group PRotect Paso organized the Saturday event.
Several Army jeeps from the Estrella Warbirds Museum rode the route in a small convoy. Overhead, planes performed a flyover. Terry Cook sang the National Anthem.
Les Stemper, who is Pioneer Day Parade Chair, said the event went off well. He sold Pioneer Day Buttons for $1 while watching the passing vehicles from the Downtown City Park.
Farmers Market went on as planned, and a vendor selling tamales said business was “mas caliente” than usual. The increased number of people downtown helped the vendors at Farmers Market.
Many in attendance expressed frustration that the Pioneer Day was canceled in 2020, but said the replacement parade exceeded their expectations. There was even a “bean feed” event near the Pine Street Saloon.