After a two-year pause due to coronavirus pandemic precautions, Cambria’s popular Labor Day weekend celebration, Pinedorado, is roaring back.
Pinedorado will be held on Sept. 3 through 5 in Cambria.
For many county residents, the return of Pinedorado in 2022 will be like a welcome return of a long-lost friend.
Like many of you, I have many lovely Pinedorado memories, including photographing, riding and walking in the parade, and serving as grand marshal in 2018.
I’ve also enjoyed watching my kids and grandkids riding the kiddie cars, playing games and dancing to the music, as well as reuniting with friends.
I have fond memories of Pinedorados past — such as the time when Art Beal, the creator of Cambria’s kooky Nitt Witt Ridge property, wore a barrel and a nervy young boy slid underneath it. The curious kid came up yelling, “No, he’s not wearing anything underneath!”
I can remember many a barbecue meal, bringing home stuffed animals and Coke glass prizes — and, oh my goodness, yes, that buttered corn on the cob.
Pinedorado organizers, participants plan ahead
Preparing to launch the delayed festivities, members of the sponsoring Cambria Lions Club have been revving up into high gear for months.
It’s mid-August now so it’s also time for Pinedorado attendees to get in gear to before the busy holiday weekend.
According to Greg Aitkens, parade chairman for the 72nd Pinedorado and club president, people have only another week or so to sign up to march or ride in what promises to be a super-celebratory community parade, with its high school bands, equestrian groups, vintage cars, floats, clowns and more.
The grand marshal will be Mel McColloch, president of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
People should plan to buy their raffle tickets or donate items to the raffle. They can also sign up their favorite ride to be exhibited in the Sunday car show and buy tickets to the rollicking Pinedorado Follies musical show “CambriOZ,” which will take to the stage of Cambria’s Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St., at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26, 27 and 28, and Sept. 2, 3 and 4.
With the advance planning done, those folks will be all set on Saturday, Sept. 3, parking out on Main Street at least an hour before the parade starts at 9:30 a.m.
Then they can bring their appetites for fun and food to the Pinedorado grounds, adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St. in Cambria. There are Follies performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and a show with collectible cars, trucks and motorcycles on Sunday.
Over the past two years, Lions Club members have upgraded aging facilities at the grounds and given them a fresh coat of paint.
Props must go out to many people, including Aitkens, Randy Schwalbe (who wrote and directs the Follies), car show ringmaster Nate Fearonce and master groundskeeper and fixer Bob Webster, who retired after a nearly four-decade career as manager of Knott’s Berry Farm’s games and retail operations and then volunteered to lead the upgrade of Pinedorado’s barbecue and other structures.
Other accolades go to Tom Trout, who renovated the kids’ cars; Mark Mondello and Steve Arnoldy, who figured out how to repower the beloved but ailing calliope, and Sally Davis, who repainted it. Also, That’s not to mention all the volunteers who are the backbone of the show.
For attendees who want to plan ahead, beyond the extended dates for the Follies, here’s a schedule for the 2022 Pinedorado festivities as confirmed by the Lions Club on Aug. 7:
Saturday, Sept. 3
7 a.m.: Onsite registration for American Field Service’s 27th 5K run at Coast Union High School. Race starts at 7:45 a.m. www.davidlbisso.com/5kfunrun.html.
8:30 a.m.: Main Street and the lower part of Bridge Street close for parade lineup.
9:30 a.m.: Parade starts.
10 a.m.: Freedom Flight military aircraft flyover by Estrella War Birds
Post-parade to 5 p.m.: Kids games and food concessions at Pinedorado grounds.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Top sirloin and chicken barbecue, seating provided.
1:30 p.m.: Parade winners announced
7 p.m.: “CambriOZ” follies show at Cambria Veterans Memorial Hall.
Sunday, Sept. 4
7 to 10 a.m.: Car show breakfast at American Legion post, behind vets hall.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Car show around vets hall music, raffles, prizes and more. To register or for details, go to www.pinedorado.com/car-show
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Kids games and food concessions at Pinedorado grounds.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Barbecue served.
1 to 4 p.m.: Live music by Rough House.
7 p.m.: “CambriOZ” Follies show at vets hall.
Monday, Sept. 5
1 to 4 p.m.: Kids games and food concessions at Pinedorado grounds.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Barbecue served.
1 to 4 p.m.: Live music Jill Knight and her band.
2 p.m.: Raffle winners announced; grand prize is $1,000.
7 p.m.: “CambriOZ” Follies at the vets hall.
For additional details, go to www.pinedorado.com/pinedorado.