The annual Old Timers Day parade drew more participants to Yosemite Avenue this year, and the competition in a major category became an act of generosity as entrants chose to donate prize money to programs for younger children.
More than 2,000 people sat in lawn chairs, on benches, on store window ledges, on street curbs or stood to see the parade, which started at Flume Street and East Yosemite Avenue and proceeded west past Courthouse Park on Saturday.
Organized by the Madera Kiwanis Club, the procession had about 60 entries, including youth groups, politicians, equestrians, motorcyclists, unions, veterans, color guard and bands. Most vied to place or win money. The high school bands, however, gave up the prize money from the sweepstakes competition to split it among the middle school bands in Madera County.
“We participate more for the audience. We don’t really care about competition here. We obviously want to look good, but we just want to support the community,” said Jon Schmid, band director for Madera South High School...