The Chowchilla Spring Festival, held in conjunction with the Chowchilla-Madera County Fair, will celebrate its 72nd year of festivities Saturday.
The Spring Festival began in 1946 with a parade and barbecue to welcome the community’s soldiers home from World War II. The parade and barbecue are always held on the third Saturday of May, which is Armed Forces Day.
The day starts with a parade down Robertson Boulevard at 10 a.m. People young and young at heart line Chowchilla’s main street as the newly crowned 2018 TommyHawk kicks off the parade. The parade features bands, floats, horses, 2018 Miss Madera County festival queen candidates, classic cars, military vehicles, city, county and state dignitaries and much more. The parade awards will be announced at 3 p.m. in the Fairgrounds Little Theater.
Following the parade, people gather at the fairgrounds for one of the best deep pit beef barbeques in the Valley. Each year the committee serves approximately 6,500 people in 2 1/2 hours. They prepare 9,000 pounds of meat, 1,200 pounds of beans, 1,500 pounds of salad and 600 dozen rolls. The barbeque is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The tickets are $10 and include the lunch plus admission to the fair.
There are seven young women running for Festival Queen. The candidate who sells the most tickets will be crowned queen. The queen coronation will be held in the Little Theater at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Candidates running for Festival Queen include Susana Gomez, selling Teal tickets; Sydney Guire, selling yellow tickets; Kathie Hull, selling orange tickets, Cristal Martinez, Selling Purple tickets; Kaylynn Matthes, selling green tickets; Samantha McCluskey, selling blue tickets; and Jessica Medina, selling pink tickets.
The contestants and their teams will be selling tickets along the parade route and at the entrances at the fairgrounds.Volunteers Needed
Each year the Spring Festival Committee seeks volunteers to help with the barbecue. Once again they are calling all meat wrapper to active duty. Meat wrappers are needed on Thursday evening, May 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Bean House located at the fairgrounds. If you would like to help with the beans they start at 6 p.m. Friday, May 18, and then again at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, May 19, at the Bean House.
Salad Mixers are also needed early Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. at the Bean House.
For information on how you can help, call 665-4501.