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Old Timers Parade to celebrate heritage this Saturday

Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo The Purple Pyramid Band consisting of Madera South High, Desmond Middle School and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School perform in front of the judges stand during the 2016 Old Timers Day Parade.


The vernal equinox will check in at mid-day today. Summer will be gone and fall finally here. Halloween is but 37 days away. My besom has been serviced, the brush rotated and the evenings are the perfect time for flying.

It is also that time each year we celebrate Madera’s version of founders’ day with the Old Timers Day celebration and parade.

At 10 a.m. Saturday the place to be is Yosemite Avenue in downtown Madera, east of the railroad tracks, for the Old Timers Day Parade. Bands, floats, equestrian teams and classic cars will be among the list of entries, according to "Labman" Jim Bryan, one of the main organizers. There will be three stations along the parade route with Monte Pistoresi, Jim Glynn and Terry Nolan staffing the announcers’ booths.

Included in the list of entries in this year’s parade are several youth dance squads and gymnasts who are slated to perform along with a martial arts group, all showcasing the talents of Madera kids. A very special float will be fielded by the family of the late Matilda Verdu Torres. This entry serves as a community thank you for naming the new planned Madera Unified School District high school for her, said her husband, George Torres.

A 1964 Madera Union High School graduate, Matilda taught Spanish classes at her alma mater in the 1970s. She finished her academic career as a scholarship guidance counselor. For many years she worked tirelessly arranging funding for Madera students seeking to improve their lives through higher education.

The Madera Kiwanis Cub will coordinate the staging of the parade again this year. The parade begins at Flume Street and flows west along Yosemite Avenue terminating at North G Street. Parade royalty Ross and Barbara Thornton are being honored by the Kiwanis Club as parade Grand Marshals.

After the parade join fellow Maderans in Courthouse Park where local service clubs and some of the best cooks in town will serve barbecued steaks and a wide array of ethnic foods and baked goods.

The Madera County Museum in Madera’s old courthouse will be open after the parade until about 2 p.m. according to Bob Winslow. Museum admission is free.

Come welcome fall, see old friends and get to know your fellow residents at this uniquely Madera event.

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