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Olden Days will be fresh this weekend

This weekend, Madera and Raymond will be buzzing with activities.

On Saturday at 10 a.m. the Old Timers Day parade will be staged at Centennial Park and proceed from Flume Street on East Yosemite Avenue to the west and will conclude after crossing the State Route 99 overpass.

Debi Bray, president of the Madera Chamber of Commerce has been chosen as parade grand marshal by the Madera Kiwanis Club. Through her position at the chamber, she has presented a great many awards and honors through the years.

“I think it is very kind of them to think of me,” Bray said.

It is fun to see someone younger than I am being honored during what is in essence Madera’s founders’ day celebration.

Bray has worked at the Madera Chamber for more than 30 years and in the past has herself chaired many aspects of the Old Timers celebration, including the parade.

Riding in the parade with Bray will be her beloved babies. Debi’s daughter Marissa Bray, the mother of her grandchildren, son Sawyer age 6 and daughter Briar, age 4.

Dressed in western wear and a tiara the kids are looking forward to the parade.

“We have been teaching Briar the royal wave,” Debi said.

Entries in the annual parade will include floats, marching bands, horses, dancers, classic cars, sports teams and dignitaries riding in open vehicles.

Following the parade in Memorial Courthouse Park a festival will include food booths, artisan vendors and candidates for office meeting their constituents.

Up in Raymond, beginning at 3 p.m., is the second annual Raymond Old West Fest. Admission tickets are $25 with children ages 12 and younger free. Tours of the Raymond Museum, Western art shows, historical displays, silent auctions, food vendors and trucks including the Raymond Store.

Organized by Geoff and Tammy Tipton, a western concert begins at 5:30 p.m. featuring Dave Stamey and Band, Jack Hanna and Sons of the San Joaquin, singers Cowboys by Night, Cowboy Poet Chris Isaacs and singer-songwriter Nancy Lee.

Bring lawn chairs and blankets to the Raymond Museum Amphitheater to enjoy the show.

Tickets are on sale at all three Evans Feed stores in Madera, Chowchilla and Porterville, Raymond Museum, Mountain Feed and Fence in Coarsegold, Raymond General Store, Mariposa Feed and at the gate.

Sponsors for the event include Evans Feed, Tesei Petroleum, Bruce Chapman Farms, Chowchilla Western Stampede, Penny Newman, Wellco Pump and Mountain Valley Environmental Services. Proceeds from the festival will benefit Raymond Knowles School, Raymond 4-H Club, Raymond Community Association and Museum.

According to its Facebook the public is invited to be an old west time traveler through music, poetry, art and story- telling. Lose yourself in tales of the early days and the excitement of dreams won and lost in the opening of the west. You’ll hear some of the best western singers along with storytellers and poetry.

Western art from pencil and oils to photography will be on display as well as silverwork, leather goods and local Native American art. For information, visit its Facebook page at

Long days and pleasant nights. Have a great weekend.

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Readers, may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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