Madera readies for Old Timers’ Day

Downtown Madera will be prepared for next Saturday’s Old Timers’ Day and Parade.


The 91st annual Old Timers’ Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m. down Yosemite Avenue with Grand Marshall Monte Pistoresi and King and Queen Bill and Karla Alessini leading the way.


An added bonus at the front of the parade will be the 9/11 Beam that was salvaged from the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.


“We’re north of 50 entries,” said Nick Salinas, Old Timers’ Day Parade chairman. “I think we’ll have an above average turnout this year. We’ve had a lot of early sign-ups.


Since its inception in 1931, the Old Timers’ Day Parade has only been canceled twice, once in the early 1940’s during World War II, and a second time in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.


The Old Timers’ Day Parade typically features 50-70 various entries from stagecoaches, firetrucks, bands, and several youth groups. Attendance is usually in the neighborhood of 5,000 and concludes with the Booths in the Park Event (located in Courthouse Park). The parade spans from Flume St. down to G St. along Yosemite Ave. and is distinguished as the hallmark of parades in Madera County.


The keynote speaker will be Christina Musson from KMJ 580 radio. In addition, there will be two different flyovers with planes in formation, including the missing man formation.


“Sugar Pine Smokehouse will provide their lunch,” Salinas said.


At the conclusion of the parade, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held in Courthouse Park, which will be the final resting place of the 9/11 Beam.


In addition, there will be more than 40 vendors at Courthouse Park until about 3 p.m.


“That is about how many people we had previously,” said Alex Salazar from the Young Professionals Association, who is in charge of the vendors in the park. “Lions will have their traditional food. Latinas Unidas will do some entertainment. Friends of Madera Library will host a water relay race, and the weather will be fantastic. We have a lot of local vendors that will sell many things. There will be plenty of things for kids to do.”


Berry Development is the lead sponsor of the Old Timers’ Day Parade.


“We’ve received a good number of sponsors,” Salinas said. “We are incredibly excited to continue one of Madera’s most historic and largest public events. The 9/11 Beam leading the parade will be a very special moment we will never forget. This year’s parade will definitely be one for the record books.”


Dinner/Dance


The Madera Evening Lions will host the Old Timers’ Day Dinner/Dance to coronate Bill and Karla Alessini as the Old Timers’ Day King and Queen.


Old Timers’ Day Grand Marshall Monte Pistoresi will also be honored during the dinner on Sept. 23 at the Madera Elks Lodge from 6-11 p.m.


Dinner tickets are $50 each. Contact Gerry Desmond (647-9552) or Karla Gran (706-0862) for tickets.