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Madera’s 1947 Old Timers Day Parade




For The Madera Tribune

A standout from the 1947 Old Timers Day Parade.

 

Every community has something that makes it unique. Some towns boast of a particular industry; others point to some nearby natural attraction, while in many cases an annual event will help to provide identity for a city. As an example of this latter category, one could cite the Chowchilla Stampede, Coarsegold Rodeo, and Oakhurst’s “Peddler’s Fair.” For Maderans it has been the Old Timers Parade.


The Madera Old Timers Parade, born with gusto in the early 1930s, appears to have reached its zenith in the 1940s and ‘50s. A contagious excitement surrounded the event each year, as Madera County residents gathered to remember their past, enjoy the present, and plan for the future. Each year the event got better and better, as the spirit of the community annually expressed itself on the pavement of Yosemite Avenue. 


One of the really outstanding Old Timers Parades took place in 1947. Ten thousand people gathered for the festivity and packed both sides of Yosemite Avenue. They sat on awnings, perched on rooftops, and hung out of windows to herald the procession as it went by. Prolonged applause greeted the Grand Marshall, Raynor Daulton, Queen Ann McKee, and King William Tighe. The crowd all knew that this trio represented a generation that had contributed to Madera’s foundation. 

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