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Opinion: Old Timers Day or bust

This past weekend was a wonderful event for our whole community. Saturday was Old Timers Day in Madera, and with it came a great community parade.

Steve Copland was the Grand Marshal, and there has never been a grand marshal more deserving than that gentleman. It was so good to see him up there on that float waving to the crowds, along with his family. Will Oliver is one of my favorite people in the whole world, and he was there supporting his Uncle Steve, and showing his love for this community.

Jon Barsotti, and his wife, Donna, were the King and Queen of the Day, and they were good choices for the royalty of the event. They love this community of Madera, and have shown their support of this great city many times over. I spoke with Jon just before he mounted the stagecoach to ride in the parade, and he shared with me some thoughts about his love for this community, as well as thoughts about his love of our country. He is a great patriot and a great representative for our city.

The Madera Tribune was present during the parade, as our photographer, Wendy Alexander diligently took pictures of whatever there was to share on the pages of our newspaper. Tribune Sports Editor Tyler Takeda and I manned the booth in Courthouse Park, right next to the booth of the Friends of the Madera County Library. The two booths joined efforts to please the folks who came to visit our businesses.

Many folks have asked why we were not at the Madera Fair this year, and I can assure you that it is not because we are weak in our support, or because we are giving up on our presence in the community. I can assure you that next year, we will be back at the Madera Fair, showing our love for the community and giving the people of this city our all.

We are proud of our Madera District Fair, and we want to show our support to them and let them know that The Madera Tribune is their local newspaper who will promote their efforts and partner with them as we have done for so many years in the past.

For Old Timers Day, the Rotary Club did an awesome job organizing the parade and activities of the Day. The Madera Young Professionals arranged the booths of vendors in the park, and they did an amazing job with their plans.

I am very active in the Friends of the Madera County Library (FMCL), an organization that supports the library and its programs. FMCL had its book sale at the Old Timers Day event in Courthouse Park, and each year in the past, the Friends held a watermelon-eating contest for the kids. Of course, this year we were unable to have the contest, so we came up with another activity that was sort of a relay race: filling up pitchers with water. Each kid would grab a cup with a number on it. On the stage were 10 pitchers, each with a number corresponding to the 10 cups in the children’s hands. There were two tubs filled with water, and each kid was to fill up a pitcher from the water in one of the tubs. The first one to fill up his/her pitcher was the winner of that round, and was awarded a prize.

As it goes with anything we try for the first time, there always seem to be glitches. The Friends tried to come up with a simple game that was also fun. This game required little equipment or preparation in advance, BUT who would have thought there would be a problem filling up two tubs of water?

There were no faucets in Courthouse Park. If I had known this in advance, I would have filled up the two tubs at home, which seemed ridiculous before I arrived at the park, but in the future, that is what I must do.

Anyway, we had a great time. Tyler Takeda of The Madera Tribune brought his megaphone and was the announcer for the game. The kids loved it! It was a great activity, and was a great success for both The Madera Tribune and for the Friends of the Madera County Library.

Following the game, which the Friends called “Fill It Up,” the Rotary Club proceeded to award trophies for deserving participants of the parade.

The Old Timers Parade Day is a typical Madera tradition, and it is a day of fun! I personally want to thank the Rotary Club, the Madera Young Professionals, and the many small businesses of Madera for coming out last Saturday to make that day one of the best events of the year 2021.

• • •

And let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds.

— Hebrews 10:24


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