By Carolyn Barbre
Although the temperature was getting up there and although there was something going on in virtually every community within an easy commute, there was an excellent turnout for the 72nd Orange Blossom Festival Parade on Saturday, April 24.
As is tradition, the day started early with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast in front of Lindsay City Hall, with District 1 Supervisor Bill Sanders flipping the flap jacks, assisted by Corky Wynn, half of the honored couple, and a slew of Kiwanians helping dish out and clean up.
Meanwhile floats, vehicles, horses, marching bands, and other parade entries started finding their places in the staging area along Mirage Avenue south of the Dr. Annie Bond mural. As 10 a.m. approached the Lindsay Department of Public Safety blocked off the parade route, and parade watchers unfolded their portable chairs in most every shady spot along the route.
It would really be great if the parade traveled in the opposite direction simply because for almost all of the route, the participants faces' are in the shade with the sun almost directly behind them making it really difficult to capture their smiles on a digital camera. Sanders said the parade used to travel the other direction, and end up at city hall. Councilman Steve Velasquez said he would like to see the parade travel the opposite direction and end up at Sweet Brier Plaza next year. It's something to consider.
Of course a Lindsay Police car with lights flashing and siren sounding sporadically. lead off the parade. Next came the Grand Marshall, Lindsay resident Bill Sanders who will be retiring from his position as District 1 Supervisor this year. He was followed by the Tulare County Sheriff's Posse lead by Sheriff Bill Wittman.
The Hanford Elks came next with their 12 by 20-foot rolling American flag. The Honorable Judge Valeriano Saucedo and his wife, Teresa, came tooling along in a little yellow GEM car, followed by Allen Ishida in a gorgeous old red stake truck driven by Art Serna. Ishida was campaigning for the District 1 Supervisor position. There was really a fascinating array of types of transportation on parade.
Next came Handcow Hannah on the back of a city-owned GEM truck driven by City Manager Scot Townsend with his wife and youngest daughter in the cab. Bob Tienken was trucking "Vaca de Victor," for the Lindsay Cultural Arts Council Cattle Drive with the artist, Victor Cervantes riding in the truck bed, still painting the cow!
Now the Mayor and councilmembers appeared in a 59 Edsel convertible. There were approximately 70 entries in the parade and we can't do justice to them all but following is a list of the winners:
Sweepstakes trophy was won by Lindsay Youth Soccer, scads of them, many carrying Olympic torches. The Queen's trophy and the Mayor's trophy were both won by Sacred Heart Church, for two separate floats, while Bank of America took a trophy for the best theme.
The Kingdom Kids of the First Baptist Church, Kiddie Korral and Sonlight Christian Fellowship took awards for one-of-a-kind floats.
Awards went to the following school bands: Sunnyside Elementary School, Strathmore Middle School and Lindsay High School. The Fresno Stag & Thistle Pipe Band won the Visiting Band award.
Dave Welter won for Vintage Car to 1950; for his horseless carriage.
Corky Wynn won the Vintage Car from 1950 for his 1964 ford Mustang Convertible.
Bill Sanders had the best decorated car while Lindsay Youth soccer had the best decorated pick-up truck and Cinco De Mayo of Porterville had the best decorated truck. Irvon Woody won for Special Car with his 11 h.p. Honda engine/golf cart rear end/Opal transmission/Mitsubishi steering/eight-inch wheels and advertising "Eat at Bob's in the Park."
Willie Gallegos won in the vans category and the shriners took the novelty category.
MIXTURE OF REMAINING CATEGORIES:
The Barn Brats won for best group on horses; the Fabulous Floozies won for humorous; the Super Stars took best twirlers and dancers; Napa Auto Parts had best commercial entry; the best costumed group was the Civil WAr Re-enactors. Pioneer & Bartlett Cadet Corps won for best military group; Sheriff's Volunteers took best law enforcement; the Lindsay Volunteer Auxiliary Group claimed best fire fighter entry; the California Cadet Corps earned best marching group; Lindsay Youth Soccer took best sports; Radio station KMQA was designated best music; and the Sheriff's Posse claimed best flag team. Lindsay Cinco de Mayo was named best open category; the U.S. Forest Service won best fire crew; the Hanford Elks claimed best historic entry and Lemoore Naval Base was the most patriotic.