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2022 Elks Rodeo Parade to roll through Santa Maria on Saturday

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Posted at 7:06 PM, Jun 02, 2022

What started back in 1943 has turned into an annual tradition that brings out the masses along Broadway in Santa Maria.

It is no surprise to the people of Santa Maria when antique cars, marching bands, and decorative floats make their way through town on the first Saturday of June.

"I would say it is controlled chaos," said Elks Rodeo Parade Chairman Jaime Flores.

For nearly 80 years, the Elks Rodeo Parade has been a staple of the city, with the event's primary goal being to celebrate the history and diversity of the Santa Maria Valley.

"I think it means a lot because it gives people the opportunity to come out and socialize with their community, be invested in their community," said parade committee member Ed Carcarey. "We'll have thousands of people line up on either side of Broadway to watch the parade — kids from knee-high to people that have been around a hundred years."

Organizers say the event has changed since its early days. Flores told KSBY he believes the parade is much more diverse in the numerous entries and various communities that participate every year.

"It's one big family," Flores added.

Still, Carcarey says the event went through a slump due to COVID-19.

"It was a little off last year. The parade entries were down, of course, nobody knew it was even happening until the last minute. Now we are rebuilding, our goal is to get it back to the glory days," Carcarey said.

The parade has around 100 entries this year, and Flores says he anticipates the crowds will be back in full force on Saturday. He says this year's theme is "United We Stand."

"It is the biggest event on the Central Coast. It is something everyone looks forward to. I think it is even bigger than Christmas," Flores said.

Saturday's parade gets underway at 9 a.m., and organizers say you should plan on arriving early.

Parade awards will be given out for the "Best Overall Float", "Best Musical Unit", "Best Community Entry" and many more.

KSBY will be broadcasting the parade live on The CW starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday. A replay will air on KSBY on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.