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Atascadero's annual Colony Days held in a new way

Posted at 7:42 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-04 00:00:13-04

This weekend marks the 47th annual Colony Days in Atascadero, an event honoring the city's history and women's rights.

New modifications had to be put in place this year due to COVID-19, meaning many traditions had to be canceled.

The Sunken Gardens was nearly empty Saturday, when it is typically filled with tents in reenactment of Tent City, where organizers say history comes alive.

“They actually lived in tents in Tent City while their homes were being built and it was a real sense of community," Colony Bee David May said.

May designed one of the floats at the event. He says history is important to learn from, especially in the current political climate.

Organizers held a reverse parade, where attendees could view floats and displays from the street of Sunken Gardens.

Despite fewer crowds and vendors, Colony Days Committee Chair Karen McNamara says the group was proud to pull it off.

“It's one of the few events that was actually able to do something this year and it’s small and it’s modified but we’re here," McNamara said.

McNamara says the goal this year was to try to keep the spirits of Atascadero up during a rough time, even it it meant waving to cars from the curb.

Community clubs at this year's event like the Quota Club spread their message symbolically, despite traditions like royalty selection not happening.

Fan favorites like the wiener dog race and pet costume contest were canceled this year, but are slated to happen in 2021.