Hundreds of families woke up bright and early Saturday to see dozens of floats, marching bands and classic cars in Santa Maria.
The Salinas family’s love for the Elks Rodeo Parade began in the 60s. This time around, they had four generations attending the event.
“It’s tradition, we’ve been doing it since we were little,” said Sylvia Salinas, a Nipomo resident. “My parents have brought us since we were knee-high, we've been here every year, except COVID, but we’ve been here every year."
It is a parade worth the drive for the Evans.
“We bring chairs and blankets because we know it’s going to be cool,” said John Evans, who traveled from Torrence, California.
Vendors excited to be back in business on a hectic Broadway Street in Santa Maria.
“We try to put all these carts together and just get it all ready, we get up at 4:30 in the morning to try to get rolling,” explained Rick Smith, a vendor at the parade.
The line up kicked off with the national anthem with Page Beal.
Attorney Mike Clayton’s Lady Liberty stole the show. A float two years in the making and winner of the best overall float.
“It’s steel, made of all the things that makes a ship, a ship,” said Clayton.
Pioneer Valley High School won the best musical unit award.
Waving American flags, the Boys and Girls Clubs float won best youth float.
Bringing diversity into the mix was Charros Unidos of the Central Coast, who took home the best mounted award.
“Charros is a special tradition we have, we also do sports like charreria, it’s something that runs in our blood and our culture, and we’re very proud of it,” said Mitzi, a member of Charros Unidos of the Central Coast.
Radio Station La Raza won best community entry with it’s big rig and banda performance.
There was something for everyone, but at the end of the day, it was all about building memories.
“We’re here to see the parade, so they can enjoy it,” said Brenda Estrada, who attended the event with her young daughters. “They're old enough to actually see what’s happening and get to see the community that we live in.”
KSBY’s parade coverage will rerun on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at 5:30 PM on KSBY News.