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What to expect at this weekend’s Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Parade

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jun 02, 2023

While the evening action of the Elks Rodeo takes place down at the arena, for 80 years, the Saturday morning of rodeo weekend has been reserved for the streets of downtown Santa Maria as 100+ floats, classic cars, and horses cruise down Broadway.

“I have actually been here the last couple of nights until after 11 o’clock at night trying to get the little buildings built for the float,” said Lisa Leonard, who has been offering pony rides at Waller Park in Orcutt for the past 24 years.

Saturday morning, she will walk them down Broadway for the first time.

“We are going to let the kids walk the ponies through,” she told KSBY. “I am going to have a float that basically replicates what this place looks like. The little kids can ride on that and have their time to shine.”

Also in Saturday’s parade, Jay McCord of the Santa Maria Model A Ford Club will be cruising through downtown with a couple of special guests.

“I will be in space 16 carrying the grand marshals, Keith and Olivia Bugal,” McCord said.

The Bugals say this is their 45th year participating in the rodeo parade and this year, they are serving as parade co-marshals.

“It is a great honor. It is something we both never dreamed of or anything else,” said Keith Bugal.

“Smile, wave at everybody, and bring that crowd in so they can watch the parade!” Olivia Bugal added.

McCord says his team at the Model A Club is also preparing for their upcoming Orcutt car show, adding that the classic rides never fail to attract the eyes of parade spectators and bring exposure to the organization.

“The older ones say, 'I drove one of those when I was a child!' The younger ones just love them for the piece of art that they are. Our cars are in their nineties now and still functioning well,” he explained.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. Broadway will be closed from Mill Street to Enos Drive as the event takes place.

If you can't make it to the parade, you can watch a live broadcast on The CW, channel 6.2, starting at 10 a.m. It will be rebroadcast on KSBY at 3 p.m.