Mon 3 Sep 2012
Tomales held its annual Founders Day celebration Sunday with a parade up the main street, which is Highway 1 and which was closed to traffic for the duration. The parade, which keeps getting bigger each year, was followed by a picnic in the Tomales town park.
Firetrucks were a major part of the parade. Most were from the Marin County Fire Department although two were from as far away, so to speak, as Bloomfield in Sonoma County. In a booth at the picnic, Marin County firefighters encouraged Tomales-area residents to join the town’s volunteer fire department. The banner refers to the Marin County Household Disaster Preparedness website.
Steve Kinsey, the Marin County supervisor who represents West Marin, rode in a Lamborghini. He had been originally scheduled to ride on a tractor, but it broke down. Bruce Bramson of Tomales got on the phone for three hours and eventually found Kinsey the elite sportscar for his chariot.
Jeff Etamad of Tunnel Hill Ranch in Tomales led his llama in the parade.
Members of the Redwood Empire Harley Owners Group (HOGS) followed a convoy of firetrucks at the beginning of the parade. The group says that by raffling off a Harley Davidson motorcycle each year, it has raised nearly $1.8 million over the past 10 years for the Meals on Wheels program.
Parading in a truck festooned with sunflowers was the Valley Ford Young Farmers Association. Its president, Anna Erickson, described the association as “a group of us in our late twenties-early thirties. We are made of three farms, Hands Full Farm (being mine), True Grass Farms run by Guidio Frosini, and Swallow Valley Farms run by John Gorman. We grow beef, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs, some produce, cheese, preserves — farmy stuff like that.”
Standing on a balcony above the Continental Hotel, Dru Fallon O’Neill (left) and Bert Crews, both of Tomales, were the parade announcers this year as they have been in the past.
A 1931 Ford Model A roadster pickup owned by the Simoni family of Sebastopol, Sonoma County.
Another Norman Rockwell moment in West Marin: two youngsters and two goats were passengers in the bed of a beat-up, old, farm pickup truck with a KWMR community-radio bumper sticker.
The Tomales High cheerleaders stopped along the route to perform as they marched in the parade.
A shack on a trailer promoted Valley Ford bird houses.
Cameraman at work: Kenzmyth Productions is beginning to film a documentary on Loren Poncia of Tomales. Loren’s parents Al and Cathie Poncia for years operated a dairy ranch, which they eventually converted to a beef ranch, beside Stemple Creek. The ranch was established in 1902 by Al’s grandfather, who immigrated to Marin from Garzeno, Italy, in the 1890s. Loren is the fourth generation to operate the ranch.
Dan Norwood of Dan’s Automotive Repair in Tomales again this year entered a car that fell apart during the parade. Clowns jumped out of the vehicle and put it back together, so it could continue. The entry’s motto was: “If we can’t fix it, we won’t!”
A breakdown in literacy: The Marin County Mobile Library, which was helping bring up the rear of the parade, broke down for real along the route and — after some delays and jokes from the parade announcers — had to be towed most of the way.
The Hubbub Club Marching Band from the Graton-Sebastopol area of Sonoma County was a hit of the parade. At the end of the parade they gave a brief performance at Highway 1 and Dillon Beach Road and then moved on to the beer garden at the William Tell House for a full set.
The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus marches past the food and crafts booths set up for the picnic in Tomales Town Park. The Clampers, a fraternal organization dedicated to the study and preservation of Western heritage, has memorialized events in Tomales history.
Many picnickers in the park took advantage of a dining tent to escape the heat of the sun.
The band Wagon, whose members hail from Tomales, San Rafael, and Oakland put on a good show for picnickers in the park.