Mon 1 Sep 2014
Tomales celebrated its Founders’ Day Sunday with a block-long parade on the main street (Highway 1) followed by a picnic in the town park. The theme of this year’s celebration was Taste of Tomales. Although the number of parade participants was smaller this year than last, the party that followed packed the park.
Parade announcer Dru Fallon O’Neill (at right) welcomes a miniature train complete with adults, kids, and even a dog. The entry drew attention to the West Marin Review. Each year Point Reyes Books plus neighbors and friends — Madeleine Corson (holding the leash), Steve Costa, Doris Ober — publish the Review, a collection of writing and art. The first issue appeared in 2008. In 2010, the Review received a design award from the New York Book Show.
— Lynn Axelrod contributed most of the photos used in this posting, including the one above.
This year’s parade marshal, Javier Choperena, is a longtime rancher, whose fine beef is a cross of Angus and Charolais. A Basque immigrant, his name was spelled Txoperena in the old country. “In Spain he was a welder, carpenter and artist,” Dru, the parade announcer, told me, and “he has secretly built replicas of the buildings in the village of Tomales… Not many know this about him.”
On the other hand, one “well-known fact” about Javier, Dru added, is that “he’s a huge supporter of the Athletic Club of Bilbao soccer team from Spain.” Two years ago, the club, which recruits players who learn their skills in Basque Country, had one of the best records in Europe.
John Sanchez at the wheel of his 1950 Farmall tractor pulled a trailer carrying his family in the parade.
A small but enthusiastic contingent of Tomales High cheerleaders took part in Sunday’s parade.
Moe and Monica Boudens from Mass Wiggle used a 1950 San Francisco firetruck to promote vermi compost, tea, and worms.
The ever-popular Ehecatl Aztec Dance Group from Santa Rosa danced to the beat of two drums.
Tomales Presbyterian Church used the parade to publicize its upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary.
Again this year, Jeff Etamad of Tunnel Hill Ranch in Tomales led his llama named Crunch in the parade while his son Cam brought up the rear holding the leash of a Golden Doodle named Lucky.
Wayne and Kim Simoni of Sebastopol entered a 1910 Packard in the parade. Wayne said there are only four of these cars left in the world. Kim noted the car had previously belonged to a man in Pennsylvania and that they had spent years convincing him to sell it to them. They finally got the car two years ago, she said.
Tomales Girl Scouts Troop 10988 showed up in force for the parade.
Shannon Hobbs and Jason McLean of Marshall rode in an octogenarian pickup truck with a stuffed bobcat on its hood.
The sign on Leslie Swallow’s car door said, “Remembering Our Cats.” It wasn’t exactly “Midnight, not a sound from the pavement,” but even without Andrew Lloyd Webber, the parade entry honoring two late cats “let the memory live again.”
A 1949 Ford truck in Sunday’s parade publicized Tomales Farm and Flea Market, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at John and First streets in Tomales.
To this little girl’s delight, the Hubbub Club Marching Band from the Graton-Sebastopol area of Sonoma County kept on playing for the Founders’ Day crowd after the parade ended.
Tomales Town Park filled up with celebrators after the noontime parade. All manner of food, drinks, produce, and crafts were for sale under a couple of dozen canopies.
Little Organic Farm, which is located on the Tomales-Petaluma Road between town and the Coast Guard Training Center, offered an abundance of heirloom potatoes, along with other vegetables.
“Take our picture,” called out a table full of picnickers. “We’re all Italian.”
Among the crafts for sale were birdhouses, an owl box, and a bat house.
Tomales Volunteer Firefighters, as they do each year, had their own booth for recruiting new volunteers.
When the celebration was over, parade announcer Dru Fallon O’Neill praised the “great variety and show of community pride represented by entries in the parade and at the park.”
Dru (at left) also took note of the “glorious weather” and her “gratitude for the volunteers, especially the traffic-detail/crowd-control crew led by Eddie Byrd with help from townsfolk, Coast Guard volunteers, and local FFA.
“Set-up/cleanup under the auspices of David Judd [was] aided by Walter and Margaret Graham. We could not operate such an event without all of the behind the scenes talent.
“Chalk up another successful event, smoothly paving the way for a grander, seamless celebration next year.”