By Regina Elling
On your mark, get set — take over Main Street! At least, that’s the plan of the many participants in this year’s parade.
But you have to sign up first, and time is running out. The Ramona Outdoor Community Center Main Street Parade is set for Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m. The deadline for parade applications has been extended to May 10.
“We are capping the parade at 100 entries, so if you want to be a part of it, get your entries in now,” said ROCC director Joani Georgeson.
The theme for this year’s parade — part of Ramona Rodeo month — is “R-Town.” Categories include Old Town Ramona, Agriculture and Equestrian, Commerce and Wineries, Clubs and Organizations, Everything
Ramona, and Ramona’s Future.
“Right now, with the economy and so much going on in everyone’s life, we thought it might be a good time for our residents to just stop and smell the roses for a minute,” Georgeson said. “We are very lucky here. We have a very special community spirit and bond in Ramona, and we need to embrace it and celebrate it. That’s why we named the parade ‘R-Town’ — it is everything we love about Ramona.”
Parade entry fees are $25 for non-commercial and non-profit, $50 for commercial, and $250 for political candidate and political view. Equestrians must supply a certificate of insurance and pay $50 (that fee includes a $25 refundable cleanup deposit). Bands, military, and public safety vehicles have no entry fees.
This year’s parade entries are sharing the route with the San Diego Shriners, the Ramona Royal Alliance Band, several equestrian groups, the rodeo queens and many of the rodeo participants, Miss Ramona and Miss Teen Ramona, the San Diego Base United States Marine Veterans, the Grand Ladies of the Old West, Congressman Duncan Hunter, and many of the town’s well-known community and civic groups.
“This year’s grand marshal is Don Owen, and he is also Ramona’s Citizen of the Year. He will be riding in one of Ramona’s original fire trucks, owned by Darrell Beck,” said Georgeson.
All parade entries must follow the same rules.
“There are no walking children under the age of 10 allowed, and small animals, such as dogs, goats, etc., will not be allowed to walk in the parade, either,” said Georgeson. “This is just to keep things moving and not slow down the entire event.”
Also, commercial trucks and buses are limited to one vehicle per entry fee. All floats shall be limited to no
more than 15 feet high and 12 feet wide, and they must have a pull tow bar in case of breakdown.
One rule applies to both entries and spectators: No throwing anything.
“We no longer allow anyone to throw out candy or other treats for the children,” Georgeson said. “It just isn’t safe to have little kids running into the roadway with the parade entries.”
Georgeson hopes that all of Ramona will show up to support the parade, and bring the entire family to watch.
“Parades are all about family time and good memories and fun,” she said. “I remember how much I appreciated the Ramona parades when I was a kid, and I would love to pass it on to everyone.”
The parade route goes starts at 14th Street and goes to Fifth, ending at the rodeo grounds on Aqua Lane. For more information, call 760-788-0811.