Labor Day Parade draws thousands honoring all who work
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: September 07, 2012
East Main Street was rockin’ - and in the case of Laura Teague’s Curves Zumba gals, shakin’ - when the 8th Annual Labor Day Parade filled the boulevard and crowded the sidewalks in honor of all who work. The September 3 parade drew labor unions, churches, equestrians, floats, convertibles, classic cars, veterans, and plenty of marchers to show their support for labor to an enthusiastic crowd of thousands.
Judges Lorenzo Moraza, Tony Perez and Talia Wunder knew they had their work cut out for them as the parade, one of the largest ever according to procession maven Ron Merson, stepped out from 7th Street onto Main. Anita Gonzales of the Labor Day Committee helped the street announcer, DJ Hector Alamillo kept the tunes flying, and Jojo Leon and Arnold Lara handled the commentary booth for Time Warner Cable Channel 10. KADYTV.com filmed and archived the parade for online viewing on demand.
Santa Paula Airport aviators staged a flyover before Hannah Grant of Santa Paula stepped up to the microphone to beautifully sing an a cappella rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
A Santa Paula Police SUV led the procession for the cheering crowd, followed by the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. A regiment of Santa Paula’s own Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043 rode by to more cheers, only drowned out by the Santa Paula High School Marching Band and the high-stepping Flag Team.
Grand Marshal Mike Mobley, accompanied by his wife MaryAnne, waved to the crowd, followed by various vehicles from Mobley’s Progressive Land Management. The procession was just an example of the community activist’s hard work professionally and on behalf of clubs and organizations, including the Rotary Club Pumpkin Patch.
The Isbell Middle School MESA Team received rousing cheers and whistles in honor of their National Grand Championship for a project blending math, engineering, and science achievement.
The Santa Paula Ministerial Association and Many Meals, working to help those less fortunate, were among the marchers. And City Councilmen Fred Robinson and Jim Tovias were riding in the former’s convertible Fairlaine.
An army of Brokaw Nursery workers and Beauty Queen Athenna Crosby were joined by Topa Topa Flywheelers led by Bob Vogel - who this year supplemented his usual cargo of good looking women with a sprinkling of men - with their usual procession of fascinating flywheel farm equipment.
An elaborate float by the Rotary Club of Santa Paula and President Guy Cole extolled the upcoming Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival, and SEIU Local 721 marched and chanted to rousing cheers.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church again had an elaborately decorated float, complete with tiny goat; and Classique Touch Bike Club and Classique Touch Car Club provided more eye-candy, with low-riders and displays of hydraulic high jinks. St. Vincent de Paul showed how they work for the less fortunate, and the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 484 had their usual mighty show of laborers and supporters.
The crowd that lined both sides of Main Street were delighted with the parade and continued to cheer as Limoneira Company and Crown Disposal showed off workers and equipment. Riders from Rancho Fontes, Charros de Minero and Vaqueros de Santa Paula were astride magnificent horses, with many riders dressed in equally impressive costumes. Future Farmers of Amercia followed all equestrian entries with shovels at the ready for any required clean up and also received strong applause, as did the Santa Paula FFA antique tractor.
Kimura’s Farm Stand showed their wares with pretty girls, and the Santa Paula Kiwanis Club - considering all their hard work on the recent Citrus Festival - found the energy to march and wave. Poder Popular/Power of the People were popular on the march, and members of Curves of Santa Paula got everyone all shook up with a lively Zumba demonstration, while the Ventura County Model A Club brought a touch of nostalgia in their magnificent machines.
A sweet touch was added by Freddy Saurez and La MIchoacana Bakery, and engines and firefighters from the Santa Paula Fire Department were cheered as they closed the procession that turned left on Mill Street to head to the Gazebo awards ceremony.
Merson said the SPHS Band played at the Gazebo after the parade, “then the Zumba gals started their routine to the band music... it was a ‘parteee!’ We had great weather, great music, great entries, and a great crowd that had fun!”
Winners of the three awards were: Best use of the Theme - Kimura’s Farm Stand; Most Original - Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; and Most Participants - Brokaw Nursery.
Following the award ceremony many parade participates left to prepare for the traditional Labor Day barbecue, more work on the day honoring labor, no matter what the job.