Rodney Cobos was the Grand Marshal for the Labor Day Parade. Cobos is a Santa Paula native and the elected Business Manager/Financial Secretary of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 484. Cobos was accompanied in the vintage convertible by his wife Heidi, son Zachary and foster sons Raymond and Jorge, all happily waving to the cheering crowd followed by dozens of members of union.

Huge crowd lines Main Street for Labor Day Parade (Click for Videos)

September 01, 2014
Santa Paula News

There was no day off for the Labor Day Committee and the hundreds of participants that filled Main Street for what was probably the largest Labor Day Parade ever.

The sidewalks on each side of Main Street were jammed from 7th to Mill streets for Monday’s 10th Annual Labor Day Parade where the crowd cheered and applauded all that work, especially those spending their day off by taking part in the procession.

And that included Grand Marshal Rodney Cobos, a Santa Paula native and the elected Business Manager/Financial Secretary of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 484.

Cobos was accompanied in the vintage convertible by his wife Heidi, son Zachary and foster sons Raymond and Jorge, all happily waving to the cheering crowd followed by dozens of members of union.

In fact, Local 484 with their marchers, trucks and a flatbed showing various trades represented by the union was judged “Best Use” of the “Honor the Laborforce” theme. 

Judges Laura Araiza, Tisa Grant and Earl McPhail selected Our Lady of Guadalupe Church’s flatbed tableau of all the church does - including instruction from the popular Father Charles - as “Most Original” and Laborers International Union of North America Local 585 crowded the parade route with marchers and chanters to win the “Most Participants” prize.

“This has been the biggest crowd we’ve seen at any of the Labor Day Parades,” said Committee Member Anita Pulido. “The committee is really excited that all that work are being recognized.”

Parade Coordinator Ron Merson noted the parade is the only one in Ventura County and one of the few held in Southern California.

And probably the most unique: a thrilling Flyover of Santa Paula Airport Aviators included Bruce Dickenson, Jerry and Diane DeAnda, Andrew Sinclair and John Lynch who made two sweeps over the parade route.

The National Anthem was song by Alyssa Grant to great cheers from the crowd followed by the release of hundreds of “Wings of Grace” doves by Pepe Gonzalez.

The Santa Paula Police Department led off with a patrol car and its Dragoon that thrilled the kids in the crowd followed by the acclaimed Color Guard, the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team Charles O’Donnell Condor Chapter; the 187th have served in combat in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and is the most decorated Airborne Unit in American history with 26 battle streamers.

More brave veterans from the Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043 - founded in 1931 and named later for two families who had multiple losses in WWII - and Korean War Veteran’s Chapter 56 were cheered and saluted by the crowds for their service to their county.

The gold cloth displayed by the Santa Paula High Flag Team shimmered in the sunlight and the Santa Paula School Marching Band - with Director Doug Kadansky and Jerry Cruz - led dozens of the musicians who earned 11 First Place awards last year!

Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce CEO Fred Robinson and his wife Sharon convertible... the Chamber’s motto is “In business for business” and Robinson showed he meant business showing off his 1958 Ford Fairlane 500.

The Santa Paula Ministerial Association - which supports the leaders of local congregations and the community - carried a banner and the SPIRIT of Santa Paula marched behind the Many Meals pickup truck, with program founder Kay SPFD Chaplain Wilson-Bolton staying street side with an array of dogs. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul St. Sebastian Council, also devoted to helping the needy, also had an entry.

Dozens of Brokaw Nursery employees again marched in the parade devoting part of their day off to show their pride in their work wearing avocado green shirts proclaiming, “I was cloned at Brokaw Nursery!”

Those parade loyal Topa Topa Flywheelers were the usual hit with the crowd many who said they would visit the owners later at the special Agriculture Museum Vintage Tractor Fair.

Crown Disposal showed how they help keep Santa Paula clean and Santa Paula FFA pickup drew cheers from the crowd (including the walkers that carried the shovels to show how they’d be following the horses).

The Santa Paula Youth Pep Squad and the Santa Paula Diamond Cheer separately mopped up the up the street with great dance moves from the girls, 5 to 14. Lovie’s Latin Dance Studio also showed off their dancing talent.

SEIU Local 721 showed how their members handle help the public by handling all service jobs for the community and the Santa Paula Unified School District had administrators, board directors, teachers, staff and students to show unity.

Other pretty ladies and a few handsome gents accompanied the lovely Queen of Case del Mexicano Araceli Ceja; his dog Teddy accompanied Joseph Lathrop, at the wheel of his 1955 Ford F100 pickup. 

Elected officials including Rep. Julia Brownley, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Assemblyman Das Williams and Assemblyman Jeff Gorell - the latter with his family on a vintage fire engine - all offered greetings to the cheering crowd.

The Rotary Club of Santa Paula AKA Crepe Hangers Local 1923, kicked off their upcoming haunted house, Hallock House of Horrors with a ghoulish entry that the crowd loved. 

La “M” 103.7 FM Radio had talk show hosts along for the ride in the station’s signature van. The Ventura County Model A Ford Club and the Pachuco Car Club were favorites with the crowd that appreciated not only the vehicles, but also what those that own do for the various programs and projects they support. 

Equestrians from Fillmore and Santa Paula - Charros de Santa Paula and Marcos de los Cabos - showed off their fine steeds and traditionally dressed riders.

The Ventura County Agriculture Museum’s entry was urging everyone to follow the tractor to their Railroad Avenue Vintage Tractor Fair before the blaring sirens of the Santa Paula Fire Department signaled that the 10th Annual Labor Day Parade had ended for another year!

Volunteer Anita Gonzales and Recreation Department soundman Jorge Cancino assisted moderator Peggy Kelly.

“It was a really great parade,” said Oxnard City Councilman Bert Perello, who had marched the route.

“It’s traditional and a lot of fun all at the same time... when we came for the first time last year I’d never seen anything like it before,” the reason why Janice Simonson of Ventura said she brought all her family and several friends to the procession. 

The parade is available for online viewing at

Site Search

Tel: 805 525-6048


Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.