71st Annual Los Alamos Valley Old Days Parade Winners Revealed
The 71st annual Los Alamos Valley Old Days hosted its “Greatest Little Small Town Parade” today (Sunday, 9/24/17) under sunny skies starting at 11:00 a.m. featuring more than 350 participants in 37 entries from around the region. The parade and festivities attracted an estimated 3,000 people to the community today according to organizers. This year’s parade theme was “Embracing Our Heritage.”
Los Alamos Valley Old Days is sponsored, coordinated and hosted by all-volunteer members of the Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club (LAVMC)—a philanthropic 501(C)3 not-for-profit group of men, women and families—dedicated to preserving the town’s unique Western character and hospitality. LAVMC provides scholarships and funding to local students and other non-profit organizations, as well as offering its facilities for rent for private events. The Club is supported by tax-deductible donations from individuals, families and businesses.
The 2017 Los Alamos Valley Old Days Parade Grand Marshal was Los Alamos resident and community volunteer Jim McCullar, (Pictured above with his wife Sylvia Reasner); affectionately known around town as Big Pops, Papa or Jimbo. Born in Upper Lake, California in 1975 and moving to Los Alamos in 1994, Jim tirelessly volunteers for LAVMC (serving on many committees and his second term as a board member). He has been seen decorating the town with pumpkins, setting up luminaries, assisting with sandbag placements during the wet months, handling graffiti removal and doing maintenance for the LAVMC clubhouse at 429 Leslie Street. Jim is employed as a property manager by area businessman Dan Thompson and married to Sylvia Reasner since 2008 with four children that he adores.
Old Days Parade Coordinator was Los Alamos resident Mary Anne Christensen. The parade began with the singing of the national anthem by Ilysia Pierce, a professional singer who serves as Cantor at Temple of the Arts of Beverly Hills as well as performs in concerts, musicals and theater in her first Old Days appearance—she is part of long-time LAVMC volunteer Mary Caldera’s extended family. For the 14th year, the Parade Announcer was Laura Kath, a local resident since 2001 and business owner of Mariah Marketing. Parade Judges were eight unbiased non-locals: Rome & David Mattos (Folsom); Joe & Carolyn Mattos (Chico); Margie & Bill Pierce (Grass Valley); and Ginger & Wayne Clerk (San Raphael).
2017 Los Alamos Valley Old Days 71st Annual Parade Winners are:
1. Best Overall Entry: LOLA (Ladies of Los Alamos) Social Group
2. Best Theme Oriented: Brigette Lopez, Queen of the Black & White Ball, Sponsored by the Mexican Ladies Social Club of Santa Maria
3. Best Float: FFA (Future Farmers of America) Righetti High School Club
4. Best Equestrian Entry: Santa Maria Elks Outriders & Historic Officers Wagon
5. Best Vehicle Entry: Boots-N-Chutes All Airborne Association 1942 World War II Military Jeep
6. Best Musical Entry: Righetti High School Warrior Band
7. Best Performance Group: Los Tequileros
8. Best Youth Group: Olga Reed School Students & Faculty “Once a Bronco, Always a Bronco”
9. Best Tractor: 1925 John Deere Owned/Operated by Jim Martin of Lompoc
Some 2017 Los Alamos Valley Old Days Parade Photos:
2017 Los Alamos Valley Old Days Parade Best Overall Entry: LOLA (Ladies of Los Alamos) Social Group
2017 Los Alamos Valley Old Days Parade Best Equestrian Entry: Santa Maria Elks Outriders & Historic Officers Wagon
2017 Los Alamos Valley Old Days Parade Best Musical Entry: Righetti High School Warrior Band
2017 Los Alamos Valley Old Days Parade Best Youth Group: Olga Reed School Students & Faculty “Once a Bronco, Always a Bronco”
Organizers announced that the 72nd Annual Los Alamos Valley Old Days Celebration will be September 28-30, 2018. For more information, visit www.LosAlamosValleyOldDays.com