>Sonora / Tuolumne News, Sports, & Weather, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, Jamestown | Union Democrat

News Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Months of planning go into parade

Months of planning go into parade

PERFORMING at the Wednesday night review for a sea of other bands are musicians from Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy. (Matt Thurlow/Copyright 2002, The Union Democrat).
PERFORMING at the Wednesday night review for a sea of other bands are musicians from Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy. (Matt Thurlow/Copyright 2002, The Union Democrat).


According to the program, the Mother Lode Roundup Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.

But Kim Earll, who with husband Jim has organized the 2002 procession for the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse, knows better.

"It really started before Christmas of last year," said Kim. "That's when we drafted the new entry forms and got them to the printer."

And in the mid-February chill, forms were sent out to everyone who marched in the 2001 parade. And the April 17 entry deadline began several frantic weeks of organization.

Stacks of forms were transformed into a five-section, 10-band, 188-entry street show that is almost universally acknowledged as the highlight of the big Roundup weekend.

The parade, as spontaneous as it might seem it times, is not some free-form "be-in" whose entries head up Washington when the spirit moves them.

Instead it is a tightly scripted variety show in which every entry has its place.

"Parade Central" — the posse's traditional staging area in the parking lot in front of Kragen's Auto Parts and Grocery Outlet — comes alive at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. By 9 a.m., it is a chaotic mob of horses, riders, musicians, twirlers, antique cars, floats, scouts and more.

The odds that a parade can somehow snake free of such confusion seem remote.

But snake free it does: At the stroke of 10, Pearl Opie — widow of longtime parade chairman Jim Opie — will send the posse color guard up Washington Street.

The on-time start continues a tradition begun by posse founder Bill West and maintained by Jim Opie for the better part of three decades. Then, minute by minute, entries are sent northward.

"We work for months organizing this parade," laughed Kim Earll. "Then all we see is everybody leaving."

But the streetside throngs lucky enough to get a closer look at Jim and Kim Earll's handiwork will reckon their months of work was time well spent.

Follow UnionDemocrat.com

Get Today's Top Headlines to your inbox

The Union Democrat print edition

The Union Democrat 11/28/15

View Paper

The Union Democrat is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Tuesday through Saturday. E-Edition or Print Plus subscribers have full access.


If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access. Circulation: 209-533-3614

View all The Union Democrat print publications

Weekender by The Union Democrat

Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties

Weekender 11/26/15

View Guide

Available online every Friday or get it early in Thursday's print edition.

View past copies of the weekender

Local / Sports / Business / Stocks / News of Record / State / Nation/World / Obituaries / Submit News
Editorials / Letters
Union Democrat Photos / Community Photos /
Search Classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Homes / Rentals / Place an Ad
Online Extras
Weather / Local Business Links / Community Links / Photo Reprints
Union Democrat
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map

© Copyright 2001 - 2015 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use