Mother Lode Roundup: Finishing touches

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat /

Hey y'all, it's almost Roundup time.

Tuolumne County's biggest weekend kicks off Saturday morning with the iconic Western parade. This will be the 57th annual Roundup Parade and Rodeo, which will draw thousands to downtown Sonora and nearby fairgrounds.

Organizers and city officials are wrapping up the final touches, preparing for a crowded affair with mild temperatures and sunny skies. Weather forecasts from the National Weather Service predict clear weather with a high of 72 degrees.

"We're expecting a banner crowd," said Jim Opie, the parade chairman with the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse.

This year's parade will include more than 160 participants along Washington Street from Restano Way past the Red Church. Like past years, the parade is expected to kick off at 10 a.m. and last approximately two and a half or three hours.

Parade luminaries this year will include Roundup Grand Marshal George Durnall, honorary Town Marshal Jeff Timm, Sheriff's Posse Capt. Ron Stearns, Roundup Queen Sylvana Talamantes and this year's queen candidates.

Estimates of spectators range from 7,000 to 20,000 people gathering downtown. The parade is regularly touted as the second-largest parade in the state of California, behind the Tournament of Roses New Year's Day Parade, though the claim has yet to be officially verified.

For the complete story, see the May 8, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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