Thank the volunteers who bring us ‘Rope, Ride, Ribbit’

By Union Democrat staff May 17, 2012 09:03 am

Over the next 10 days, our unique and special part of California is the place to be!

We’ll share in the excitement and spectacle of the Mother Lode Roundup’s parade and rodeo; followed by Sonora’s hosting of Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California cycling race; followed by the popular Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. All of this — family fun activity, sporting events and tradition — will be showcased under sunny skies and warm temperatures. It’s springtime in the foothills!

 

These three events — our new ‘triple crown” of events in May — are driven by hundreds of community volunteers. Without their dedication, long hours, leadership and direction, these events could not succeed.

We cannot thank them enough. We also appreciate the support of the business community in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties for making generous donations, purchasing advertising and tickets to help promote and fund these events for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse and their families are responsible for the on-going success of the Roundup — now celebrating its 55th anniversary. Jim Earll is this year’s chairman. The highly respected Posse — local ranchers and business owners — have made the Roundup a signature event in the state. Nearly 5,000 spectators are expected to attend the PRCA rodeo on Saturday and Sunday. A likely crowd of 10,000 will see more than 165 entries in Saturday’s Washington Street parade. Revelers will see marching bands, floats, horsemen and horsewomen, clowns, curiosities and politicians — all mixed together in a crowd-pleasing way.

The Local Operating Committee (LOC) of the Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 is also to be recognized for their dedication and long hours of planning and organizing this stage of the event with just six months of preparation. 

Sonora was selected this past November as one of 13 California communities (out of 100 applicants) to host a stage of this world-class road cycling event. 

Bill Canning, Tim Miller, Darrell Slocum, Gail Witzlsteiner, Shirley Sarno and Mike Ayala are just a few who played a leadership role in the fundraising, special events planning, logistics, hospitality, publicity and promotion needed to host this great event. 

A wonderful effort by all, especially when faced with a brand-new event for Sonora with some difficult deadlines, requirements and time constraints. Race day is Wednesday morning, May 16.

Despite challenges imposed by the State of California and cessation of funding for agricultural districts/fairgrounds, the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee is moving forward with another great lineup of Frog Jumping Events, carnival rides, musical entertainment, agricultural exhibits and the ever-popular “Destruction Derby.” 

Frogtown CEO Laurie Giannini, the Fair Board and the Friends of the Fair should be proud of their great planning, budgeting and organization in the past. They’ve planned four exciting days of fair activities  for May 17-20.

The positive economic impact of all three of these events is huge. In addition to thanking local volunteers, let’s all welcome new visitors and tourists to these events with great enthusiasm, friendliness and hospitality. 

We all want them to keep returning year after year — and to tell their neighbors and friends about us and Rope, Ride, Ribbit.