My Turn: Its time for people, partying and Truckees Fourth of July parade
There is something special about Truckees small-town Fourth of July parade. Visitors come from big cities and fast-paced lives, yet while theyre here they imagine what it would be like to live in Truckee. This year parades theme is Truckee A Town for All Seasons. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the former Sierra Mountain Middle School, proceeds down Donner Pass Road and ends in historic downtown Truckee.Truckees parades have certainly enjoyed many creative entrants. There have been sky divers, precision ski drill teams, dogs, Subaru brigade complete with autos covered with mud and dog hair, belly dancers, bag pipers and more. The parade attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country and world. And when the parade starts off a three-day holiday, our town can expect a larger-than-usual infusion of locals and vacationers alike to enjoy the event and then theyll stick around for the rest of the party through the weekend.The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce has, historically, been host to the parade. Chamber President/CEO Lynn Saunders is assisted by her staff and a core of volunteers. Every year, the Chamber designs T-shirts and ballcaps to represent the parade theme, all available for sale in the visitor center at the train depot downtown, as well as Mountain Hardware, Truckee Variety, Plumas Bank, Bradburys, Wills Market, and Bank of the West. On parade day, the merchandise will be sold at a booth next to the judging stage downtown and at Dickson Realty just before and after the parade. We must tip our Fourth of July caps to these outstanding members of the community who have stepped up as parade sponsors: Lahontan Golf Club, Tahoe Forest Health System, Resort at Squaw Creek, Attorney Allison Bermat, and the White Buffalo. In kind sponsors include Longs, Safeway, RiteAid, EventMasters and Sutton Paving. Thanks to this years Master of Ceremonies but who else? Jim Simon.Our judges for the parade this year include long-standing (and occasionally sitting) Ron Florian of Florians Fine Wines and Specialty Foods; Mayor Barbara Green; Shelly Wright of Plumas Bank and husband Lee; Stephanie Hiemstra of the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe; Mike Bennett, publisher of the Sierra Sun and Tahoe World; Kay Witney of EventMasters; and Mary and Tino Serrano of Donner Lake Inn.Giving generously will be the sounds of the Mountain Belles, the presentation of colors by the Truckee Tahoe Civil Air Patrol, and EventMasters John and Kay Witney who contribute their expertise with the decorations, judges stand, sound system and choreographed music. Maia Schneider and Ted Owens provide the on-camera color commentary for the production orchestrated by Christie Bray and the crew of Truckee Tahoe Community TVs Channel 6 (and 24).The Truckee Police Department, Truckee Public Works (big nod to Irene), California Highway Patrol, and Nevada County Sheriffs Department, EMT, and local and state fire agencies have all chipped in to make this event safe and fun.Rusty and Carol Pauli, owners of American Mail Center in the Safeway shopping center, are true Truckee parade experts. This is the 24th year the Prosser Damn Posse is assisting with crowd control and theyve participated in the parade since the mid-80s. Rusty, Carol, Peter Cuttitta, Tom Archer, and Greg Homes handle crowd control. They ensure spectators stay well back from the floats in order for parade participants to make their way to the judging stand downtown. Rusty related how Don Mosca ran the parade for four or five years, followed by Bruce Turner for a couple of years and then Rusty handled the event for two years. The parade is their favorite town event. They can recall what horse they were riding in any given year. In fact, over the course of their 24-year legacy, they have ridden on eight different horses.This is a great event, said Rusty. You see everyone you know and its huge fun. Speaking of safety, its important to not throw candy, as youngsters can get hit by it or run out to catch a piece directly in the path of a vehicle, or other hazard. Avoid the use of water balloons in either direction.Please plan in advance, as there will be highway and road closures starting at 9:30 a.m. They include the westbound exits to Central Truckee and Highway 89 south, as well as the eastbound exits for those same ramps all will be shut down. We would advise everyone to be in town by 9:15 a.m.Donner Pass Road will be blocked near Northwoods Boulevard this year, starting at about 9:30 a.m. Be advised, if you can, park off Donner Pass Road; both the Mountain Hardware and Safeway parking lots become congested before and after the parade.This is our 11th year of managing the parade with the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce. We wish to thank everyone who is helping us to accomplish this event.Hartley and Pattie Lesser have been involved with Truckees Fourth of July parade for more than a decade.